IRS moves closer to Tokyo MoU’s high performers

Jun 01 2015

The Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding has positioned the International Register of Shipping (IRS) closer to the higher ranking IACS achievers on its performance list, following the classification society’s success during the 2012-2014 period.

IRS achieved a zero excess factor, placing the society just seven places behind IACS member societies on the list of high performing recognised organisations (ROs).

In its Annual Report 2014, the Tokyo MoU reported that of the 863 inspections carried out on IRS-classed ships, only 1.16% resulted in detentions across the three-year period. The statistics resulted in IRS moving from a 2012 excess factor of 0.25 to zero.

IRS Group vice president, Panos Kirnidis, said: “The Tokyo MoU is one of the most active and stringent regional port state control authorities in the world. Achieving zero excess is a significant milestone and indicative of the investments we have made in systems and processes to improve the quality of the ships in the IRS fleet.”

Acknowledging the efforts made by IRS, Tokyo MoU deputy secretary, Ikuo Nakazaki, said: “We do realise the efforts made and improvements achieved on the performance of your organisation and hope that you can join the high performance ROs in a year or two.”

The strong performance came on the back of IRS’s increased focus on information, communication and education, the society said. IRS has invested heavily in new information technology platforms, including the latest in enterprise resource planning software and a bespoke solution called E-Ships.

Accessible through the internet and in offline mode by both internal and external parties, including shipowners, port authorities and flag administrations, E-Ships can be used to select the most appropriate surveyor based on qualification and experience. E-Ships can also be used to issue survey reports and certificates.

Last year IRS produced a pocket-sized PSC checklist designed to allow officers on board to easily note down any potential problems and make sure they are rectified before the ship arrives in port.

“Our investment and determination to help our customers reduce their PSC detentions is having a positive impact on our performance, not only with Tokyo but with Paris and other MoUs,” claimed Kirnidis.

IRS also became the only RO outside of IACS to submit goal-based (GBS) new ship construction standards for verification audit by the IMO.

Kirnidis said: “IRS has overcome considerable technical and commercial challenges to meet the deadline, but our substantial investment in the research and development of new goal-based rules and standards will enable us to capture a significant share of the 30% of vessels outside the purview of IACS.”

In total, 13 class societies submitted GBS verification requests. The outcome of the audits will be submitted to the MSC in May 2016 and, if approved, those construction rules will be applied to bulk carriers and oil tankers built on or after 1st July, 2016, limiting the survey and certification of these ship types to the group of 13.

Primary benefactors of the IRS GBS and its investment in the latest information systems software will be the owners and managers of the 1,500 vessels under IRS class.

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