Throughout 2018, IACS spoke repeatedly and publicly about the winds of change – technical, regulatory and commercial – that are sweeping across the maritime industry. The implications of these seismic changes will be profound and require not only innovative and bespoke solutions, but the adaptation of existing processes and structures to enable member-led associations such as IACS to act with the necessary speed, flexibility and agility to ensure it remains properly positioned for the longer-term.
Building on input from industry and regulators, IACS undertook extensive internal discussions in 2018 to evaluate the challenges faced and to explore new strategic responses in order to prepare and future-proof the Association. By embracing change and adapting accordingly, IACS is preparing itself to continue providing the maritime industry with the technical support expected from the world’s leading classification societies.
In 2018, and as part of this exercise, IACS also took steps to ensure that its position on matters of key importance to the industry were clearly set down and widely distributed, and that these positions were grounded in the long-held IACS values of leadership, technical knowledge, quality and transparency. This was evidenced by, inter alia, the launch of 12 Cyber Recommendations; the establishment, under the auspices of IMO, of the trial of an Independent Quality Assessment Review body; the publication of a number of high-level position papers outlining IACS’ stance on the ‘hot topics’ of the moment; and the successful maintenance of verification of Goal Based Standards at the IMO.
Each of these milestone events is described in greater detail elsewhere in this Annual Review but, collectively and individually, they reflect IACS’ ongoing ambition to remain at the vanguard of new developments in the maritime sphere while continuing to provide the industry and regulators with expert, impartial advice and high-quality quality operations. The latter provision is demonstrated by enhanced Membership Criteria which applies to all existing IACS Members (as well as any new applicants) from the beginning of 2018.
This Annual Review explores some of these themes in greater depth, such as the work IACS is doing around marine autonomous surface vessels and digitalisation as well as the opportunities that new technologies offer for classification societies themselves in terms of condition monitoring and condition-based maintenance.
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