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January 16, 2024.

Montenegrin Maritime Administration delegates Flag State statutory duties to China Classification Society

Source: KR

At the end of 2023, the Montenegrin Adminstration for Maritime Safety and Port Management concluded the Agreement with the China Classification Society (CCS) in relation to statutory certification services for ships registered under the Montenegrin flag.

This important step expresses the commitment of the Montenegrin Maritime Administration to meeting the goals set out in the national Strategy of the Government for Development of Maritime Economy 2020-2030 that it to increase the GT of its merchant fleet by attracting the shipowners to choose the Montenegrin flag.

Having in place effective agreement with reputable RO such as CCS will enable Montenegro as the Flag State to exercise sufficient technical control over the ships flying the Montenegrin flag. It will also make the Montenegrin Ship Register more attractive to shipowners who consciously choose their flag and especially the shipowners whose ships are already classed with CCS.

By delegating its Flag State duties to the classification society, the Montenegrin Administration intends to overcome the lack of its administrative capacities, to enhance its Flag State control and keep up better with rising PSC requirements for its ships engaged on international voyages.   

The possibility of delegation of statutory duties of flag state to the recognized organizations (classification societies) is envisaged by the IMO Resolution MSC.349(92) and MEPC.237(65), better known as the Code for Recognized Organizations (RO Code). At the EU level, the common rules and standards for ship inspection and survey organizations are regulated by Regulation (EC) 391/2009.

Apart from statutory surveys, the classification societies perform classification work to shipowners and operators, providing them with the appraisement of compliance to the rules of cs’.

The Agreement between the Montenegrin Administration and CCS has its foundation in Article 51 of the Law on Safety of Maritime Navigation which prescribes that technical supervision over the ships flying the Montegrin flag and engaged in international navigation, together with the issuance of appropriate ship certificates and the implementation of other measures maritime safety measures can also be carried out by an organization recognized by the European Commission.

It is noteworthy that CCS is a full member of the International Association of the Classification Societies (IACS). It is also recognized and accepted by the European Commission, among only 10 others, allowing CCS to act on behalf the EU Member States.

Apart from CCS, Montenegro has delegated duties to a few more recognized organizations, such as Bureau Veritas SA, Croatian Register of Shipping (CRS) and RINA Services S.p.A.

ABACO had a privilege to assist both CCS and RINA in the process of delegation of the statutory duties and concluding the respective agreements.