Transferring your vessels to LR class is a fast and simple process, allowing you to see the benefits of having LR as your class partner in the quickest time possible. With an international network, we have an unrivalled view of the developments shaping the shipping industry.


We want you to have the best partner to support the safe and efficient operation of your vessels, now and in the future. We will work with you in the management of your vessels helping you realise their full potential, assisting you with any technical issues or exceptional circumstances that may arise and above all, supporting you to keep them trading.

If you are considering changing to us as your class partner, we also make the transfer process as straightforward and seamless as possible.

What we offer

Transfer of class (TOC) is the process by which you can move your vessel, if currently classed by a member or associate of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS),  to LR class. Quality procedures laid down by IACS describe the responsibilities of each society for the conduct of TOC surveys and the submission of plans and information but we will make the process hassle-free for you.

For a vessel formerly classed by us, the same TOC procedures apply, with the advantage that we will already have knowledge of your vessel.

Initial request

Any LR office may be approached with a request for classification. A dedicated project manager will then review the following vessel details:

  • ship type, age, tonnage and service history
  • ownership and fleet details
  • flag state, port state detention and casualty record
  • number of previous transfers
  • survey status and conditions or recommendations
  • If your ship is 15 years of age and older, a pre-inspection survey will determine the general condition of the ship.

Formal request

To initiate the classification process, the project manager will present you with a Request Form for signature. This allows LR to approach the current classification society and obtain details of survey status and other related data. We can then formalise surveys required for classification as well as any specific flag state requirements.

In most cases, we can combine a transfer with normal survey requirements, minimising cost and disruption to your operations.


In all cases, detailed instructions are sent to the local LR office to ensure smooth and efficient transfer. The following general survey requirements will usually apply:

  • all ships under five years of age must undergo a survey equivalent in scope to an Annual Survey, with a general examination of machinery and control systems
  • ships between five and 10 years of age must also have a representative number of ballast spaces examined
  • ships between 10 and 20 years of age must also have a representative number of cargo and ballast spaces examined
  • ships which are 15 years of age and older and subject to an Enhanced Survey Programme (tankers and bulk carriers), must undergo a full Special or Intermediate Survey (whichever is next due), including docking
  • ships which are 20 years of age and older must undergo a full Special Survey, including docking.

Where the docking survey is not due, an underwater examination may be carried out. Overdue surveys and conditions of class must be dealt with during the TOC process.

IACS procedures require that for ships of 15 years of age and older, all overdue surveys and conditions of class shall be completed to the satisfaction of, and by, the classification society that assigned them.

Where a ship also changes flag, specific instructions for the surveyor will be prepared. Additional surveys and a plan review may be required by the new flag administration.


A convenient time and place for the surveys can be agreed with your local LR office. To prepare your ship for survey, holds and tanks will need to be available for inspection as defined by the TOC instructions. Surveys will be carried out in accordance with our normal requirements, as defined in Part 1 (The Regulations) of the applicable Rules.

Plans and information

In accordance with IACS procedures, we must receive certain plans and information before completion of TOC (details available separately). To assist the transfer process, you can send documents in advance of the TOC survey. This allows us to provide quick and relevant advice, as well as timely update of survey and technical information on Class Direct, our online database.

Issue of certificates

On completion of all requisite TOC surveys, classification certificates and appropriate statutory certificates will be issued, enabling your vessel to continue trading. Full Term classification certificates can be issued on completion of the survey if all necessary plans and information have already been submitted.

What are the benefits?

As a world leading class society we deliver superior performance in supporting you with your fleet operations, as demonstrated with our recent strong performance in port state control statistics globally, moving up two places in the Paris MOU rankings to second and maintaining the top position with both the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

Looking to the future, we will continue to work closely with our clients to deliver the high standards of safe implementation and compliance they have come to expect from LR, especially in the context of the increasingly complex regulatory framework.