Unit Certification Procedure

Procedure for Unit Certification


Once a manufacturer identifies the need for equipment approval by ABS, the process is executed using the following steps:

  • Identify vessel where the equipment will be applied
  • Typical identifiers: ABS class number, IMO number, vessel name, owner’s name, shipyard’s hull number
    • Identify equipment application or system or subsystem where the equipment will be applied – this helps determine the appropriate requirements
  • Contact your local ABS office with the information above for instructions and to determine the required level of design review and survey. The local office will contact the ABS office that will carry out the design review


Step 2: Design Review

Contact ABS Design Review office for submission requirements. A typical submittal package includes:

  • An electronic copy of applicable drawings, datasheets, calculations, etc., as required by the Rules
  • Sufficient data to verify compliance with applicable Rules, regulations and standards

Upon completion of design review and resolution of any outstanding items, ABS issues a Design Review Letter (DRL). This serves as evidence the equipment design is approved for a specific application.

Step 3: Manufacturing Survey

ABS surveyors verify compliance with items required by the Rules at the manufacturing or fabrication facility. Verification typically includes:

  • Review of materials for compliance with drawings/specifications and their traceability records
  • Review of welding procedures and welder’s qualification records
  • Review of manufacturing procedures
  • Review of non-destructive evaluation (NDE) specifications, procedures and personnel qualification records
  • Witness critical manufacturing or fabrication phases such as fit-up, alignment, non-destructive testing (NDT) examination, etc.
  • Witness pressure testing
  • Witness operational tests to verify proper functioning of equipment

These activities are identified by the ABS surveyor upon review of the inspection and testing plan.

Step 4: Final Certification

Upon completion of survey activities and with the DRL in hand, the ABS surveyor issues a survey report attesting that the equipment meets the requirements and is accepted for use on the specific ABS vessel.

Type Approval Database

Search for products and equipment that have been certified under the ABS Type Approval program and are eligible for use on ABS-classed vessels.

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