IACS – International Association of Classification Societies

IACS can trace its origins back to the International Load Line Convention of 1930 and its recommendations. The Convention recommended collaboration between classification societies to secure “as much uniformity as possible in the application of the standards of strength upon which freeboard is based…”.

Following the Convention, RINA hosted the first conference of major societies in 1939 – also attended by ABS, BV, DNV, GL, LR and NK – which agreed on further cooperation between the societies.

A second major class society conference, held in 1955, led to the creation of Working Parties on specific topics and, in 1968, to the formation of IACS by seven leading societies. The value of their combined and unique level of technical knowledge and experience was quickly recognized.

IACS is a non-governmental organisation who is allowed to develop guidances for the International Maritime Organization(IMO). In other words, the IACS was given consultative status with IMO, and remains the only non-governmental organisation with observer status which is able to develop and apply rules. The quality of the rules is written in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).

IACS consists of 10 member societies and one associate, details of which are listed below.

Chairmanship of IACS is on a rotational basis with each member society taking a turn.

ABS – American Bureau of Shipping
Bureau Veritas
CCS – Chine Classification society
CRS – Croatian Register of Shipping
IRS – Indian Register of Shipping
KR – Korean Register
LR – Lloyd’s Register
ClassNK – Nippon Kaiji Kyokai
PRS – Polish Register of Shipping
RMRS – Russian Maritime Register of Shipping

Links: www.iacs.org.uk