Athens: The boss of Greek classification society, International Naval Surverys Bureau (INSB Class), sees further consolidation in the sector as a near certainty.
Pantelis Chinakis, INSB’s managing director, tells Maritime CEO: “It is clear that our industry’s legislative context will remain both challenging and emerging as new safety and compliancy standards will continue to grow. This fact could trigger further synergies and alliances between key players and possibly amongst class societies with the aim to consolidate operations, combine expertise and resources.”
He points out that the recently adopted by IMO RO Code which entered into force at the start of the year imposes several requirements on classification societies regarding, inter alia, qualification of personnel, exclusivity of surveyors, well established operational procedures, VCAs and an approved quality system applied in all class activities.
“It is,” he surmises, “therefore likely that some class societies may seek synergies within their efforts to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the code and therefore will seek cooperation or even consolidation with other societies in order to join their efforts to attain the desired goal.”
Chinakis sees fewer but larger organisations in the field going forward, following the merger between DNV and GL.
For INSB, which now boasts a classed fleet of around 1,400 vessels, expanding its geographic footprint has been a priority of late. It recently established two new site offices, one in Fort Lauderdale, US and one in Albania to cater for its services in Adriatic ports. Setting up an office in Singapore is the next goal.
On how class is evolving, Chinakis has some clear views.
“Class’s role has also acquired the role of an agent for innovation and to some extent also as regulator, working to develop, promote safety standards and test innovative, environmental friendly marine solutions for a sustainable future,” he tells Maritime CEO.
Last week INSB Class and Turkish counterpart, Turk Loydu signed a memorandum of cooperation for common work on technical and technological fields.
Chinakis says he is keen to sign similar agreements with other like-minded organisations.