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Recognized External Specialists

ABS - Home Rules & Resources Recognized External Specialists

External Specialists are recognized service providers who perform specialized services at the request of equipment manufacturers, shipyards, vessel’s owners or other clients in connection with classification or statutory services.

The guiding document of ABS Recognized Specialists is IACS Unified Requirement Z17 Procedural Requirements for Service Suppliers.

Available External Specialist Service Types

  • Ambient Environmental Testing: Indoor Climate Testing, Lighting Testing, Noise Testing, Whole Body Vibration Testing
  • Automatic Identification Systems Inspection, Performance Testing and Maintenance
  • Coating Test Laboratory
  • Condition Monitoring
    • Traditional Methods and Real-Time monitoring
  • Dropped Objects Inspection and Program Audits    
  • ESP Hull Gauging
  • Fire Extinguishing Systems Inspection/Maintenance
  • Home Office and Agents ISO9001 Certification
  • Hull Gauging
  • In-Water Survey
  • Inflatable Liferafts, Inflatable Lifejackets, Hydrostatic Release Units, Inflatable Rescue Boats, Marine Evacuation Systems 
  • Inspection of Low Location Lighting Systems
  • Inventory of Hazardous Materials
  • Measurement of Noise Level Onboard
  • Measurement of Public Address or General Alarm
  • Offshore Facility Inspection/Monitoring
    • Drilling Equipment Inspection
  • Radio Communication Equipment Servicing
  • Remote Inspection Techniques
    • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
    • Underwater Remote Operated Vehicles
  • RO/RO Ships Door Examination
  • Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus Maintenance
  • Servicing and Maintenance of Lifeboats, Launching Appliances, On-Load Release Gear, and Davit Launched Liferaft Automatic Release Hooks
  • Shore-Based Maintenance of Satellite Emergency Position Radio Beacons (EPIRBs)
  • Tightness Testing of Closing Appliances with Ultrasonic Equipment
  • Tightness Testing of Primary and Secondary Barriers of Gas Carriers with Membrane Cargo Containment Systems
  • Voyage Data Recorder Maintenance


Procedures for Becoming a Recognized External Specialist


Submit a signed Request Form to the nearest ABS Survey Office.


The Surveyor-in-Charge will issue a letter outlining the list of documents to be submitted for review.


ABS Surveyor audits the specialist’s facility to verify that it is organized and managed in accordance with the submitted documentation and that it is considered capable of conducting the specialties for which approval is sought.


At initial approvals, the specialist is required to give a practical demonstration of its service in the presence of ABS Surveyors.

At renewal audits, evidence of satisfactory performance verified by class surveyor since the previous audit can be accepted.

If a demonstration cannot be arranged right after the facility audit, the company will be temporarily listed on the ABS website for 3 months with a note “Pending demonstration being accepted and a final certificate issued.”

Demonstration may be carried out on an ABS classed vessel or other arrangements may be considered at the discretion of the local port office. For multiple recognition, each recognition type must have a practical demonstration.


Upon satisfactory completion of demonstration, the specialist will be issued a certificate valid for three years. The certificate will be listed in the ABS External Specialist database.

ABS Recognized External Specialists are eligible to use the ABS Recognized Specialist logo. The logo can be requested directly from or from Port Office that carried out the certification. The logo is to be used for marketing purposes in association with the service type that the specialist has a valid Certification for.

For general inquiries, please contact Corporate ABS Programs at