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Certification of Offshore Containers

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

As per EN-12079:2006 standard offshore containers are defined as a “portable unit, specially designed for repeated use in the transport of goods or equipment to, from or between fixed and/or floating offshore installations and ships”. The importance of offshore containers has steadily grown alongside the offshore oil and gas industry. When building, procuring, or maintaining containers, a good understanding of the standards and certification regimes governing their use and regulations should be there to ensure that the containers meet all requirements for safety, stability, and usability. Third-party certification services play a key role in assuring the owners of offshore containers that their cargo will be safely ferried to a drilling rig or platform.

Certification Procedure for Offshore Containers

The typical procedures for the certification of offshore containers are as follows:

1. Application for Certification

First, the designer or manufacturer should submit an application. This manufacturer or designer have legal rights on the design and may not be the same entity and it should be specified on the application.

The application is to be submitted with, but not limited to, the following:

i) Design drawings including but not limited to the following information:

  • Dimensions

  • Maximum gross mass and payload

  • Scantling of members

  • Material properties

  • Padeye details

  • Welding details

  • Markings

ii) Design calculations

iii) Testing results (if applicable)

iv) Declaration for the absence of asbestos

Applications for additional units to be certified under an approved design are to include at least the application and marking drawings if the owner has changed them. Revisions to an existing approved design will require an application that is to be submitted with but not limited to, the applicable documents indicated above. Submitted documents are to completely describe the changes.

2. Design Review

The documents submitted with the application will be reviewed by an engineer. The engineer will evaluate the design under the requirements and any other requested rules, regulations, or standards. Upon a successful review, a review letter with test agenda, if applicable, will be returned indicating that the design meets the requirements. The prototype test agenda is provided only after all review items are addressed. The design is not approved until the prototype test is conducted in the presence of the Surveyor in accordance with the prototype test agenda.

3. Quality Control

The manufacturing facility is to submit a quality manual to the Surveyor which describes the quality system. The Surveyor will review the manual to verify aspects of the production of the container are addressed in the manual. Following a successful review of the manual, a quality audit will be performed at the manufacturing facility to verify that the system outlined in the manual is in place and functioning properly. Upon a successful quality audit, the Surveyor will issue a Factory Approval Certificate. The certificate will be valid for 5 years with annual endorsements required.


1 A quality control document for the manufacturing facility is required to be submitted only if the facility is submitting for the first design to be manufactured at the facility.

2 Any updates to the quality control documents are to be submitted for review. The document is to be updated if a new design requiring additional quality procedures is to be produced at the facility.

4. Production

Production starts after the successful design review, prototype test, and quality assessment, which is done under the surveillance of the Surveyor. Initially, Surveyor conducts a meeting to schedule inspections, hold points and other related items. Also, Welding Procedure Specifications (WPS) and Welder Qualifications will be reviewed and approved by the Surveyor prior to production. The manufacturer will nominate a quality representative and as indicated in the Surveyor-approved quality document. Production testing is done in the presence of this quality representative or a Surveyor. The Surveyor is to “walk the production line” during each attendance to verify that the quality system continues to function properly. Finally, the following documents should be presented to the Surveyor during the final inspection in an as-built dossier for the certification.

i) Material certificates

ii) Material Traceability Reports (MTR) for the primary structure

iii) Fabrication inspection reports

iv) Dimensional control reports

v) Nondestructive Testing (NDT) reports

vi) Production testing reports

vii) Pressure testing record

5. Production Certificate

After successful review of the as-built dossier and final inspection, Surveyor will issue a Production Certificate with reference to third-party inspection approval letter and prototype test certificate which is applicable to the container design.

6. Certification to Other Standards

When the application includes a request for certification to governmental requirements, international conventions, or other standards, the submittal is to include all necessary required information. These additional requirements are to be indicated in the certificate.

Universal Engineering Services(UES) can do Engineering of offshore container designs. Our Structural Engineers can design offshore modules, skids packages, cargo baskets, Steel Structural Frames, etc for clients all over the middle east countries like UAE, Oman, Qatar, Saudi, and Kuwait for the petrochemical, power, and oil and gas industry. We also offer reliable offshore design of structures as per D.N.V. 2.7.1 and we are diversified into Structural Design, Engineering & Analysis for the Industrial, Offshore, and Oil & Gas industry.

**The content of this article is taken from web open source. The blogs are intended only to give technical knowledge to young engineers. Any engineering calculators, technical equations, and write-ups are only for reference and educational purposes.

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