Tokyo: The chairman of Japanese classification society, ClassNK, Noboru Ueda, discusses with Maritime CEO today in an exclusive interview the changing role of class in the 21st century.
“Since its establishment,” Ueda relates, “the role of class has been as a third-party regulator to ensure safety and quality in the industry by conducting surveys based on independently developed classification rules and carrying out statutory surveys based on international regulations. Impartiality is one of the criteria for an IACS membership and I don’t believe this will change.”
Nevertheless, class’s role is changing, Ueda says.
“What we have been seeing lately is a movement towards class as both regulator and innovator,” he points out.
2014 was a very successful year for ClassNK with newly registered ships totalling over 20m gt for the fourth consecutive year the society also reached a new milestone of 230m gt.
“As the role of ClassNK evolves,” Ueda says, “we aim to become the infrastructure of the industry and create a safer, greener, more efficient future.”
The society is working on a number of software projects, as well as upping its research and development spend. In February this year, it opened the ClassNK Global Research and Innovation Center (GRIC) in Singapore, its first R&D center outside of Japan.