ABU DHABI // The Middle East's first classification society to focus on regulation of the UAE shipping industry will be complete by the end of the year.
Tasneef, which was launched last November, aims to regulate about 350 medium-sized vessels, between 300 and 400 yachts and 40 naval ships.
Tasneef is in talks with the National Transport Authority to allow certain types of yachts to fall under its remit.
It is a step in the right direction for the UAE shipping industry, said Capt Fekry Mni, the managing director of Dubai-based Red Sea Marine, yesterday.
"This is a remarkable achievement. There are 63 international classification bodies, but none are Arab," he said.
There are 13 major classification societies, worldwide, under the banner of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), that conduct surveys and certifications. Currently, UAE-based boats can follow regulations provided by any number of IACS-accredited societies.
Having a local system will tighten control on regulations, said Alfy Mathews, the operations manager of Ali and Sons Marine Engineering Factory, in Abu Dhabi.
"There are so many guidelines - from [those concerning] marine environment, to pollution - that have to be followed.
"This [Tasneef] will be in-house and [will make those in the shipping industry] more comfortable."
The announcement was made last night at a conference in the capital in which Tasneef revealed it would be forming a three-year partnership with the Italian-based classification society, Rina Group, and said it plans to adopt its system.
The selection process started last March, after which Rina was selected to work alongside Tasneef.
The partnership officially began on January 15 and will aid the UAE in its attempts to eventually be recognised by IACS.
"This will maintain safety standards of vessels, ships," said Omur Sahinoglu, the business development manager for Tasneef.
"The objective is to verify the structural strength and integrity of essential parts of the ship's hull and its appendages and reliability and function of the propulsion and steering systems," Mr Sahinoglu added.
Power generation, steering systems and other features are also regulated. Tasneef will, among other services, offer statutory and classification services, technical consultancy, inspections and training.