Marine Dep’t to set up domestic classifications society for vessels

National 2 minutes, 5 seconds


THE Marine Department under the Ministry of Communications will be establishing a domestic classifications society for boats and water vessels, said the department’s acting director.

According to the Maritime Connector, a classification society establishes and maintains technical standards for construction and operation of marine vessels.

The primary role of the society is to classify ships and validate that their design and calculations are in accordance with the published standards.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, Acting Director of the Marine Department, Captain Basza Alexander Basri said that currently water vessels in the sultanate adhere to the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS).

Captain Basza said that with the IACS, there are certain limitations on the types of water vessels that can be internationally classified, adding that only water vessels that have the gross tonnage of 100 tonnes and are made of steel are required to be classified.

He said that boats that are less than 100 tonnes and are traditionally built with wood or fiber glass are not recognised by the IACS.

However due to this, the specs of these vessels have to be monitored by the Marine Department.

The acting director said that the department is planning to start the groundwork for the domestic classifications society in April, adding that once the society is established, it will be operated by the private sector.

He said that the society’s operators will be the ones in charge of establishing the rules and regulations for domestic classifications.

“The department’s role here is to facilitate the society’s operations, and we will be the ones to approve the rules and regulations, whether they comply with the minimum international standards,” he added.

He added that the department will also require the society’s operators to include in their rules and regulations to accept traditionally built boats that are made out of wood or fibreglass.

“With the domestic classification society, vessels that are not recognised by the IACS can also be recognised by members of the public as adhering to standardised rules and regulations outlined by the society,” he said.

Captain Basza said that this move is necessary as most local water vessel operators in the sultanate only operate on the domestic level therefore it is cumbersome for them to adhere and make payments based on international classifications.

He added that the domestic classifications society will also be able to create job opportunities for students at the Brunei Maritime Academy as vessel surveyors for the society. 

The Brunei Times