The Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR) has approved the use of remote technology for inspections of Liberian flagged vessels by Italian classification society RINA, with shipowner d’Amico having announced its intention to pilot the new system.
LISCR has approved the new process as a response to the constraints placed on movement by national governments to limit the spread of COVID-19, and expects that its decision may soon be followed by other Flag Administrations.
“The shipping industry is currently facing an unprecedented challenge and shoulders the responsibility of maintaining the flow of international trade during this crisis,” said Alfonso Castillero, COO of LISCR.
“To ensure operational continuity, it is vital that we remain flexible and adjust our procedures in a way that protects personnel from exposure to the virus, while also increasing efficiency. RINA’s remote inspection technology is proven and robust and facilitates the normal operation of our fleet by making vessel inspection completely accessible during a time when surveyor travel is near impossible.”
“As the second largest registry representing 12% of the entire world fleet, we are always looking for innovative, safe and efficient ways to leverage technologies to make life easier for our clients.”
Both RINA and LISCR are long term partners of d’Amico, with the shipping company keen to explore the new technology as a way of safeguarding the health of its staff.
“For the d’Amico Group, the safety of crews, shore personnel and ship operations is a priority,” said Salvatore d’Amico, Fleet Director at d’Amico Società di Navigazione and Honorary Consul of the Republic of Liberia.
“Shipowners and all operators in the sector are now facing an unprecedented challenge that can only be won by staying united and finding together technologically advanced solutions to protect human life and to ensure the continuity of operations efficiently.”
“For many years now, the d’Amico Group has been collaborating with RINA to apply technology to the shipping industry, which, at this time more than ever, proves to be essential in inspecting ships remotely when surveyors can’t go onboard.”
RINA began trialling remote inspections in May 2019, as part of a broader digitalisation initiative also including electronic certificates and logbooks, fleet performance monitoring tools, and virtual reality training. The society says it has seen a sharp uptick in remote inspection requests this year as it looks to expand use of the technology.
“In addition to remote inspections techniques such as drones, ROVs, etc, we provide a sophisticated portable headset with camera complete with head-up display and a new smartphone app,” said Nello Sulfaro, CEO of RINA Services.
“The app is very popular at present, as once it is downloaded RINA’s surveyors can take control of the phone to inspect the vessel with an appointed crew member on board. The app can also be used by a surveyor attending a ship to get technical support from other RINA specialists ashore.”