Within the frame of the critical situation being experienced worldwide due to COVID-19 and taking into account the safety and health of the survey staff, the clients and the difficulties arising due to the restrictions and measures imposed,PHRS implements a ship remote survey scheme (SRSS), for facilitating the survey processes and preventing the occurrence of potential disease incidents. The SRSS may also apply in the occurrence of other crisis situations, which might cause business disruption as well as for the facilitation of inspection processes’ handling, as the case may be. Nevertheless, the SRSS implementation lies on PHRS Head Office decision. The consent of the responsible Flag Administration involved is required as well, in case of ships' statutory surveys.
For the scope of subject SRSS the following definitions apply:
- Remote survey means a method of obtaining information equivalent to that obtained from site survey by applying digital and mobile internet technologies so as to realize survey without surveyor’s physical attendance at survey site.
- Information means contents of electronic documentation or livestreaming which can reflect ship structure, equipment condition or inspection process. In general, survey process information is transferred by digital and internet technologies and provides survey and judgment basis for the surveyor carrying out remote survey. Electronic survey documentation may include survey photos, videos, document and information as well as statements of shipmaster or the chief engineer, etc.
The SRSS applies to the following cases:
- Documents and information (verification, modification or reissuance upon request by clients);
- Damages and repairs (minor hull damages, equipment and machinery damages, equipment replacements), elimination of class conditions, extension surveys (for class conditions, propeller shafts and boilers);
- Machinery continuous surveys, change of owner or name of vessel, etc;
- Statutory surveys, where the feasibility of remote survey is subject to the prior approval of Flag Administration;
Also the following requirements apply:
- It shall always be taken into consideration depending on the case, that PHRS may also require physical attendance to evaluate and assess the condition of the ship;
- SRSS may also apply to cases other than described as per above. These surveys will be handled on a case-by-case basis, upon PHRS evaluation.
- The implementation of a remote survey is not to influence other requirements of PHRS Rules for Classification of Steel Ships.
- The participation and involvement of ship’s Master and/or Chief Engineer, is mandatory for the implementation of a remote survey.
- The applicants are responsible to provide TRUE and ACCURATE information relating to remote survey. PHRS is entitled to terminate the remote survey of any ship that provided false information, and to withdraw survey conclusion and/or revoke relevant certificate for any cheat or fraud behavior found during remote survey.
- If a ship applying for remote survey is found to be beyond the application scope of the remote survey or the conditions of remote survey cannot be met, PHRS reserves the right to terminate the remote survey and feedback in written to the applicant to arrange a survey on board.
Survey means and collection/delivery of survey information
- The request for remote survey is to be submitted to PHRS HO and/or BOs and remote locations. However, all SRSS requests are initially handled and assessed by PHRS Headquarters.
- The ship is to have access to satellite communication or 3G/4G/5G network for livestreaming or transfer of remote survey information.
- The applicant can use mobile equipment, tablet computers, scanners, digital cameras or video cameras to collect survey process information. Use of headphones with microphone is necessary to ensure communication quality.
- The applicant shall take effective measures to ensure the quality of survey information and ensure implementation of remote survey by the surveyor based on such information. Sufficient light is required to show survey process and details through livestreaming and its process is to be clear and coherent. Photos are to clearly indicate the situation and defects of hull structure and equipment, etc. Videos are to smoothly reflect the necessary process of inspection or tests.
- Required electronic documents for remote survey are to be in a format accepted by both parties.
- Information is delivered by E-mail or in the manner agreed with the surveyor, but attention is to be paid to the integrity and safety of information delivery.
- Video generated from the SRSS shall be recorded and kept as survey evidence.
- Prior implementing a remote survey, the approval of the Flag shall be obtained, if same is related to a survey carried out under the authority of the Flag.
- PHRS will contact the applicant within 24 hours upon receipt of the request, to become aware of the survey items, the current situation of the ship, ensure that the conditions for remote survey are sufficient, and will feedback the decision on the request of remote survey (accepted, cancelled or transfer).
- The assigned surveyor (a typical set of training requirements may be necessary) will obtain further detailed information from the applicant if a remote survey is accepted, including information on the contact person from the applicant, the contact person onboard, location of the ship, expecting date and time for the remote survey (time zone is to be specified), the E-mail address to receive certificates or documents, etc. The surveyor will provide detailed requirements for the remote survey.
- The applicant is to assign the Master and/or Chief Engineer to cooperate with the surveyor to carry out the remote survey at the appointed date and time.
- Livestreaming is preferred during the remote survey. After video connection is realized between the officer and the surveyor, real-time collection of survey process information is to be carried out according to the requirements of the surveyor. In case livestreaming has a poor performance, due to poor network connection or other reasons, inspection and confirmation may be carried out by the officer onboard according to the guidance and requirements by the surveyor, in order to obtain survey information reflecting ship or equipment condition. However, if it is deemed necessary by the surveyor, livestreaming is still required to carry out the inspection. Without livestreaming a remote survey may be not accepted.
- The surveyor is to identify the survey information obtained from the applicant, and when it is deemed necessary, ask the applicant to supplement, until the surveyor can provide accurate technical evaluation and judgment for the survey and draw a survey conclusion.
- During survey, if the surveyor finds that the ship is beyond the application scope of remote survey or the conditions of remote survey cannot be met, the survey will be suspended.After the survey is suspended:
- Within a safe and reasonable time range, the applicant’s request on resuming remote survey can be accepted when the conditions of remote survey are met;
- The remote survey will be cancelled upon the applicant’s confirmation. An attendance survey may be consulted with the surveyor.
The process and conclusion of remote survey are to be recorded in the ship log upon completion of survey and the applicant is to provide required electronic documents to the surveyor and additional requirements of the surveyor (if any).
After the surveyor verifies that the applicable documents provided by the applicant are correct and valid, relevant certificates and/or reports are to be issued/endorsed according to the requirements of PHRS procedures and instructions.