ABS and MARAD in new agreement on NDRF

AUGUST 1, 2014 — The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) have entered into a new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) establishing the policies and procedures regarding the survey and classification of the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF). The agreement expands the working relationship that has existed between ABS and MARAD since the agency's inception in 1950, updating the last MOA signed in 1999.

The new agreement, signed by Maritime Administrator Paul N. Jaenichen and ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki, lays out several significant changes that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the ABS-MARAD relationship. They include harmonization with U.S. Coast Guard requirements and policies for the NDRF and defined preventative maintenance requirements based on vessel readiness levels. The agreement also establishes the MARAD ABS Quality Action Team to focus on improving timelines, efficiency, and cost effectiveness of survey and classification services.

"For more than a century ABS has worked alongside the US government in maintaining a robust fleet capable of helping to meet national security needs in a manner that protects the safety of life, property and natural environment," says Mr. Wiernicki. "This new agreement will allow for ABS to continue supporting the Maritime Administration and National Defense Reserve Fleet by establishing a framework that leverages the latest practices, technologies and regulatory solutions to maintain a dynamic sealift capability."

ABS has recently assisted the Maritime Administration in a number of key missions, icluding supporting activation of the Cape Ray, which involved modifications to support United Nations Security Council Resolution 2118 to dismantle Syria's cache of chemical weapons.