I recently bought a vessel classed with another organization. Is it difficult to change to ABS class?
Not at all. ABS expertly handles many classification requests for vessels classed with other societies. We have well-established, quick, simple procedures to effect a change of class with minimum disruption to your operations and at a minimal cost.
My vessel is classed with another IACS member. Will ABS accept the current survey status?
Yes. All IACS members have agreed to very clear rules governing the transfer of vessels between member societies. The losing society and the gaining society coordinate the process to see that necessary standards are maintained. ABS will recognize surveys carried out by another IACS society subject to a confirmatory survey.
My vessel has never been classed. Will ABS accept it?
ABS will consider the vessel for class after a satisfactory condition survey. Since the vessel may not have been built to an ABS recognized standard, the requirements are more extensive than for a vessel changing class. They include a review and drawing approval against ABS Rule requirements.
Is there an age limit for being accepted into ABS class?
No. Any vessel that meets ABS class requirements can be accepted. However, the review of vessels older than 15 years is more stringent than for younger vessels. An ABS exclusive surveyor will carry out a Condition Survey, independent of the attending surveyor, with close attention to designated critical areas within the structure.
How long does the transfer of class take?
In most instances, the change of class process can be completed swiftly. The IACS Transfer of Class Agreement sets specific time limits on certain steps in the process to minimize operational disruption.
Can I continue to trade the vessel while it is being considered for ABS class?
Yes. As soon as we have completed the required surveys and plan reviews, ABS will issue an Interim Class Certificate to replace your existing classification arrangement. Until ABS has issued this Interim Certificate, you may operate your vessel under your present classification certificate. During this period, we will forward a formal application for class to the ABS Classification Committee for consideration.
How will I know that the vessel has been accepted by ABS?
You will receive notification that your vessel has been accepted by the ABS Classification Committee. At that time, we will issue permanent certificates to replace the Interim Class Certificate.
What will it cost to change my vessel to ABS?
Costs vary. However, ABS is mindful of the commercial pressures under which shipowners operate. We have streamlined our procedures for changing class on existing vessels to provide the most cost-effective and responsive service possible. ABS charges only for credited classification surveys.
Who should I contact at ABS to arrange my transfer of class?
You can start the process by contacting your local ABS port office or district office. We have more than 200 port offices in 60 countries around the world. Our staff will obtain all the relevant particulars to begin the process and make the change as seamless and smooth as possible.