In the intricate world of maritime logistics and offshore operations, the safety, efficiency, and compliance of reefer containers are paramount.
The article offers a comprehensive exploration of the critical certifications governing offshore reefer containers.
These certifications – DNV 2.7-1, EN 12079, ISO 10855 and ESG – represent the gold standards in ensuring that these containers are up to the rigorous demands of offshore environments.
The article delves into the specifics of each certification.
It helps shed light on their unique requirements, the processes involved in obtaining them, and their significance in maintaining the highest levels of safety and operational integrity in offshore shipping.
Why is there the need for offshore reefer container certifications?
With certification, it makes it possible to establish the technical level, the condition, and the working and general parameters of these containers.
Or in other words, ensuring the container is up to spec.
Not only that but with certification, we can ensure that these containers are safe to be used, and are able to handle the intended load when carrying cargo.
That said, when it comes to offshore reefer containers, there are only a few recognized certifications that will help inform you if a container is up to spec or not.
These container certifications are:
- DNV 2.7-1
- EN 12079
- ISO 10855
- ESG certification
Below, we will be briefly going over how a container would qualify for one of these certifications, and what the differences are between them.
Container Certifications: DNV 2.7-1
DNV 2.7-1 Standard for Certification was first published in May 1989 as “DNV Certification note 2.7-1 Offshore Freight Containers”.
It was prepared because of other regulations at the time, whether international codes, national requirements, or rules published by Det Norske Veritas (DNV).
The Standard for Certification is concerned with the certification of all types of offshore containers as transport units.
The three typical phases of transport are:
- shoreside (e.g. by forklift truck)
- by supply vessel
- lifting to and from offshore installations
The Standard for Certification includes design requirements related to all three phases.
Read more on DNV 2.7-1 offshore container reefers.
Container Certifications: EN 12079
In 1991, the European Committee for standardisation, CEN, started developing a European Standard (EN) on offshore containers.
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
Container Certifications: ISO 10855
The EN ISO 10855 ‘Offshore containers and associated lifting sets’ series, adopted by CEN in 2018, consists of three parts: part 1, on the design, manufacture and marking of offshore containers; part 2 on the design, manufacture and marking of lifting sets; and part 3 on periodic inspection, examination and testing.
As a whole, this series of standards describes the requirements for the design, construction, inspection, testing and in-service examinations of offshore containers and associated lifting sets for the petroleum, petrochemical and natural gas industry.
EN-ISO 10855 adopts the international ISO 10855 series at the European levels. The ISO standard was developed by combining existing European, American and classification bodies standards into a single harmonised agreement.
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.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Certification
The Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations in offshore reefer container operations are becoming increasingly significant.
As the world shifts towards more sustainable practices, the shipping and offshore industries are under scrutiny for their environmental impact. Offshore reefer containers, used extensively for transporting perishable goods across the seas, play a crucial role in this dynamic.
Reducing Carbon Footprint
One of the primary environmental concerns is the carbon footprint of these containers.
Innovations in container design, such as improved insulation materials and more efficient refrigeration systems, are crucial. These advancements not only reduce energy consumption but also decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Additionally, the use of alternative, cleaner energy sources like solar power or biofuels for refrigeration can further mitigate environmental impact.
Waste Management and Recycling
Waste management is another critical aspect. Ensuring that offshore reefer containers are designed for easy cleaning and maintenance can reduce the likelihood of waste accumulation.
Moreover, the industry is moving towards using recyclable or biodegradable materials in container construction, thereby reducing waste and promoting a circular economy.
Compliance with Environmental Regulations
Compliance with international environmental regulations, such as the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) guidelines, is essential.
These regulations often dictate standards for emissions, waste management, and energy efficiency.
Certifications like DNV 2.7-1, EN 12079, and ISO 10855 can include environmental criteria, ensuring that containers not only meet safety and quality standards but also adhere to environmental best practices.
Ron Winands, Board Director at Control Union Testing & Inspection, who was involved in the process of developing the standards series as an expert, explains its added value: “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, 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.
A graduate (Business) from KDU, Jason Tan, is the current Business Director (Sales) for MGS Icestorm and has been associated with the company for the past 10 years.
With over 13 years in the shipping industry, he has had a significant contribution to Malaysia’s oil and gas industry in the engine and boat supply sector.
His expertise includes managing offshore catering business, offshore reefer containers, AI technology, offshore gas tanks, A60 pressurized cabins, etc. His contributions have helped establish MGS, in partnership (joint venture) with Thermo King and Honeywell to produce state of art Offshore Reefer Container products.