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Classification Societies

The Bermuda Maritime Administration has agreements in place with six classification societies. Each agreement meets the IMO standards for delegation to recognised organisations and covers the extent to which functions are delegated to the societies. The seven recognised societies are:

American Bureau of Shipping ABS
Bureau Veritas BV
Det Norske Veritas / Germanischer Lloyd DNV GL
Lloyds Register LR
Registro Italiano Navale RINA
Nippon Kaiji Kyokai ClassNK

Each Society is authorised to deal with virtually all statutory surveys and certification on behalf of Bermuda. The authorisations include approval of manuals associated with the certification There are exceptions including:

  • Passenger Ship Safety certification where there is partial delegation only and the surveys are completed jointly with the Authority.
  • Passenger Ship stability approval. This is not yet delegated to the recognised classification societies and is to be completed by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
  • International Ship Security verifications which are not normally delegated and which are completed by surveyors for the Authority. Ship Security Plans are all approved by the Authority. On an occasional basis these verifications can be delegated when it is impossible for a Bermuda surveyor to easily reach the vessel. Such delegations are the subject of an individual appointment to the nominated surveyor.
  • International Safety management audits for ships. The audit of Safety management Systems is a function which is wholly completed by surveyors from the Authority. However, on occasions when it is not easily possible for a Bermuda surveyor to reach the vessel it is possible to authorise an auditor from one of the recognised classification societies to complete the audit on behalf of the Authority. These authorisations are made to an individual named surveyor for the audit proposed.
  • International Safety management audits for Companies. The annual audit of Companies for their Document of Compliance is not delegated to any of the recognised organisations. However when companies have multi flag fleets and Documents of Compliance issued by or on behalf of other flags and audits are being done by societies recognised by Bermuda or by flag states Bermuda will recognise the DOC and the audits.

For new building projects the Authority will delegate the day to day supervision of the project to the recognised classification society along with plan approval.