Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) describes 2021 as “a significant year” for the organisation, with the launch of decarbonisation and digitalisation related services, organisational changes and capability building initiatives. Despite the pandemic, IRS says it was able to ensure that the impact on its customers as well as employees was minimal and alternative means of evidence compliance were adopted to ensure ships were able to trade.
Decarbonisation remains high on the agenda for the organisation, with two new services being launched – Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) – while guidelines for autonomous surface vessels and remotely operated vessels were published in December. These cover design philosophy, risk assessment, system requirements including cyber resilience, network architecture, data and software assurance and are intended to provide a broad framework for stakeholders involved in the design, construction and testing of such vessels with varying levels of autonomy.
The organisation has maintained a strong growth trajectory globally and has concluded several international projects, including a vessel conversion project in Turkey as well as Emergency Response Plan and Oil Spill Response related services to ports in Qatar.
Collaboration with the Indian Government and port authorities in India has also been at the forefront of its work throughout 2021. For example, a new service to provide certification of marine containers in accordance with IMO International Convention for Safe Containers has been launched to assist local manufacturers in the production of containers which meet global quality standards. More recently the leading classification society has prepared Disaster Management Plans (DMP) for ports operated by the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), including Alang, Bhavnagar, Jafrabad, Mandvi, Okha, Porbandar and Veraval.
Executive Chairman Arun Sharma said: “As we look into the immediate future, I believe decarbonisation and sustainable shipping will be the focus of the maritime sector. 2022 will undoubtedly be challenging but our commitment to operational excellence, quality and maritime safety remains undiminished. While there is no room for complacency, there is no room for pessimism either.”