Let me discuss something about the "classification societies" today.
So shipyard makes the ships.....fine. Ship owners run ships...fine. Manufacturing companies provide all the machineries to the shipyard during construction process...fine. But then, there has to be some guidelines to ensure that all the technical details of the ship are safe enough to endure the severest of conditions. Rough seas, freezing environments, pirates, fire,unpredictable machinery failures..... are very few examples of the problems which these maritime structures face regularly.
Here in comes the role of classification societies. Such organisations are entrusted the complete power to regulate the technical requirements of the ships. The very steel from which the ship is constructed from, the machineries, life saving equipment like lifeboats and rescue boats, fire fighting systems, cargo loading and discharge equipment..... almost every part of a ship or a maritime structure is approved by these organisations.
The leading classification societies have offices through out the world and people who work for such organisations are technically very qualified and are designated surveyors. Thus a surveyor is a very powerful postion insofar as technical aspect of maritime sector is considered.
Some of the leading classification societies are
1) American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).... USA
2) Lloyds Register of Shipping (LRS).....UK
3) Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NK).......Japan
4) Germanischers Lloyd (GL).....Germany
5) Bureau Veritas (BV)..... France
6) Korean Register of Shipping....Korea
Most of these classification societies have their presence in India also. In fact, India also has a classification society named Indian Register of Shipping (IRS). Although it is not a top classification society, yet its surveyors are quite respected within the country. I really hope IRS develops a global approach to challenge the big names.