ISO 10855 Offshore Reefer Container

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ISO 10855 is a pivotal benchmark in the offshore container industry, particularly focusing on reefer (refrigerated) containers. 

This standard is instrumental in defining the design, manufacturing, and operational guidelines that ensure the safety and efficiency of reefer containers used in the demanding offshore environment. 

The article provides an in-depth look at how ISO 10855 shapes the construction, inspection, and maintenance of these containers, highlighting its role in enhancing the safety and reliability of offshore operations. 

What is ISO certified?

ISO certification is a seal of approval from a third party body that a company runs to one of the international standards developed and published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Now that we have mentioned what is ISO certified, let us go over what is an ISO 10855 offshore reefer container.

What is an ISO 10855 Offshore Reefer Container?

The EN ISO 10855 ‘Offshore containers and associated lifting sets’ series is adopted by CEN in 2018 and consists of three parts

Part 1: is on the design, manufacture, and marking of offshore containers

Part 2: is on the design, manufacture, and marking of lifting sets

Part 3: is on periodic inspection, examination, and testing.

What are the standards required by offshore containers?

This series of standards describe the requirements for the following offshore reefer containers and associated lifting sets for the petroleum, petrochemical, and natural gas industries.

  • design
  • construction
  • inspection
  • testing
  • in-service

A brief history of ISO 10855.

EN-ISO 10855 adopts the international ISO 10855 series at the European level.

Its adoption in Europe ensures that the European oil and gas sector has access to a global harmonised and accepted set of requirements for offshore containers.

With clear benefits in terms of interoperability, safety and cost-efficiency in a sector that is by definition global.

Ron Winands is the Board Director at Control Union Testing & Inspection.

He was involved in the process of developing the standards series as an expert.

Common Questions About ISO 10855 Offshore Reefer Containers

A word from Ron Winands.

Winands explains the added value of ISO 10855.

“under conditions in which offshore containers are often transported and handled, the ‘normal rate of wear and tear is high resulting in damage for which repair will be needed.

However, offshore containers that are designed, manufactured and periodically inspected according to the EN ISO 10855 series should have sufficient strength to withstand the normal forces encountered in offshore operations.”

The standard series also ensures that offshore containers comply with the requirements of IMO, the International Maritime Organization, on the design, construction, inspection, testing, and in-service examination.

In doing this, the EN ISO 10855 series does not duplicate efforts:

it does not specify certification requirements for offshore containers that are already covered by IMO MSC / Circular 860 and SOLAS, the international convention for the safety of life at sea.

For instance, IMO MSC / Circular 860 already requires certification of offshore containers by national administrations or organizations duly authorized by the administration.

Indeed, the certificate of conformity as described in EN ISO 10855 complies with IMO MSC / Circular 860: a good example of how standardization contributes to compliance to regulation.

The EN ISO 10855 is developed in the framework of ISO, was published by CEN/TC 12 ‘Materials, equipment and offshore structures for petroleum, petrochemical and natural gas industries, whose Secretariat is held by NEN, the Netherlands’ National Standardization Body, with CYS, Cyprus’ National Standardization Body, as twinning Secretariat.

Now we will be going over what is the ISO 10855 standard.

What is the ISO 10855 standard?

The ISO standard was developed by combining existing European, American, and classification bodies standards into a single harmonized agreement.

ISO 10855 is a new offshore container standard that came into effect in 2015.

Currently, EN12079 and DNV 2.7-1 are used.

Both guidelines were developed for similar criteria in the certification process and will soon have a new International Standards Organization (ISO) guideline to help consolidate those standards.

The ISO 10855 will cover offshore containers and associated lifting sets.

Industries such as the offshore oil and gas industry operate within a strict set of standards and codes.

After knowing the standard, let us discuss how are offshore reefer containers tested.

Environmental impact of ISO 10855 compliance

Reducing carbon footprint

Compliance with ISO 10855 standards significantly contributes to reducing the carbon footprint of offshore reefer containers. 

The standard mandates the use of energy-efficient materials and technologies, which lowers energy consumption and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. This is particularly important in the maritime industry, where environmental sustainability is a growing concern.

Sustainable materials and practices

ISO 10855 encourages the use of sustainable materials in the construction of offshore reefer containers. This includes recyclable materials and those with a lower environmental impact during production and disposal. 

The standard also promotes practices that minimize waste during the manufacturing process, contributing to a more sustainable lifecycle for these containers.

Global adoption and regional variations for ISO 10855

Worldwide adoption

ISO 10855 has seen widespread adoption globally, becoming a benchmark for safety and quality in the offshore container industry. Its comprehensive guidelines ensure a uniform standard of safety and efficiency across different regions.

Regional adaptations

While the core principles of ISO 10855 are globally recognized, there can be regional adaptations based on local maritime laws, environmental regulations, and specific operational requirements. 

These variations ensure that the standard remains relevant and effective in different geographical and operational contexts.

How are ISO 10855 offshore reefer containers tested?

Like all products, they must go through a series of tests to ensure the safety and usability of the consumers. Type approval of a container involves the construction and testing of a prototype built according to the approved drawings. It must also use the same materials as proposed for normal production. Some of these tests include:

  • Four-point lift using all pad eyes
  • Two-point lift test using opposed pad eyes
  • A vertical impact test
  • A tilt test
  • Tanks for dangerous cargoes shall, in addition, be tested with all the requirements of the IMDG code

There are 2 other certifications which are the EN 12079 and DNV 2.7-1 which will be explained below

EN 12079

The European Committee for standardization (CEN) started developing a European Standard (EN) on offshore containers in 1991

The committee prepared EN 12079 which was originally issued in 1999 and revised and replaced with the 2006 edition.

The requirements for design, testing and production of offshore containers in EN 12079 are directly based on DNV Standard for Certification 2.7-1.

EN 12079 consists of three parts.

Offshore containers and lifting sets certified to comply with DNV 2.7-1 also comply fully with EN 12079 parts 1 and 2.

This is reflected on our container offshore certificates

Next is the DNV 2.7-1

DNV 2.7-1

DNV 2.7-1 was first published in May 1989 as “DNV Certification Note 2.7-1 Offshore Freight Containers”

This is the most recent version “DNV Standard for Certification No. 2.7-1 Offshore Container” which was released in June 2013.

An offshore container is a mobile unit having a maximum gross mass of not more than 25000 kg that is used repeatedly in the transportation of goods or equipment across open seas, too, from, or between fixed and/or floating facilities and ships.

Units for offshore lifting that are designed for installation rather than repetitive transportation are not considered containers.

Technological innovations in container design

Keeping in tune with ISO 10855 requirements, the following new container technologies have surfaced in the last few years:

Smart container technology

One of the most significant technological advancements in line with ISO 10855 standards is the development of smart containers. 

These containers are equipped with IoT sensors and communication technologies, allowing for real-time monitoring of conditions like:

Advanced refrigeration technologies

Modern offshore reefer containers are incorporating advanced refrigeration technologies that are more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. 

These systems are designed to maintain optimal conditions for cargo while minimizing energy consumption and emissions.


In conclusion, we have discussed iso certification as well as ISO 10855 reefer container and the standards required by it.

A brief history of ISO 10855 and a few words from the board director Ron Winands on the added value of the container.

We also dived into the ISO 10855 standard and how the containers are tested

As the offshore industry continues to evolve, ISO 10855 standards are expected to adapt to incorporate new technological advancements. 

This includes the integration of more advanced materials, smarter monitoring systems, and automation in container operations. Future amendments may focus on enhancing efficiency, safety, and environmental sustainability.


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