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Classification societies take care of the technical aspects of a ship, such as risk assesment and technical certification services. A pioneer among these societies is Lloyd's Registry of Shipping. Llyod's Registry is the oldest and the most prestigious society, providing the finest technical assistance and mitigation services.
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Brief History of Lloyds Register of Shipping
Lloyd's registry, before becoming a classification society was nothing but a discussion group where people from different parts of the globe used to gather to discuss shipping business. It had its germinal seeds in a coffee house of London. This was way back in the 17th Century, when people connected to the shipping industry used to gather in a particular coffee house in London. People such as merchants, goods traders, ship brokers, sailors etc. Looking at the specific type of crowd and information shared at his coffee house, Edward Lloyd, the owner of the coffee house started keeping a printed note of all the information that were shared by his customers and used to later distribute them to every one coming to his coffee shop. Due to this, the coffee house become an information sharing hub where people used to come from different sides of the globe to avail new opportunities.
The demand of the coffee house started increasing and keeping this in mind its customer's decided to give it a name. In 1760 the Lloyd's registry was formed by the customers of the coffee house.The first classification regulation was introduced in 1764 which enumerated the condition standards of the sea going vessel that the Registry would insure. A yardstick was created which rated ships according to their quality and condition. For e.g- A ship's hull was rated using letters such as A, B ,C etc. A would mean of the highest quality. Similarly, other parts of the ship such as mast, hatches etc were rated in numbers wherein "1" would state of the highest quality.
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What does it do?
Lloyd's registry inspects and approves each and every appliance and accessory on the ship. The standards that are set for the conditions of the ship have been derived from the principles of Marine engineering and naval architecture. Its mainly does the following things:
- Inspects the drawings and material used for construction of a ship
- Inspects the design of the ship based on the type.
- Checks records of operation and maintenance of marine machinery Inspects emergency appliances and propulsion and control systems.
- Conducts annual surveys, both drydock and in water for inspection of ships.
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If a ship is registered under Lloyd's, it is imperative that it follows the rules of the registry. There are different rules for different types of ships and for a ship to stay "in the class" it has to satisfy all the rules laid down by Lloyd. Even a single breach of law can expel a ship out of the Registry without any warning.Even if a ship has to carry out any maintenance or modification in its structure or machinery, it has to take a prior permission from the Registry before doing so.
To make sure the shipping companies are following the regulations properly, Lloyd's conduct surveys on regular basis and issues certificates on successful completion of them. If a ship doesn't meet the Registry's standards during these surveys, their certificate is terminated and the ship is declared unworthy for sailing.