A remote survey is a process of verifying that marine vessels, government vessels, or offshore assets comply with applicable ABS Rules and statutory requirements where the survey is undertaken or partially undertaken without physical attendance by the ABS Surveyor.
Remote surveys may also be performed for equipment, materials, and welding at vendors’ facilities following the same principles.
A remote audit is a process of verifying that marine vessels, government vessels, offshore assets, or clients’ facilities are in compliance with the management system standards (ABS Guide for Marine Health, Safety, Quality, Environmental and Energy Management (HSQEEn Guide)) and statutory requirements such as, International Safety Management (ISM) Code, International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, or Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) without physical attendance by the ABS auditor.
This Guide provides principles and requirements for carrying out remote surveys and audits, with the goal that the remote activity is equivalent to an in-person survey or audit.
Remote surveys and audits are only deemed adequate provided the quality of activity is not compromised, and the survey and audit are carried out with the same effectiveness and equivalency to a survey or audit carried out with physical attendance by the ABS Surveyor or auditor.
Upon an Owner’s request and approved by ABS and the flag Administration, the remote surveys or audits can be carried out as alternative surveys or audits in accordance with this Guide.
The following standards and IACS Unified Requirements were considered in the development of this Guide:
IACS UR Z29 Remote Classification Surveys
IAF ISO 9001 Auditing Practices Group Guidance on Remote Audits
ISO19011/2018 Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems
This Guide provides the principles and minimum requirements for an alternative approach to classification and statutory surveys or audits by utilizing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) without physical attendance on board or at a manufacturer’s facility for carrying out remote surveys and/or audits.
The remote survey or audit process comprises a series of online data-exchange driven activities between Owners, the ABS remote Surveyor or auditor, and other authorized parties.
Remote Inspection techniques may also be utilized as necessary.
The goal of the remote survey audit is to provide an equivalent assessment of the vessel/unit’s condition, as if the ABS Surveyor or auditor were in attendance on board or physically present.
This Guide also provides requirements for optional class notations, REMSUR1 or REMSUR2, that help facilitate scheduled classification and statutory surveys or audits remotely.
Vessels and offshore assets with the REMSUR2 notation are eligible for consecutive remote surveys or audits.
For statutory surveys and audits, the use of a remote survey or an audit is to be pre-approved by the flag Administration.
Applications for Remote Surveys and Audits
Marine vessels, government vessels, and offshore assets with the REMSUR1 notation are considered to have capabilities and ICT for facilitating the execution of remote surveys/audits for scheduled classification and statutory surveys or audits but are not eligible for consecutive surveys/audits.
The REMSUR1 notation is not required for a vessel or offshore asset for a remote survey/audit.
However, having the notation provides an indication of their readiness for the remote survey through the verification of the ICT capabilities and other requirements relevant to remote survey/audit.
Marine vessels, government vessels, and offshore assets with the REMSUR2 notation are eligible for scheduled classification and statutory surveys/audits remotely for consecutive surveys subject to the concurrence of the flag Administration for statutory surveys/audits.
Occasional surveys/audits, such as damage and Port State Control, can also be carried out remotely subject to the agreement with the ABS port office and flag Administration, if applicable.
Vendor surveys and QA/PQA may be eligible for remote survey or remote audit. The information as described in Section 4 is to be provided by the Vendor and is to be reviewed by ABS for a request for remote survey or remote audit.
A remote audit may be eligible for the management system standards (ABS Guide for Marine Health, Safety, Quality, Environmental and Energy Management (HSQEEn Guide)) and statutory requirements such as International Safety Management (ISM) Code, International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, or Maritime Labour Convention (MLC). The requirements in Section 5 are to be satisfied.