Home' Ships and Shipping : August 2009 Contents CLASSIFICATION SOCIETY developments
The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS)
has welcomed the publication by the European Commission of
a Market Test Notice providing a summary of the current
status of its investigation into the Association: http://eur-
The publication is a prelude to the closure of the investigation,
which is expected to occur later this year.
By publishing the summary, and the commitments that
IACS has proposed to the Commission, the Commission
allows interested third parties a one month period in which
to submit their observations. If the comments submitted do
not alter the Commission's intention to close the case on the
basis of the Commitments offered by IACS, the Commission will
issue a decision to declare the Commitments binding and close
the case. This will be on the clear basis that no competition
infringement has either been found by the Commission, or
admitted by IACS.
"All IACS members are pleased that this investigation appears to
be nearing a satisfactory conclusion and that the activities of the
Association, and the reputations of its member societies, have been
maintained without being damaged by this investigation," said Oh
Kong-gyun, the current Chairman of IACS.
"To the extent that the Commission has shared its views with
us, we would emphasise that our activities have always been
consistent with all applicable laws and that there has not been any
finding by the Commission, provisional or otherwise, regarding
any possible infringement of EC competition law by IACS," the
Chairman of IACS added.
IACS has explained to the Commission why it does not agree
with the Commission's preliminary views set out in the Market
Test Notice, stressing its belief that its activities have been
compliant with all applicable laws and disputing the specific
concerns that the Commission has expressed. The Commission's
views focused primarily on the manner in which IACS establishes
and applies its membership criteria and the transparency associated
with developing and publishing IACS Unified Requirements and
other technical requirements.
IACS has also offered a series of Commitments to the Commission
that it believes will enable the Commission to close its investigation
on mutually acceptable terms. "Although we do not agree with the
Commission's views, we have offered these commitments in the
interests of putting an end to the investigation to avoid any further
diversion of IACS' and its members' resources away from their
principal mission," said Mr Oh.
These Commitments lay out a new approach to assessing
applications for membership based more on qualitative rather than
the existing quantitative criteria. They also propose opening access to
IACS' technical working groups to non-member classification
societies and further developing the sharing of background
information used in the development of IACS technical requirements.
For further information contact:
International Association of Classification Societies, UK.
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Founded in Hamburg in 1968 and head-quartered in London, the IACS
coordinates the ten oldest and most prominent ship classification societies but
has recently been under scrutiny in Europe regarding competition laws
IACS welcomes progress on European
Commission's competition investigation
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