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Type Approval Procedure

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Procedure for Becoming Type Approved


Please complete the application form and send the submittal package to the nearest engineering office.

Submittal Package Includes:

  • Signed Application Form
        > For original equipment manufacturer and patent holders, please fill out the PDA Application Form
        > For secondary manufacturers, please fill out the PDA-Duplicate Application Form
  • Electronic copies of applicable drawings, datasheets, test results, etc.
  • Sufficient data to verify compliance with stated standards
  • Must be specific to the intended services stated on the application

Standards for Approval:

  • ABS Rules and Guides
  • US National and/or Foreign National
  • US Federal and/or Foreign Federal
  • International Standards (e.g. IMO, SOLAS, FTP Code)
  • Manufacturer's standards


A PDA is a technical evaluation of a product for use on a variety of ABS-classed units. ABS Engineers verify product compliance with manufacturers’ specifications, applicable ABS Rules and national or international standards.

Design Evaluation:

  • ABS technical office reviews the product design to the most current Rules and Standards

Prototype Testing or Type Testing:

  • During technical review, if deemed necessary, prototype testing or type testing needs to be arranged with the local port office

Issuance of Product Design Assessment Certificate (PDA):

  • A PDA Certificate is valid for 5 years, subject to design modification and rule changes
  • PDAs will be listed in the ABS Type Approval database
  • PDA holders are eligible to use ABS Design Assessed logos
  • Product status becomes: Design Assessed


If the manufacturer wants a product to be labeled Type Approved, inspection of the product during manufacture, an assessment of the quality control system and manufacturing processes plant must be satisfactorily completed, this is a Manufacturing Assessment (MA).

A MA request is to be submitted to the nearest port office.


  • Manufacturing facility
  • Valid PDA Certificates or PDA-Duplicate Certificates
  • Valid ISO 9001 Certification, or equivalent

Issuance of MA Certificate:

  • A MA Certificate is valid for 5 years, subject to annual plant audits
  • MA details will be listed in the associated PDA Certificates


The PDA and the MA together result in Type Approval.

  • Product status becomes: Type Approved (PDA+MA)
  • Confirmation of Type Approval (PDF) is automatically generated for manufacturers who have both PDA and MA in the Type Approval database
  • Manufacturers are eligible to use ABS Type Approved logos in marketing materials.


If you have any questions, please contact Corporate ABS Programs at for assistance. 

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