Vessel Classification Society

An organization that inspects and certifies vessel bodies and engines are in good condition.
A vessel classification society was first introduced in London, England, in 1760 to initially issue lists of vessels for insurance companies. Classification societies later started to issue shipbuilding regulations. Nowadays, they are indispensable for the regular inspection of vessel bottoms and engines of oceangoing commercial vessels, certifying seaworthiness, and certifying that they satisfy standards including safety, stability and impact to the environment. Classification societies were established in other countries as maritime transportation grew. Major shipbuilding and maritime transportation countries now have classification societies such as Lloyd's Register (LR), DNV GL (GL), and American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). Mitsui O.S.K. Lines mainly uses Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (Class NK) for its fleet.
Please note that inspections performed by classification societies are separate from legal inspections performed by governments where vessels are registered, and therefore, vessel classes are not required for operation. However, certification by a classification society is a requisite condition to operate as a commercial ship in international maritime transportation, for example, as a condition for damage insurance for cargo.

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