Class is assigned to a vessel upon the completion of satisfactory review of the design and surveys during construction undertaken in order to verify compliance with the Rules of the Society. For existing vessels, specific procedures apply when they are being transferred from one Class Society to another. Ships are subject to a through-life survey regime if they are to be retained in class. These surveys include the class renewal (also called “special survey”), intermediate survey, annual survey, and bottom/docking surveys of the hull. They also include tailshaft survey, boiler survey, machinery surveys and, where applicable, surveys of items associated with the maintenance of additional class notations.
The surveys are to be carried out in accordance with the relevant class requirements to confirm that the condition of the hull, machinery, equipment and appliances is in compliance with the applicable Rules. It is the owner’s responsibility to properly maintain the ship in the period between surveys. It is the duty of the owner, or its representative, to inform the Society of any events or circumstances that may affect the continued conformance of the ship with the Society’s Rules. Where the conditions for the maintenance of class are not complied with, class may be suspended, withdrawn or revised to a different notation, as deemed appropriate by the Society when it becomes aware of the condition.