Bangalore: The Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) has become the first new member of the International Association of Classification Societies Ltd (IACS) after new membership criteria were introduced by the global body in October.
A full membership will allow Indian registered ships to enter other maritime nations to offer their services, which they couldn’t do earlier as an associate member of IACS.
The IACS council accepted IRS’ application on the first day of its council meeting in Hamburg on Wednesday, IRS said in a statement. IACS now has 11 members.
Classification societies set and enforce technical rules on safety and protection of ships. Ships that are not classed or certified by any of the classification societies are not allowed to take to the sea.
IRS has been an associate member of IACS since 1991 but has been pushing for a full membership. The associate membership category was abandoned in October when IACS introduced a single class of membership following an investigation into its practices by the European Commission after complaints of uncompetitive behaviour.