IACS updates maritime cyber rules and implementation date

The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) reports that it has published an updated version of its Unified Requirements (URs) on Cyber Safety to reflect new survey requirements, industry feedback and applicability.

Last year, IACS published UR E26 ‘Cyber Resilience of Ships’ and UR E27 ‘Cyber Resilience of On-Board Systems and Equipment’, which were planned to apply to new ships from 1 January 2024.

However, since the publication of these requirements, and as experience of cyber security oversight in the maritime sector grows, IACS says that the need for a standardised approach to survey requirements has been identified along with further improvements resulting from industry feedback.

To address challenges regarding the implementation of new cyber requirements in smaller and non-conventional vessels, the scope of applicability of these URs has also been categorised as mandatory and non-mandatory for compliance depending on vessel types and sizes.

These changes to the two URs will now see the updated version supersede the originals, to be applied to new ships contracted for construction on and after 1 July 2024.  To avoid confusion, the original versions, along with their previous application date of 1 Jan 2024, have been withdrawn completely.

The revised version of URE27 is now available on the IACS website, while the revised version of URE26 is still being finalised and will be published before the end of the year.

“Incorporating industry feedback to ensure IACS requirements are clear in their applicability and are capable of being consistently applied in ship surveys, is important in ensuring that measures to enhance cyber resilience have the desired impact,” said IACS Secretary General, Robert Ashdown.

“As a result, and given that the original requirements had not yet entered into force, IACS has decided to apply only the revised requirements from 1 July 2024. It is believed that industry will welcome the clarity that this decision brings.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

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