To ensure the safety of the crew of the ship, and the ship was operated productively, a number of requirements must be met.

One such necessary activity is an annual ship survey to ensure that your ships comply with the requirements of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the agency responsible for ensuring the safety and security of ships and protecting the marine environment by preventing pollution.

Whether you own a major shipping company or work on a ship, you should be familiar with the inspections and checks needed to keep your ship efficient, safe and fit.

Below we will cover important information about the survey and certification of ships, so that you are ready.

Types of Surveys and Ship Inspections

There are various types of ship inspections and surveys that you need to carry out to make sure your ships are compliant, safe and efficient. Conducting these inspections will save and increase your profits by ensuring that your ships are in working order and as safe as possible for the crew and passengers on board.

Below are some examples of ship inspections and surveys that you may need to carry out on your ships.


Completing annual surveys is a necessary part of keeping your ships in compliance with Classification Society requirements.

For ships of different classes, the annual survey is carried out a little differently, because the classes have their own components and purpose.

Most ship surveys include checking that the ship has all necessary manuals onboard and that safety instructions like fire control plans are clearly posted. Major systems will be subjected to extensive testing to ensure compliance and safe operation, but ships may have other certification requirements depending on their class. For example, an oil tanker requires special checks such as:

  • Testing and inspection of cargo pipelines and ballast tanks
  • Verify that the ship has adequate corrosion protection in crude oil tanks.
  • Inspect all areas for potential oil or water leaks
  • Testing remote controls for components such as fans and oil fuel pumps.


A dry dock survey involves taking the ship out of the water so that the inspector can inspect all parts of the ship, including those normally below the waterline. Salt water can cause reactions in some metals that lead to problems such as corrosion and wear, so a dry dock survey is a good opportunity to check the stability of a hull.

Surveyors can use technologies such as ultrasonic thickness measurments to send ultrasonic waves through the ship's metal components, giving them an indication of the hull's structural integrity.


When inspecting the safety structure, all structural elements of the vessel are carefully checked. The surveyor will check for things like excessive corrosion on the deck and hull to make sure the ship's integrity has not been compromised.

Other elements that will be checked during the construction safety survey include:

  • Waterproof doors
  • Drainage systems
  • Pumping out holds
  • Fire protection and fixed fire fighting equipment
Safety Construction


A load line survey examines various components of a vessel's structure to ensure that the hull is watertight below the freeboard and weathertight in all areas above it. Items that inspectors check during this survey include cracks in the hull, locking rods, portholes, and the function of watertight hatches.


The cargo ship safety equipment survey will analyze the management, suitability and effectiveness of the ship's safety systems. The inspector will ensure the visibility and accessibility of safety manuals such as muster list and locations, life jacket instructions, life aid launching instructions and fire control plans. Other security systems that the inspector checks include:

  • Stationary fire fighting equipment
  • International shore connections
  • Fire detection systems
  • Emergency lighting and signaling
Cargo Ship Safety Equipment


Emergency response is vital for ships and a terminal safety survey can determine if a ship is prepared to respond to emergencies before, during and after cargo transshipment operations. During this inspection, the operability of the safety and navigation systems is checked, as well as the propulsion and steering mechanism. Failure to perform a security check at the terminal may result in the vessel being blacklisted.

Keep Your Ship Inspection-Ready With SpecMorService

We at SpecMorService provide a full range of services for preparing the vessel for survey: we carry out inspection and flaw detection of the hull, mechanisms and systems, repair of failed elements, elimination of deficiencies that may become an obstacle to the further operation of the vessel, prepare the necessary documentation, assistance in passing the survey.

Preparation for the survey of ships is based on certificates of classification societies: RMRS, RRR, NKK, RINA, BUREAU VERITAS.
Fault detection and repair is carried out on the basis of relevant certificates.
SpecMorService is recognized by the RUSSIAN MARITIME REGISTER OF SHIPPING, RUSSIAN RIVER REGISTER OF SHIPPING, Nippon Kaiji Kiokay, BUREAU VERITAS, RINA Services S.p.A as a provider of services for the ship repair, fault detection and survey of ship hulls and ship equipment.
International certification
Specmorservice  is the only company at the North-West of the Russian Federation certified by the international classification society NKK for carrying out work on  fault detection and thickness measurements .
Nippon Kaiji Kiokay
SpeсMorService is certified by the international classification society RINA Services S.p.A. and recognized as an approved facility for thickness measurements and fault detection.
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Certified by the Dutch classification society Bureau Veritas for thickness measurement and fault detection of hulls.
Certified by the RUSSIAN RIVER REGISTER OF SHIPPING for carrying out ship repair work, fault detection of hulls and ship equipment.
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SpecMorService is recognized by the RUSSIAN MARITIME REGISTER OF SHIPPING as a provider of ship repair, fault detection and survey.
SpeсMorService is recognized by the RMRS as an enterprise carrying out re-equipment, modernization and repair of ships, hull structures, etc.
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