The American Bureau of Shipping is a U.S. classification society that certifies if a ship is in compliance with standard rules of construction and maintenance.

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Standard Marine Navigational Vocabulary adopted by IMO for communications on board ship as well as for those between ship and shore


A certificate which gives details of a ship's freeboard and states that the ship has been surveyed and the appropriate load lines marked on her sides. The certificate is issued by a classification society or coastal authority such as a coast guard.


A common measure of ship carrying capacity. The number of tons (2240 lbs.) of cargo, stores and bunkers that a vessel can transport. It is the difference between the number of tons of water a vessel displaces 'light' and the number of tons it displaces 'when submerged to the 'deep load line'.' A vessel's cargo capacity is less than its total deadweight tonnage. The difference in weight between a vessel when it is fully loaded and when it is empty (in general transportation terms, the net) measured by the water it displaces. This is the most common, and useful, measurement for shipping as it measures cargo capacity.


Partnership Account Support Product-proprietary software developed by Inchcape Shipping Services for the voyage management of their partnership account principals ship activities.


Port Operations Product-proprietary software developed by Inchcape Shipping Services for the management of non-partnership account ship activities and disbursements.


A document issued by a ship or shipping company to a shipper as evidence of the contract of carriage of the shipper's cargo.


American Bureau of Shipping classification society.


International Ship and Port Security Code - it is an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention (1974/1988) on minimum security arrangements for ships, ports and government agencies. Having come into force in 2004, it prescribes responsibilities to governments, shipping companies, shipboard personnel, and port/ facility personnel to 'detect security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade.'


A fixed reference once adopted as a standard geodetic datum for heights in the United States. The geodetic datum now in use in the United States is the North American Vertical Datum of 1988. The geodetic datum is fixed and does not take into account the changing stands of sea level. Because there are many variables affecting sea level, and because the geodetic datum represents a best fit over a broad area, the relation- ship between the geodetic datum and local mean sea level is not consistent from one location to another in either time or space. For this reason the National Geodetic Vertical Datum should not be confused with MEAN SEA LEVEL.


A certificate issued by a flag administration confirming that the structure, equipment, fittings, arrangements and materials used in the construction of a gas carrier are in compliance with the relevant Gas Code. Such certification may be issued on behalf of the administration by an approved classification society.

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