Classification Societies in the COVID World


"The role of the Classification Societies in the COVID World"

Apr. 2 2021

Interview of Mrs. Paillette PALAIOLOGOU (Vice President Marine & Offshore Division Hellenic, Black Sea & Adriatic Zone Bureau Veritas) at "The Athenian Magazine" issue number 1.

"2020 was a year that brought about a new reality not only for the Shipping industry but for all of humanity. The new coronavirus first appeared in late November 2019 in China, but it soon spread across Europe and then to the rest of the world.

The crisis caused by the outbreak of the new coronavirus in Europe approximately a year ago found most European countries unprepared, which in many cases had disastrous results.

However, the new coronavirus was not only a threat to the health of the world population but also to the world economy. Countless industries were hit as markets paralyzed while remote working gained a dominant role in the daily lives of the vast majority of employees.

Shipping was one of the few industries - if not the only one - that not only did not suspend its operations but was the cornerstone on which the world community rested on, in order to continue to have the necessary goods available for our everyday life.

Ships continued to transport oil, gas, raw materials, food, basic necessities and everything the world community needs to ensure its survival.

Bureau Veritas has taken the necessary initiatives to respond to today's challenges in the best possible way.

As early as the beginning of April 2020, Bureau Veritas launched Remote Survey Centers in various offices of the organization around the world, starting with Piraeus and Rotterdam.

The remote inspection solution, which was already implemented before the COVID-19 pandemic crisis in a pilot stage, is an effective alternative when there is limited or no physical access to the inspection site, when experts are not immediately available or when there are travel bans or restrictions. As can easily be understood, the conjuncture of a global pandemic has made remote inspections more than necessary.

The Remote Survey Centers, equipped with the latest technology and specialized electronic applications, enable our specially trained inspectors to provide high quality classification services from the company's offices by communicating with ships and shipyards via real-time video in conditions of absolute safety and reliability.

Inspectors at BV Remote Survey Centers worldwide can now connect with crew members via SightCall or other similar solutions to assess ship conformity. Crew members can use a range of devices - from smartglasses to smartphones - to guide inspectors around the ship, to visit areas in need of research and verification.

This remote technology allows BV inspectors to "decide remotely".

There are currently two types of remote verification that allow inspectors to make decisions from the office:

  • Offline remote verification, where owners can send collected information to the Bureau Veritas for future review.
  • Remotely verified inspection that uses connected devices (fully online verification) to take pictures and data on board that allows them to be submitted and verified simultaneously in real-time.

The benefits to customers - given the circumstances - are manifold, including speed of response due to the absence of travel time, optimization of the decision-making process, continuous improvement of service quality and cost control.

In these unprecedented and special circumstances, Bureau Veritas managed to ensure business continuity. Therefore, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote surveys have shown a characteristic increase that will probably lead to their more comprehensive and longer-term adoption. This is partly due to the fact that both their value and effectiveness are recognized in conjunction with the growing familiarity with remote technology.

Looking ahead, Bureau Veritas intends to continue to improve in the field of remote surveys, based on feedback from both customers and remote survey centers.

Our goal is to further develop remote surveys services and capabilities using state-of-the-art technology to maintain our position at the forefront of digital innovation.

In conclusion, it is worth noting the characteristic comment of Mr. Didier Michaud-Daniel, CEO of the Bureau Veritas Group: "Today more than ever, the role of the Bureau Veritas as a specialist, independent third party is crucial to building confidence in this restart period. of the world economy, in response to the security that is the first priority of the Bureau Veritas Group. ""