Do Certificates Matter in the Shipping Industry, and Are They the Same Worldwide?

A valve isn’t just a valve, and not all certificates are created equal. Behind every certificate there are several test reports, and some of these are globally recognized while others are country or region-specific. It’s our responsibility as an industry to be aware of a certificate’s origin and make sure it’s up-to-date, compliant and can ensure safety at every level. Because each certificate is another step towards creating greater safety conditions for our vessels and crew.


Why Certifications Matter in the Maritime Industry

Certificates are essential for all maritime companies to remain compliant with international regulations regarding safety, testing, environmental protection, and crew competence. They also demonstrate an industry taking proactive steps to uphold strict standards and promote industry reliability and integrity, thus building trust for end users.

In the cargo tank ventilation industry, certifications ensure safety valves and valve systems operate according to regulations, offering a layer of protection over vessels, cargo, crew, and the environment.

“Many in the industry tend to neglect the importance of obtaining the right certificates”, says Søren Bay Jensen, founder and CEO of Bay Valves, and he continues:

“Unfortunately, this negligence can often lead to accidents. The marine industry has experienced over 900 fire and explosion-related events, mainly resulting from valve malfunction or similar. Certificates, especially ones related to fire testing, are a vital step we can all take to reduce this number”.


Are Certificates the Same Worldwide?

Certificates are developed from the rules and regulations set by international governing bodies like the European Commission (EC) or the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). However, they’re not always the same. Adoption of ISO standards by local governments and independent Classification Societies (CS) can take many years due to delays.

One example is specific ISO standards in the European Commissions’ (EC) recent Marine Equipment directive which have not been adopted by CS’s outside of the EU. This means some manufacturers and shipping vessels could hold certificates that don’t fully align with the latest international rules and regulations governing maritime operations.

“It’s essential that regulatory entities prioritise timely implementation of rules and regulations regarding vessel safety, and that industry players become more aware of changing regulations and remain compliant worldwide”, explains Søren.

“This will help harmonise safety standards across the industry on a more global scale. And ensure certifications meet the latest cargo ventilation system safety requirements”.


Mismatched scrutiny

One other issue facing the global maritime industry is a lack of certificate test report scrutiny, with many local authorities and CS’s incapable of properly reading, reviewing and understanding them. And ultimately failing to distinguish between ones that are legitimate — and ones that aren’t.

“Because of this limited understanding, local regulatory entities cannot properly assess a certificate’s validity, opting to simply issue a certificate based on another certificate — something known as ‘stamp the stamp practice’”, explains Søren.

This practice happens when entities stamp a certificate and issue a brand-new one based on the same test report, without scrutinizing the report behind the first certificate. This often occurs in regions that place a lot of emphasis on global competitiveness and overlook maritime safety.

“It’s imperative that local authorities possess a clear understanding of the test reports and review every detail. This scrutiny is crucial, as it ultimately upholds the highest safety and regulatory compliance”, explains Søren.

An Industry-Wide Solution

To address these challenges, it’s essential that we advocate for unification across the global maritime industry, push for more timely adoption of international standards, and encourage local authorities to accurately scrutinise certificates and their test reports. By doing so, we can foster an environment of progress and accountability worldwide.


Going Beyond Certifications

Although certificates are important, we can always go beyond what’s expected. Challenge the status quo and push the boundaries of what our cargo ventilation systems can achieve. This mindset will help us protect the environment, safeguard vessels and ensure safety for the planet and all those who live on it.

And that’s why we take pride in working closely with leading institutions and certifiers to ensure our valve solutions safeguard the industry and the environment.

What is Bay Valves

Bay Valves is an advanced valve solution for a demanding environment. The Bay Valves team of skilled engineers specializing in fluid dynamic are constantly striving for excellence and to improve safety, reduce cargo loss and introduce better functionality. We offer standalone valves, combined solutions based on our selection of advanced valves and we can customize products to suit your company’s specific needs in a demanding environment.

Read more about Bay Valves here.

High Pressure Valve

A leader in safety and waste reduction, the Bay Valves High Pressure Valve uses advanced magnetic systems for rapid opening which improves safety and prevents hammering. High pressure reduces VOC development.

Bay Valve SuperSat

The integral part of an advanced solution to reduce evaporation loss beneficial for the environment and for your bottom line. Reduces cargo loss by VOC containment under constant monitored high pressure.

P/V Valve

The latest generation valves are developed in concordance with all relevant safety regulations and can be built and customized to fit the customer’s specific needs for individual tank or part of common solutions.

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