A Marine surveyor (including "Yacht & Small Craft Surveyor", "Hull & Machinery Surveyor" and/or "Cargo Surveyor") is a person who conducts inspections, surveys or examinations of marine vessels to assess, monitor and report on their condition and the products on them, as well as inspects damage caused to both vessels and cargo. Marine surveyors also inspect equipment intended for new or existing vessels to ensure compliance with various standards or specifications. Marine surveys typically include the structure, machinery and equipment (navigational, safety, radio, etc.) and general condition of a vessel and/or cargo. It also includes judging materials on board and their condition. Because certifications and subsequently payments are processed only after the surveyor has expressed his or her satisfaction, a marine surveyor holds a prestigious position and is held with much regard in the shipbuilding industry. Marine Surveyors are highly qualified and technically sound and are usually selected after thorough evaluation procedures as vessels ranging from small ferries to enormous crude oil carriers and cruise liners are approved to sail into the high seas based purely on their judgement,competence and integrity.
Marine surveying is often closely associated with marine insurance, damage and salvage, accident and fraud investigation as insurers generally lack the training and skills required to perform a detailed assessment of the condition of a vessel. While marine surveyors are sometimes employed by insurers directly they maintain a certain professional autonomy in order to provide an unbiased view. Independent marine surveyors are often employed by the clients of marine insurers to provide evidence in support of damage claims made against the insurer. Insurance companies cannot require customers to use specific marine surveyors (although they often provide a list of recommended or pre-approved marine surveyors who are known to them).
Marine surveyors use many credentials, letters, and terms such as "accredited", "certified", "qualified", " ACMS", "AMS", "CMS", etc. which can be purchased for 850 dollars in Florida over the internet. There are many ways to train to become a marine surveyor including taking correspondence courses, apprenticing, or simply opening a business and buying an accreditation. Marine surveyors pursue their profession independently of required organizations, and there is currently no national or international licensing requirement for marine surveyors. The U.S. Coast Guard does not approve or certify marine surveyors. All association terms and initials represent training and certification by private organizations.
Qualities and qualifications
Qualifications for a Marine Surveyor, though the list is long, can be summed up in the following: Working knowledge of ship's electrical & mechanical systems, fundamental understanding of boat design & construction. One of the most important things along with engineering certification is errors and omissions and Liability insurance to protect their clients from their mistakes or injury on private or government property. You should never hire a marine surveyor without errors and omissions insurance. If the insurance companies won't insure them, you are probably not getting a competent surveyor and most courts require a post-secondary marine graduate to be considered a marine expert.
When it comes to defining the qualities and qualifications of a Marine Surveyor, a memorandum of 1834 has not been bettered:
“The utmost care and discrimination have been exercised by the Committee in the selection of men [and women] of talent, integrity, and firmness as Surveyors, on whom the practical efficacy of the system and the contemplated advantages must so materially depend; the Committee have in their judgement appointed those persons only…who appeared to them to be most competent to discharge the important duties of their situations with fidelity and ability, and to ensure strict and impartial justice to all parties whose property shall come under their supervision.”— Classification societies – their key role – IACS, 2012
General duties of a marine surveyor
A marine surveyor may perform the following tasks:
- Conduct surveys throughout the ship's life (building new ship, annual survey, interim survey, special survey) to ensure standards are maintained;
- Perform inspections required by domestic statutes and international conventions by the International Maritime Organization (IMO);
- Witness tests and operation of emergency and safety machinery and equipment;
- Measure ships for tonnage and survey them for load line assignment;
- Attend court as an expert witness and assist in coroner's inquiries;
- Investigate marine accidents.
- Determine "Fair Market Value, "Damage Repair Costs", and Replacement Value".
Types of marine surveyor
A government surveyor performs ship registration surveys, surveys of foreign-going ships and local draft, and generally enforces ship safety standards to insure marine industrial safety. Government-appointed marine surveyors, also called marine inspectors in some countries, belong to two groups that are not mutually exclusive: Flag State surveyors report to the government with whom the vessel is registered, and Port State surveyors report to the government into whose territory the vessel has entered. The Port State surveyors usually have the authority to detain vessels considered to have defects that may result in adverse impacts on life or the environment. Based on their government's legal framework, Flag State surveyors can impose conditions on the vessel such that failure to comply will result in the registration of the vessel being suspended or withdrawn. In this event, the vessel will find it almost impossible to trade.
A Cargo surveyor is normally appointed by the Cargo Owner, mostly for Bulk . Grain Cargo. His job is to perform the draft survey to determine the actual cargo loaded on board. He also confirms that the cargo loading is performed according to the law and is within the loadable limits The vessel safety is also ascertain which include momentum involves due to cargo shift which may render the vessel unsafe during the passage.
A classification surveyor inspects ships to make sure that the ship, its components and machinery are built and maintained according to the standards required for their class. Classification surveyors often have two roles: one is as a representative of the classification society; and the other as an inspector on behalf of the country with which the vessel is registered (the flag state). The classification role is to ensure that during construction the vessel initially complies with the classification society's rules for construction and outfitting, and thereafter is maintained fit to proceed trading. The Flag State role is based on a clear set of guidelines issued by the registering country. On satisfactory completion of any survey, the classification surveyor makes recommendations to the classification society and/or the flag state. These may be that the vessel has a clean bill of health, or that various defects must be corrected within a given time.
Increasingly, both government and classification surveyors are becoming involved in confirming compliance with international treaties associated with such things as pollution, international security, and safety management schemes. They may also examine cargo gear to ensure that it meets various requirements or regulations. Government and classification surveyors are usually marine professionals mariners, such as a qualified ship's master, engineer, naval architect or radio officer.
A private marine surveyor may be asked to carry out a wide range of tasks, including examining ships' cargoes or onboard conditions such as fuel quality; investigating accidents at sea (e.g., oil spillages or failure of machinery or structures which are not considered to be critical); and preparing accident reports for insurance purposes, and conducting draught surveys to analyse how much cargo has been lost or gained.
Private surveyors also carry out condition surveys or pre-purchase surveys to determine the condition of the ship prior to charter or an acquisition. Many companies as P&I clubs, ship-owners, brokers, etc. employ or contract the services of a private marine surveyor in order to determine the condition of the ship.
Many traditional companies conduct private surveys. Examples include International Registries of Shipping, Iamsa Bureau of Shipping, Lloyd Registers, Lloyd's Agency Network, ANCO, Global Maritime, Bul Mar Prof Marine, DNV, NKK, LOC and others.
Yacht and small craft surveyor
Yacht and small craft (Y&SC) surveyors specialize in inspecting smaller vessels that are most often used for pleasure boating (both power and sail). Y&SC surveyors may be employed directly by larger marine insurance companies, but most often they are independent practitioners. Since using boats for pleasure (or "yachting") is a relatively recent phenomena, having only been widely practiced for the last century or so, Y&SC surveying has many unique aspects that are not shared with the more traditional forms of marine surveying described above. In the UK the Yacht Designers and Surveyors' Association has a broad professional membership dealing with the range of craft below and above 24 metres (excluding ships and cargo/container ships) and provides a range of training events throughout the year which are generally open to non-members, including a one-day Report Writing training. YDSA.co.uk
Marine surveyor training
There are very few institutions providing education and training in this field. One is the International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS). IIMS provides Diploma, BTEC HNC and HND level courses by distance learning that are awarded by Pearson edexcel. The IIMS membership consists of marine surveyors, cargo surveyors, yacht and small craft surveyors and other professionals in the field. Suny Maritime College provides online survey classes in Cargo, Hull and Yacht and small craft. In Australia The Australasian Institute of Marine surveyors has the first accredited course under the Mar 13 training package which meets the requirements for AMSA Accreditation. The offer Certificate 4 to Diploma level qualifications. Lloyd's Maritime Academy offers a Diploma and MSc in Marine Surveying by distance learning since 1998 with the UK National Maritime Training Centre at the North Kent College in Gravesend and Middlesex University. Maritime Training Academy offers a large number of industry recognised vocational distance learning diplomas to students within the marine industry including ship surveying.
- National Association of Marine Surveyors
- Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors
- Vessel safety survey
- International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS)
- National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMSGlobal)
- Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS)
- Yacht Designers and Surveyors Association (YDSA)
- International Association of Marine Surveyors & Auditors (IAMSA)
- Lloyd's Agency Network
- Maritime Training Academy (MTA)
- Maritime Services International (MSI)