Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) has significantly updated the marine equipment approval and certification scheme.
This step is driven by the advancement of the manufacturing technologies and processes and endeavors to optimise the RS-customer interaction and ultimately benefit the shipowner’s business performance by reducing capital expenditures to classification services for a ship under construction. The amendments will enter into force on December 1, 2019. The relevant Circular letter is published at rs-class.org in the Online Information – RS Circulars section.
The amendments, covering in particular the scope of surveys, embrace the feedback from shipowners, shipbuilders and their suppliers as well as the best global practices of ship equipment approval.
The previous marine equipment approval scheme remained basically the same since the 1990-s. “As the new manufacturing technologies and robotisation of processes advance the impact of human element is gradually being mitigated, requesting a game changing approach to finished product approval”, Head of the RS Technical Supervision in Industries Division Alexey Filippov explained.
Shaping up the approval scheme in line with the latest production methods RS sorted all the types of marine equipment, materials and products subject to survey into five groups ranking as per safety impact rate and introduced several approval modes depending on the particular group and production volumes.
Key changes include empowering the manufacturer’s quality assurance unit to approve the products under certain groups and issue a declaration of conformity / draw up a certificate*. To employ this scheme a manufacturer has to type approve the product prototype and to pass general assessment and also, in certain cases, production process audit.
The new scheme is to save the costs of the RS surveyor direct participation in product approval and hard copy documentation postage as well as the time for drawing up the documents. The number of items requiring RS direct survey at the manufacturing site is virtually reduced by 72 % (from 682 to 192 items), the full scope of surveys by 32 % (from 889 to 602).
Since July 2018, the new scheme had been tested on radionavigation equipment (group 3) and received favourable feedback from the customers. In total, 12 companies have already passed the general assessment, a number of manufacturers have passed production process audit and may now supply equipment with a declaration of conformity.
«RS experts carried out extensive upgrading of our requirements to marine equipment approval. Staying committed to high safety standards, RS keeps up with the current level of technologies development and with the industry demands in new approaches to production processes approval», emphasized RS Director General Konstantin Palnikov.
*The certificates filled in and signed by an official of the manufacturer and endorsed by RS via manufacturers electronic account at rs-class.org are digitally signed and stored in the RS system. For the security purposes the certificates are accessible with a QR-Code or via a direct link.
Materials, equipment and products for ship and offshore facilities construction have to comply with the requirements of a classification society, international conventions, maritime administrations of flag states, IMO recommendations. In order to confirm the compliance RS carries out relevant surveys.
Items subject to RS survey in industry (from December 1, 2019)
Group 5 single products and equipment manufactured for the particular ship: surveys are carried directly by RS.
Group 4 serial integrated products and equipment of critical duty or high power: type approval and
- surveys carried directly by RS, or
- general assessment and production process audit, products are supplied with a certificate endorsed by RS.
Group 3 serial products and equipment, integrated products that are not of critical duty: type approval and
- surveys carried directly by RS, or
- general assessment and production process audit, products are supplied with a declaration of conformity, or
- quality management system audit, products are supplied with a certificate endorsed by RS.
Group 2 components of other items as well as final pieces that fall under RS requirements:
type approval, items are supplied with a declaration of conformity.
Group 1 components of products manufactured according to industrial standards are subject to RS control through consideration of test records carried out by the manufacturer or by a third party. Items are supplied with a document issued by the manufacturer according to in-house standards.