October 16 - DNV GL has commenced the roll out of International Maritime Organization (IMO) compliant electronic class and statutory certificates across its entire fleet.

DNV GL says the widespread use of electronic certificates will result in efficiency gains for ship owners, charterers, regulators and crew by cutting down administrative burdens, processing time and document handling costs. 
For the past few years, DNV GL has been working on pilot projects with several owners and flag administrations, to test and gain acceptance for the use of electronic certificates. 45 flag state administrations have already granted DNV GL the authority to issue electronic statutory certificates on their behalf and DNV GL expects more acceptances in the near future.

Certificates are published on DNV GL's customer portal immediately after an onboard survey is completed, so that all relevant parties can access the latest certificates from anywhere in the world. The electronic certificates are secured with a digital signature and a unique tracking number (UTN), which can be checked online, assuring their validity and authenticity. 

"Over the last several years we have been leveraging digitalisation to improve the experience of our classification customers," says Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, ceo of DNV GL - Maritime. "The roll-out of electronic certificates is a significant step forward in our pathway towards modernising classification. Electronic certificates will smooth our customer's interactions with class, allow stakeholders across the industry to capture value from digitalisation, and give us a platform for future improvements."

Customers can choose to share access to their certificates with stakeholders (charterers, ports, flag administrations, insurers) by using temporary access codes. With the temporary code the stakeholder can directly access the customer's secure certificate folder, which DNV GL says cuts down the administrative burden on the ship owner to the absolute minimum.

Newbuilding vessels will receive electronic certificates upon delivery, while existing vessels will receive certificates at their next scheduled survey or audit.