Apr 28, 2023 | Ship classification news

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and eight internationally recognised classification societies have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to collaborate in the areas of maritime digitalisation and decarbonisation.

The LoI was signed during the Accelerating Decarbonisation Conference at Singapore Maritime Week by Teo Eng Dih CEO MPA, Christopher J Wiernicki, Chairman, President and CEO American Bureau of Shipping, Matthieu de Tugny, President Bureau Veritas Marine and Offshore, Sun Feng, Chairman and President China Classification Society, Remi Eriksen, CEO DNV, Lee Hyungchul, Chairman and CEO Korean Register, Nick Brown, CEO Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, Hiroaki Sakashita, President and CEO Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), and Paolo Moretti, CEO RINA Services.

Under the LoI, MPA and the eight classification societies will strive to collaborate in areas such as smart and autonomous shipping, cyber security, electrification, and zero- and low-carbon fuels, helping to advance the development of new technologies and solutions, and benefit the global maritime community.

MPA and the classification societies will strive to work together to develop standards and technical references in the areas of maritime digitalisation and decarbonisation with a focus on meeting Singapore’s requirements as a start. This could cover zero or low-carbon marine fuels such as methanol, ammonia and hydrogen, as well as marine electrification.

Currently, the Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) and classification societies have their respective voluntary green, cyber, smart and welfare notations to encourage sustainable shipping and digital transformation. MPA and the respective classification societies will explore the development of a more efficient process for ships that have obtained class notations to apply for and achieve similar SRS notations. MPA will work with the respective classification societies bilaterally on safeguards if necessary.

MPA and the classification societies will strive to work together to enhance future vessel designs for both ocean-going and domestic harbour crafts to enhance safety, security and efficiency of new designs. To prepare the maritime workforce to operate increasingly sophisticated vessels, an area of potential collaboration would be to develop new training curriculum for emerging skills relating to digitalisation and decarbonisation.

The LoI is governed by Singapore laws; MPA will work with the respective classification societies to ensure that efforts for application in overseas markets adhere to the respective laws and regulations.

The eight classification societies are authorised by MPA as Recognised Organisation to conduct statutory certification, survey, inspection and audit services for Singapore-registered ships.

Teo Eng Dih said: “With the rapid changes brought about by decarbonisation and digitalisation, there is a need for collaboration to learn from one another, partner likeminded stakeholders to build capabilities, and accelerate the development and adoption of new technologies. This LoI will pave the way for MPA to work with these eight recognised classification societies to shape standards, and contribute to develop innovative, viable, and cost-effective measures with our trading partners, green and digital shipping corridor partners, and the global maritime community.”

Brown said: “Collaboration is vital for ensuring that safety is at the centre of our industry’s energy transition and that all stakeholders in the maritime value chain have access to appropriate training and guidelines. This Letter of Intent with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and our fellow class societies will enable us to work together to address technical and regulatory challenges, marrying global standards creation with national implementation.”

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