The future of the Hellenic Register of Shipping appears grim, after the EU’s official decision to implement a 17-month ban of the classification society. Under this decision, the Register won’t be able to class new ships, at least until it successfully remedies serious quality issues.
‘According to the EU’s decision, “Given its extreme complexity and the high number of ships potentially concerned, this process could only be completed over a significant length of time, spanning several months, during which the ships concerned might remain uninspected and eventually be forced to suspend their trade. This situation would entail the risk of a collapse of a vital public service and constitute an immediate and serious threat to both the safety and the economic viability of the fleet concerned.” The Hellenic Register is the leading class certificate provided towards the public domestic passenger transport industry, therefore raising serious problems of security standards applied. Until those security holes are addressed, the EU will retain limited recognition of the Hellenic Register. It’s clear that the management of the Register must swiftly take action and conduct serious improvements on the training and monitoring of its surveyors and employment of non-exclusive surveyors, its adherence to requirements and the quality of the certificates it awards. HRS-classed ships under the Hellenic flag will face three-month snap inspections during the company’s probation period, and all HRS surveys will have to be conducted either by local surveyors, or jointly with local surveyors or surveyors from another recognized class society.