What are International Classification Society & International Association of Classification Societies (IACS)?

A classification society is an independent, non-government and non-profitable international organization which establish and maintains minimum standards for construction and operation of ship and offshore structures that do business in the international waters.



Regular surveys are carried out by classification society appointed surveyors which ensures that all the norms and regulations comply with the regulations and guidelines set forth by the classification society.

The main aim of the classification society is to ensure that the ship sailing at the high seas is safe for the crew and marine environment, and ship’s machinery are maintained and operated as per safety standards.


What is IACS?


IACS or International Association of Classification Societies is technically a maritime organization which was founded on September 11, 1968 and which comprises of all the classification societies. There are total 11  members in IACS and they are the largest maritime classification societies in the world.

The members are as follows:

1. ABS – American Bureau of Shipping .

2. BV – Bureau Veritas.

3.CCS- China Classification Society.

4. DNV- Det Norske Veritas.

5. GL – Germanicher Lloyds.

6. KRS – Korean Registrar of Shipping.

7. LR – Lloyd’s Registrar.

8.  NKK – Nippon Kaiji Kayokai.

9. RINA  Registro Italiano navale.

10. RMSR –  Russian Maritime register of Shipping.

11. IRS – Indian Registrar of Shipping

How to Become Member of IACS?

There are several classification societies working all over the world but minimum requirements to become a full member of IACS are:

–          Minimum 30 years of experience.

–          More then 1500 sea going vessels registered.

–          All vessels must be over 100 GT with total 8 million GT.

–          Should have 150 exclusive surveyors and 100 technical staff.

To become an associate member of IACS it requires the following:

–          Minimum 15 years of experience.

–          More then 750 sea going vessel.

–          Total Gross Tonnage must be minimum 2 million.

–          Should have 75 surveyors and 50 technical staff.

Classification societies play an important role for safe and efficient running of the maritime industry. It is important for each ship to be registered under any one of the classification societies of the world.