» First accreditation granted for asbestos surveying on marine vessels

05 April, 2013

The Centre Testing International (CTI) Corporation is the first organisation to be granted UKAS accreditation to ISO/IEC 17020: 1998 for asbestos surveying on marine vessels in compliance with the International Marine Organisation (IMO). The accreditation is for activities undertaken by CTI’s Maritime Industry Department based in Shanghai.

Following the 2009 Amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as Amended (Resolution, MSC.282(86)), the IMO Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (2009; SR/CONF/45) and subsequent IMO circulars, the installation of asbestos products into new vessels has been banned since 1 January 2011. Asbestos (and other hazardous products) detected on board the existing ship must now be listed within an ‘Inventory of Hazardous Materials’ to enable a safe environment for crew, passengers and visitors.

Rob Bettinson, Divisional Director, Technical said. “UKAS has been assessing inspection bodies undertaking asbestos surveying in buildings for a number of years. Whilst the IMO resolution contains guidance on how asbestos inspection in marine vessels should be planned and the materials assessed, there is little other detailed information on how the surveying should actually take place and what is expected of the organisation undertaking such work. Given that the remit for this new area of accreditation was unique, the scope of assessment was suitably tailored to address the specific issues associated with asbestos surveying of marine vessels. The UKAS accredited asbestos surveying of marine vessels now sets a new benchmark standard for the shipping industry.”

UKAS accreditation determines the competence of staff, the validity and suitability of methods, the appropriateness of equipment and facilities and the on-going assurance through internal quality control. Assessments on vessels include those at initial (pre-build), verification (post-build) and whilst in-service, with management recommendations where appropriate.

Mr Sangem Hsu, the Chief Executive Officer of CTI said “Our own surveying of more than 100 international flagged vessels shows that 96% of them have been detected as carrying asbestos. Given that port control authorities across the world are increasing their demands for checking for asbestos in vessels visiting their ports, ship owners are facing significant financial and status risks by not having their vessels inspected for asbestos and managed in compliance with IMO legislative requirements.”

In conjunction with this new marine accreditation, CTI already holds UKAS accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 for various electrical and physical tests conducted at its Shenzhen location.