LR first class society to certify small commercial ships operating in the Caribbean

After becoming the first classification society to issue Cargo Ship Safety and Small Commercial Safety Certificates to two Trinidad and Tobago vessels LR was recently authorised by several Caribbean flag administrations to carry out surveys and issue certificates under new codes on their behalf. 

As part of the survey and certification services, LR may undertake surveys for the following:

  • Code of Safety for Caribbean Cargo Ships (CCSS). This applies to ships of under 500gt. The administrations authorising LR are: The Bahamas, Belize, Cayman Islands, Trinidad & Tobago and St. Kitts & Nevis
  • Code of Safety for Small Commercial Vessels operating in the Caribbean (SCV). This applies to ships  up to 24 metres long.  The administrations authorising LR are: The Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago and St. Kitts & Nevis. 

Tugboat Trafalgar
Surveyor Umar Ali from LR’s Trinidad office carries out an inspection of the tugboat Trafalgar

Both codes were developed under the auspices of the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding with the support of the International Maritime Organization and other flag administrations, principally the U.S. Coast Guard. The CCSS Code was first adopted in February 1996 and the SCV Code in May 2010. 

“This has been quite a significant achievement as LR is the first class society to undertake any of this work on behalf of these flag administrations,” said Wendel George, Lead Surveyor and Marine Management Systems Auditor at Lloyd’s Register’s Trinidad office.  A flag administration is the department of government that has the legal jurisdiction to implement and regulate ships flagged in a particular country. 

Since their introduction, surveys towards the issuance of these certificates have been primarily carried out by the individual flag administration’s surveyors. In some cases, independent non-exclusive surveyors appointed by the individual flag administrations also undertake these surveys; however, on completion of the surveys, the certificates have been issued directly by the flag administrations.  

Although this may not result in a substantial amount of business, it is important for safety of life at sea and other reasons.  “LR is one of the only class societies to have a physical, continuous presence in the Caribbean for more than 60 years. Because of our strong relationship with the flag administrations and our local clients, they wanted us to provide this service,” said George.  

He said this extra level of service gives LR an edge as a “one-stop” service provider to its clients, most of whom operate tugboats. “Our approach to surveying – and the convenience of getting all of their needs met by one person in a unified approach with a consistent interpretation of the regulations while providing these certificates on behalf of the flag administrations – was very important to our clients,” said George. The certificates demonstrate that shipowners are meeting the applicable requirements of the law. 

“Now that we are involved in this business for smaller ships, it will serve as a stepping stone for us and shows our leadership in the world.  It shows that we are concerned about the entire maritime industry and opens the door for us to meet all of our client’s needs, both large and small,” added George.