LP 37/2020 COVID-19 Prevention and Control Measures by World Classification Societies


A classification society is an independent organization that conduct technical inspection of ships and establishes industry standards. It guarantees the safety of ships and offshore constructions by means of inspection, audit and certification so that they can satisfy the requirements of flag states, port states and underwriters. With the spread of the COVID-19 disease worldwide, governments of all countries have strengthened control at borders, airports, and ports. Restrictions on boarding ships have made it very difficult for surveyors to carry out scheduled inspections, audits, and certificate renewal. This article integrates the responses of members’ classification societies during the outbreak.


1.      CCS suggests shipping company adjust survey or audit plan as the epidemic growing. Try avoiding the port with serious epidemic situation and the port where the surveyor/auditor cannot board the ship due to the limitation of epidemic prevention measures by various countries.

2.      Under special circumstances, if it is necessary to apply for service, it is recommended to contact CCS designated client manager or directly contact the Headquarters (cdwork@ccs.org.cn) for guidance and assistance:

1)      For those which are in compliance with the Guidelines for Remote Survey of Ships (2019), remote surveys can be implemented. For details, please refer to our website (www.ccs.org.cn).

2)      For the overdue of special class survey, docking, boiler and tail shaft survey, CCS may consider offering a certain period of extension based on the actual situation of the ship by means of remote survey. For the situation where the statutory certificate is about to expire, it is recommended to follow the requirements of circulars or guidelines issued by the flag state administrations and communicate with the flag state administrations in a timely manner. With the consent of the competent authority, extension may be available by means of remote survey.

3)      For the survey that cannot be extended or completed by remote survey, the delegated surveyor other appropriate substitute manners can be considered with the consent of CCS headquarters.

Source: 2020 Technical Information No.17, Total No. 451 Rev.4, 20 April 2020


1.   In light of the current public health situation, ABS Remote Survey can be requested for the following operations:

2.   Depending on the specific circumstances, ABS has a process in place for granting force majeure extensions for vessels scheduled to drydock for repairs or renewal surveys in affected areas:

1)   In the event it is not possible for a Surveyor to immediately attend the vessel as scheduled, then ABS will grant a one-month extension of class surveys administratively without attendance.

2)   Longer force majeure extensions (up to three months) require a surveyor to attend to complete surveys equivalent to annual class surveys to the extent possible afloat.

At the same time as ABS is processing the owner’s request for force majeure, it will contact the Flag Administration to extend the affected statutory certificates.

3)   As long as the owner has made alternate plans to complete required surveys at another shipyard, ABS will consider additional force majeure extensions as necessary.

4)   ABS will not consider a force majeure application that does not include a plan as to when the surveys will be completed.

5)   Requests for postponement of surveys due to force majeure should be submitted to one of the ABS Hemisphere Survey departments as noted below:

Email Address:WHSurveyMarine@eagle.org

Email Address: DL-EHsurveydept@eagle.org

Source: ABS COVID-19 Update, 13 March 2020


1.   Measures have been established to ensure that Marine & Offshore surveys and delivery of services can continue and that requirements for certificate continuity can be addressed to minimize the chance of operational disruption. If either physical or remote surveys are impossible short-term certificate extensions will be available.

2.   Remote working and remote survey have enabled testing to occur with BV and third-party surveyors. Clients will be ensured of effective service delivery.

3.   BV is able to issue e-certificate without physical interaction further limiting the risks of spreading the virus.

Source: COVID-19 Update – Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, 18 March 2020


1.   ClassNK has committed to provide essential service to all its clients continuously during the epidemic.

2.   ClassNK has been making every effort to provide support to all those who may miss due dates for surveys/audits due to force majeure, offering applicable alternative measures such as the application of remote surveys and postponement of surveys etc., subject to approval of the flag state administration.

3.   Inquiries regarding such surveys/audits are handled by the following departments.

[For inquiries relating to surveys] Head Office Survey Department E-mail: svd@classnk.or.jp Tel.: +81-3-5226-2027

[For inquiries relating to audits/inspections] Head Office Ship Management Systems Department E-mail: smd@classnk.or.jp Tel.: +81-3-5226-2173

Source: Technical Information No. TEC-1203, 27 March 2020


1.   DNV GL will use the remote survey scheme through the globally available 24/7 DATE customer service in these challenging times.

2.   DNV GL will generally accept the coronavirus situation as an exceptional circumstance in terms of granting postponement of surveys.

3.   Where Class Rules do not permit a postponement of the survey, DNV GL will consider survey in alternative ports based on force majeure.

4.   Approval of flag state administrations is required, as well as justifications on the extensions and when and where to conduct the surveys. DNV GL will consult flag states for affected statutory surveys depending on the situations.

Source: DNV GL Maritime: Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak, 19 March 2020


1.   In case where our Surveyor is not able to attend the vessel as scheduled due to restrictions imposed by the relevant authorities, KR will administratively grant an extension of class surveys for one month or the period of a voyage to the next port, whichever is longer, without the attendance.

2.   In addition, the following surveys are applicable for remote operations:

3.   Force majeure extensions can also be granted for vessels scheduled to dry-dock for repairs or renewal surveys in the areas acutely affected by COVID-19. In these cases, KR will also contact the concerned flag Administration to seek their agreement on the extension of relevant statutory certificates as required.

Source: KR Response to the Coronavirus Outbreak, 7 April 2020


1.   To contain the spread of the virus, LR has introduced additional protocols designed to assess the risks of specific jobs before we conduct any work. This may impact vessels scheduled for routine or emergency drydocking, or repairs in affected areas.

2.   LR has force majeure provisions applicable when owners cannot have essential spares delivered, or when the ship is quarantined, or when the survey work cannot be undertaken due to travel or quarantine restrictions.

3.   LR will generally accept the current COVID-19 situation as the justification for postponement of Class Surveys for up to 3 months beyond the due date in accordance with Class Rules.

4.   Where Class Rules do not permit a postponement of the survey, LR will consider an application for postponement based on Force Majeure. In all cases the basis for Force Majeure is to submitted.

5.   Considering force majeure for statutory surveys is also subject to flag agreement being received for the duration of postponement/ delay in survey completion and LR will liaise with the Flag where it is authorised.

Source: LR Guidance: Survey activity during the Coronavirus outbreak, 18 March 2020


1.   Polish Register of Shipping is fully aware that current epidemic situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) created significant impact on shipping industry and ships’ survey, inspections, audits, repairs and other operations.

2.   It confirms that every received request regarding current classification and statutory supervision resulting from restrictions caused by the epidemic of Coronavirus will be individually considered using existing procedures for special circumstances and force majeure in close co-operation with ship’s Flag Administration and Port Administration.

Source: Global Restrictions due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), 8 April 2020


1.   RS strives to maximum possible reduction of health risks while guaranteeing the quality and continuity of services.

2.   It will prioritize conference call tools and remote activities, limiting the organization of physical meetings between RS and its customers.

3.   RS considers the current epidemiological situation as emergency working conditions.

4.   Decisions on whether the compliance with RS requirements could be confirmed by applying any alternative measures are made individually on a case-by-case basis upon customers’ requests.

Source: Communication regarding RS activities in response to the spread of the Coronavirus, 16 March 2020


1.   During the pandemic, RINA will use Direct Worker Reporting as a stand-alone measure to monitor the wellbeing of people working from home and to measure COVID-19 impact on supply chain workers.

2.   RINA began trialing remote inspections back in May 2019. The initiative included surveys, electronic certificates, fleet performance online monitoring tools, electronic logbooks, virtual reality training and general remote inspection techniques. As the epidemic continues to escalate, up to 360 inspections have taken place by March 20 due to travel restrictions of the surveyors. With the Liberian Registry authorizing remote inspections, the initiative is expected to be approved by other flag authorities in the future.

Source: Measuring COVID-19 impact through Direct Worker Reporting, Rina Press Releases 2020/03


1.   During COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, CRS employees will be working from home. CRS will strive to ensure the normal course of business by telephone or e-mail.

2.   All visits to the CRS Head Office, as well as to all CRS regional offices, are restricted until further notice.

3.   CRS employees are not allowed to travel abroad, and local surveys are subject to strict restrictions in Croatia.

4.   Clients may contact the following departments for any inquiries during the pandemic:

Urgent enquiry phone contacts are available at: http://www.crs.hr/en-us/contact.aspx



1.   During the outbreak of COVID-19, IRS may grant survey extensions for granting force majeure extensions for vessels scheduled to drydock for repairs or renewal surveys in affected areas or in the event if it is not possible for a surveyor to immediately attend the vessel as scheduled.

2.   Each survey request will be reviewed on a case to case basis wherein IRS will be considering alternative options, including rescheduling inspections outside affected regions or considering to postpone non-critical work where appropriate.

3.   Where Class Rules do not permit a postponement of the survey, IRS will consider an application for postponement based on Force Majeure.

4.   When it is not possible for the IRS surveyor to attend a ship or works, surveys/inspections will be undertaken using remote survey techniques.

5.   For cases involving statutory surveys, inspections or management system audits, assessment technique including verification of records and use of remote survey will be processed in accordance with the Flag state Circulars issued by the flag administration of the vessel for dealing with the situation developed as a result of outbreak of Coronavirus and in the absence of any such circular issued by Flag Administration, Flag will be consulted to deal with the situation in an expeditious manner.

Source: Operations during Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak


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