ClassNK has begun operational trials for “ClassNK e-Certificate”, the world’s first comprehensive system to provide ships’ class certificates and statutory certificates issued on behalf of flag states in electronic format.
The use of electronic certificates is expected to bring about significant benefits for shipping companies by reducing the administrative burden of sending traditional paper certificates and managing them onboard, in addition to making it easier to retrieve data on the certificates.
As part of its aims to improve the operations of shipping companies, ClassNK developed “ClassNK e-Certificate”, referring to the progress and concept implemented by the Liberian flag who have already been issuing electronic certificates worldwide. “ClassNK e-Certificate” is a system which provides class certificates and various statutory certificates in electronic format developed in line with the updated Guidelines for the Use of Electronic Certificates (FAL.5/Circ.39/Rev.2) which was issued by the IMO in April. As well as enabling the transmission and receiving of electronic data offshore, ClassNK e-Certificate allows users to verify the authenticity of certificates online to ensure data has not been manipulated or falsified. This will mark the first time a classification society has developed a system for the comprehensive provision of electronic class and statutory certificates.
Currently ClassNK is testing system functions such as the offshore transmission and receiving of data and website access for the verification of electronic certificates. The trials for the ships in operation are being carried out in cooperation with Japanese shipping companies, under the authorization and in mutual cooperation with the Liberian Flag Administration, the Liberian International Ship & Corporate registry, LLC (LISCR)
Bringing the use of electronic certificates to the attention of stakeholders such as port authorities, Port State Control and major inspectors should be one of the challenges in order to facilitate its wide-scale adoption. With the support of LISCR and cooperating companies, ClassNK will work towards the development of a highly-secure and trusted system for stakeholders and the wider use and acceptance of electronic certificates to ensure their faster adoption in the industry.