ClassNK secures approval to issue electronic certificates to Liberian-flagged vessels


The Liberian International Ship & Corporate registry (LISCR) has authorised Japanese ship classification society ClassNK to provide electronic certificates to Liberian-flagged vessels following statutory surveys.

The authorisation marks ClassNK as the first classification society to be granted permission by LISCR to issue certificates in electronic form.

Liberian-flagged vessels are expected to receive ClassNK e-Certificates from the second quarter of this year.

ClassNK has already developed an ‘e-Certificate’ system to reduce the administrative burdens related to the sending and on-board storing of numerous certificates for the shipping companies.

The system also helps in retrieving certificate information easily and securely, and has been specifically designed to issue class and statutory certification. It also enables users to verify the authenticity of certificates online to ensure data has not been manipulated or falsified.

The company has already trialled its e-Certificate system in collaboration with Japanese shipping companies. The tests were conducted with the authorisation and cooperation of LISCR.

ClassNK's e-Certificate complies with the updated guidelines for the use of electronic certificates issued by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in April last year, and also incorporates the Liberian Registry’s digitised certificate system.

LISCR has requested Port State Control and others now allow use of the system in future.

ClassNK’s e-Certificate currently covers load line and safety of life at sea (SOLAS), as well as ballast water management system (BWMS), Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) and other certificates.