Overview of Rules and Guides

Mobile Offshore Units New Construction

ABS Rules & Guides establish classification requirements for the safety related structure, machinery, systems and equipment of vessels and offshore installations. 

Our continuous program of research leverages new technologies to enhance existing standards and develop new requirements. New requirements are initially published as guides and, as they mature, are formally adopted as rules. In addition to formal requirements, relevant industry best practices are published in guidance notes. As appropriate, advisories are made available on topics of concern to industry with intent to clarify facts and provide advice.

ABS maintains over 200 rule sets, guides, guidance notes and advisories which are available free via electronic download . You can also search our archives for previous versions. ABS clients can access  all rules, guides and guidance notes via the Rule Manager application available from the ABS My Eagle client portal.

In January 2020, ABS consolidated five rule sets into two new rule sets to simplify clients' access to ABS requirements:

To verify that a ship or offshore asset continues to meet classification requirements, you can look up the Notations for the asset under the public ABS Record database.

Have more questions about how classification works? Reading the Conditions of Classification (part 1 for each Rule set) will help. 


ABS Top 40: The Most Popular Downloaded ABS Rule sets, Guides, Guidance Notes and Advisories