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Maritime classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has suspended all class services for vessels, assets and companies tied to Russia in the wake of the country’s military offensive against Ukraine.

It took this decision after monitoring the ongoing situation in Ukraine and the Black Sea as well as assessing the applicability of various sanctions on its operations.

The American classification society further stated that it is abiding by both the ‘letter and the spirit’ of US sanctions’ law.

To support a smooth transition out of ABS Class, the company is communicating with all impacted clients and stakeholders.

In a statement, it said: “ABS is in contact with all employees in the region and working to ensure their safety.”

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ABS services include classification, approval and certification along with audits.

It also offers digital solutions as well as sustainability and cybersecurity services.

Last week, UK-based maritime classification society Lloyd’s Register also decided to withdraw services to Russia.

This will be applicable to Russian owned, controlled or managed assets as well as firms.

Separately, the International Association of Classification Societies [SB2] (IACS) barred the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RMRS) from its membership.

The IACS Council adopted a resolution to cancel RMRS membership immediately.

“Following the recent, tragic developments in Ukraine and resulting actions taken by governments and other entities worldwide, including, in particular, sanctions in the UK where IACS is domiciled, IACS Council has been continuously reviewing the developing sanctions landscape to ensure it complies fully with all legal requirements,” it said.

The decision is said to have been taken after ‘external legal advice’.