Class vs Marine Warranty



The text below is just a brief review of the topic. 

The text provides few indications about the different scopes of class and marine warranty services . 


This text represents only the author personal opinion about the engineering topics presented. This personal opinion is not comprehensive and definitive and it is rather an invitation for discussions, comments and feedback and shall be considered accordingly.

The author can’ take any responsibility for any type of use of this text.  


The anecdote


I like anecdotes because tell true and sometime wise facts in a way what it is easy to be remembered.

An anecdote tells that ship's Captain (owner representative on board) won’t be bothered too much if a wave will wash out all the equipment installed temporary on deck for an offshore operation if the vessel will stay reasonable fit to load other equipment next Monday and continue making money…

Obviously, such anecdote is just a rough sketch of a much more complex reality.

It is unlikely that the vessel won’t suffer damages if the equipment is washed off the deck, in special if the equipment is large.

Moreover, ships’ owners like having clients for their vessels and any completion of a successful marine operation represent one more good commendation for their assets. An incident as that described in the anecdote won't affect directly the business but may raise some eyebrows about the service provided.

However, this anecdote helps us understand better the roles of class and marine warranty provider.

In general the equipment temporary installed on deck is “project equipment” intended for a specific offshore operation project.

Ship’s owner has few responsibility or, in general, no responsibility for this equipment.

Class scope


By certifying that the vessel is safe class provides a direct service to ship's owner and indirect to other stakeholders as authorities and insurers (underwriters). 

The safety aspects covered by class are the safety aspects covered by the class rules (class scope) and by the IMO conventions ratified by ship’s flag (statutory scope).

Ship’s insurance and as well the permission of vessel to enter national waters depend in general by having valid class and statutory certification.

Class looks at vessel from a long time perspective therefore takes into account the effect of time on the asset.

In general class won’t interfere with the safe operation or with the suitability for operation of temporary equipment.

Marine warranty scope


 Many offshore projects are insured therefore marine warranty will be requested for the marine operations what are part of the project.

The marine warranty is provided by a marine warranty service provider. Both class and marine warranty may be provided by the same marine and offshore service provider but this situation is not so common.

The marine warranty covers the safety and operational aspects of the offshore operation and normally will requests that the ship will hold valid class and statutory certification.

Differences and overlaps


Class will cover aspects what are not in marine warranty scope as:

· Fire safety

· Escape routes and evacuation

· Life saving 

· Pollution

· Hazardous and noxious liquids

Marine warranty will cover specific aspects what are not in class and statutory scopes as:

· Weather operational limitations

· Suitability of equipment for the marine operation

· Planning of the marine operation

· Ship’s seaworthiness and manoeuvrability under the specific condition of operation

There are overlaps between some of the class scopes and marine warranty scopes as:

· Structural strength

· Stability

· Dynamic positioning.

The seafastening scope is at the interface between class and marine warranty scopes.

Marine warranty claims in scope the verification of the entire seafastening solution. 

Class tends to verify only the strength of brackets welded directly to ship’s hull as any direct weld between equipment and ship’s structure in addition to the strength of the ship hull under the effect of the loads transmitted by equipment in all phases of marine operation. Taking into account class don’t have in scope the project equipment, the loads transmitted by equipment into the hull in all phases of marine operation shall be provided by the party responsible for the marine operation.



Class scope is to make sure that the ship’s is safe during all the life of the asset.

By certifying that the vessel is safe class provides a direct service to owner and indirect to other stakeholders as authorities and insurers (underwriters) .

Valid class and statutory certificates are a prerequisite for ship’s operation in all circumstances including for marine operations. 

It is owner’s responsibility to maintain the class and statutory certification in accordance with the requirements of authorities and underwriters or other stakeholders of the process.

The main scope of the marine warranty is the overall safety and success of the marine operation.

Marine warranty is a service provided to the stakeholders of the project and not to ship’s owner.

However, in accordance with ISM code the owner has the ultimate responsibility of safe on board of vessel therefore all the safety aspects of the marine operation shall be coordinated with owner’s representative on board, the Captain, and ship’s crew.

The final conclusion is that both class and marine warranty are essential services for the maritime industry. However, either service address specific needs of specific stakeholders.

It is the responsibility of each stakeholder to ask for the service addressing its own specific needs and statutory requirements.