Ship owners and operators are required by Flag State administrations to ensure that their vessels are certified to national and international regulations. To achieve this, they need trustworthy classification societies, acting as Recognized Organizations (ROs) on behalf of Flag States, to provide statutory certificates to ships within a very strict regulatory framework.
Flag Administrations therefore rely on classification societies to verify the implementation of international and national regulations on marine safety and environmental protection. These include regulations set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Labor Organization (ILO), as well as regional regulations, such as those adopted by the EU and US, as transposed by Flag States in their national legislation.
How do I obtain statutory certification?
Bureau Veritas’ process of statutory surveys, audits and inspections for ships’ statutory certification consists of three main steps:
- Review and approval of documentation and drawings on behalf of the Flag Administration
- In-person survey, audit and inspection (for both newbuilds and existing vessels)
- Final delivery of certification on behalf of the Flag State
With a global presence and a resolutely customer-focused approach, we are by our clients’ side throughout the entire certification journey, demonstrating rigor, flexibility and a commitment to excellence.
As pioneers in the field of testing and inspection for certification, we focus on three core values: maximizing safety, protecting the environment and optimizing performance.
RECOGNITION BY FLAG STATE ADMINISTRATIONS
We act as an RO for over 160 Flag State administrations in accordance with the IMO RO Code. From load lines calculation and verification to tonnage measurement and compliance with SOLAS and MARPOL requirements, we perform certification services through our network of qualified expert surveyors.
SOLAS SURVEY AND CERTIFICATION
The SOLAS Convention provides regulations pertaining to all aspects of ship safety. Its main objective is to specify minimum safety standards for the construction, equipment and operation of ships. Our global network of surveyors performs surveys and provides certification from ship construction through end of service life to ensure compliance.
MARPOL SURVEY AND CERTIFICATION: POLLUTION PREVENTION AND DECARBONIZATION
The MARPOL Convention is intended to prevent and minimize ocean pollution caused by vessels. In addition to the cleanliness of our seas, MARPOL also covers air pollution and energy efficiency, both of which contribute to industry efforts to decarbonize shipping. Over 130 national administrations delegate authority to Bureau Veritas to verify MARPOL compliance.
LOAD LINE SURVEY AND CERTIFICATION
Draught load limitations contribute significantly to ship safety. The International Convention on Load Lines (ICLL) presents limits – or freeboards – for load lines, and helps maintain a ship as water- and weathertight. The ICLL accounts for potential hazards in different zones and seasons. Its technical annex contains several additional safety measures to ensure the watertight integrity of ships' hulls below the freeboard deck.
We support ship owners by conducting onboard surveys and issuing an International Load Line Certificate.
INTERNATIONAL SAFETY MANAGEMENT SERVICES (ISM)
The ISM Code was created to improve safety and prevent pollution at sea. Bureau Veritas has over 180 qualified lead auditors worldwide, performing ISM audits and issuing the corresponding certificates.
CYBER RISK MANAGEMENT
Managing cyber risk means identifying, analyzing and communicating a cyber-related risk and accepting, avoiding, transferring or mitigating it to an acceptable level. The overall goal is to support safe and secure shipping, which is operationally resilient to cyber risks.
Bureau Veritas draws on a comprehensive knowledge of the cyber security ecosystem to help ship owners address cyber threats and achieve compliance. CHART by Bureau Veritas is our cyber health check and reporting tool to assist owners in this endeavor.
INTERNATIONAL SHIP AND PORT FACILITY SECURITY (ISPS)
The ISPS Code aims to establish an international framework for detecting and assessing security threats affecting ships or port facilities used in trade. Around 100 Flag State authorities have given us Recognized Security Organization (RSO) status for approving Ship Security Plans (SSPs), performing audits, and issuing International Ship Security Certificates (ISSCs).
MARITIME LABOR CONVENTION (MLC)
Commercial vessels of 500 GT and above that trade internationally are required by the MLC Convention to carry a MLC certificate and a Declaration of Maritime Labor Compliance (DMLC). Our worldwide network and experience enable us to support you to meet all your MLC obligations.
PORT STATE INSPECTIONS
Port State Control (PSC) inspectors verify compliance with the requirements of international conventions of foreign ships entering ports. We help you ensure a smooth inspection flow and reduce detention risks via a range of port inspection services including our handy PSC Ready app.
BALLAST WATER MANAGEMENT SURVEY AND CERTIFICATION
The IMO’s International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water & Sediments (BWM Convention) aims to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms from one region to another. It achieves this by requiring all ships in international traffic to:
- Manage their ballast water and sediments according to a ship-specific ballast water management plan
- Carry a ballast water record book and an International Ballast Water Management Certificate
- Install an on-board ballast water treatment system
We support ship owners, operators and managers in protecting the ocean and complying with these regulations.
ANTI-FOULING SYSTEM SURVEY AND CERTIFICATION
The IMO’s International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships prohibits the use of harmful substances such as organotins (organometallic compounds) in anti-fouling paints and systems. Parties to the Convention are required to prohibit and/or restrict the use of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships flying their flag, as well as those operating under their authority or entering their ports, shipyards or offshore terminals.
We provide the required statutory certification on behalf of Flags and support ship owners through comprehensive inspection services.
Maintaining asset compliance
Compliance does not end the day certification is achieved. Asset compliance must be maintained under Flag State requirements, taking into consideration evolving safety and environmental protection regulations.
- Our network of experienced surveyors spans the globe, deploying wherever our clients require.
- We offer a full suite of auditing and certification services for ongoing compliance and risk management.
- Thanks to our expert technical guidance, Bureau Veritas can improve ship safety to meet international standards.
- We work to minimize pollution by adhering to strict environmental regulations.
Building trust with owners and Flag State Administrations
Bureau Veritas is recognized by over 160 Flag States to provide statutory certification and services, performing surveys, audits and inspections on ships and offshore units in all market segments on their behalf. As an organization recognized for its technical expertise and global capabilities, Bureau Veritas also offers unique added value to owners with the use of the latest technologies and digital tools, such as electronic certificates, to accelerate the process and guarantee efficiency and transparency.