IACS Chairman Term Concludes, Urges Safety ImprovementsBy Joseph R. Fonseca
ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki concludes his term as Chairman of the International Association of Classification Societies Ltd. (IACS) encouraging the organization to continue setting high standards for performance and raising the bar of excellence.
“We set a clear and aggressive agenda for my term as Chairman, and I am very proud of the work we accomplished collectively elevating safety by achieving our top priority of Goal-based Standards recognition by IMO (International Maritime Organization), raising the profile of cyber security and setting a firm foundation for improved working relationships with industry organizations including the IMO,” Wiernicki says. “These initiatives demonstrate foresight and commitment of IACS members, and they strengthen IACS in its critical role.”
Heading discussions with IMO, Wiernicki described the organization’s recognition of IACS-developed rules regarding goals and functional requirements of the International Goal-based Ship Construction Standards for Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers (GBS) as ‘monumental.’
“This powerful endorsement represents a new era in maritime safety and reinforces the role of IACS as trusted technical advisor to the IMO,” says Wiernicki. “It is a key accomplishment for several reasons – It provides a consistent framework and philosophy for goals, requirements and verification; strengthens the IACS-IMO relationship providing for even further means of continuous improvement; and reinforces the importance of IACS and class in marine safety leadership.”
Another noteworthy milestone during Wiernicki’s tenure was recognizing and elevating the importance of cyber system safety by promoting the Expert Group to a Panel, which positions it among the top IACS focus areas, and creating a dedicated industry Joint Working Group. Leading complex conversations to align industry, Wiernicki began a legacy to develop the next generation of safety systems.
As IACS Chairman, Wiernicki initiated strategic discussions between the organization and IMO that undoubtedly will pave the way for a long-term agreement in the near future.
“We live in exciting and challenging times,” he says. “Successfully navigating converging regulatory, technology and classification evolution requires strong technical leadership, and IACS is firmly on a charted path of success. I am honored to be in the forefront of this effort as Chairman of IACS and Chairman of ABS, and I look forward to celebrating continued achievements that improve maritime safety.”
Wiernicki assumed the role of IACS Chairman at the end of the 71st session of the IACS Council in Paris on July 2, 2015, and will chair his final Council meeting in Washington, DC, on June 28-29, 2016.