Transfer to AP Class

Transfer of class (TOC) is the process by which a vessel currently classed by a member or associate of the Global Alliance of Classification Societies (GACS) can gain Asia Pacific transfer of classClass. Quality procedures laid down by GACS describe the responsibilities of each society for the conduct of TOC surveys and the submission of plans and information.

For a vessel formerly classed by AP Class, the same TOC procedures apply, with the advantage that we will already have knowledge of the vessel. 

Initial request

Any AP Class Group office may be approached with a request for classification. A dedicated project manager will then review the following vessel details:

  • ship type, age, tonnage and service history
  • ownership and fleet details
  • flag state, port state detention and casualty record
  • number of previous transfers
  • survey status and conditions or recommendations.
  • For ships that are 15 years of age and older, a pre-inspection survey will determine the general condition of the ship.

Formal request

To initiate the classification process, the project manager will present the owner with a Request Form for signature. This allows AP Class to approach the current classification society and obtain details of survey status and other related data. We can then formalise surveys required for classification as well as any specific flag state requirements.

In most cases, a transfer can be combined with normal survey requirements, minimising cost to the owner and disruption to operations.


In all cases, detailed instructions are sent to the local AP Class Group office to ensure smooth and efficient transfer. The following general survey requirements will usually apply:


  • all ships under five years of age must undergo a survey equivalent in scope to an Annual Survey, with a general examination of machinery and control systems
  • ships between five and 10 years of age must also have a representative number of ballast spaces examined
  • ships between 10 and 20 years of age must also have a representative number of cargo and ballast spaces examined
  • ships which are 15 years of age and older and subject to an Enhanced Survey Programme (tankers and bulk carriers), must undergo a full Special or Intermediate Survey (whichever is next due), including docking.
  • ships which are 20 years of age and older must undergo a full Special Survey, including docking.

Where the docking survey is not due, an underwater examination may be carried out. Overdue surveys and conditions of class must be dealt with during the TOC process.


GACS procedures require that for ships of 15 years of age and older, all overdue surveys and conditions of class shall be completed to the satisfaction of, and by, the classification society that assigned them.

Where a ship also changes flag, specific instructions for the surveyor will be prepared. Additional surveys and a plan review may be required by the new flag administration.


A convenient time and place for the surveys can be agreed with the local AP Class Group office. To prepare the ship for survey, holds and tanks will need to be available for inspection as defined by the TOC instructions. Surveys will be carried out in accordance with our normal requirements, as defined in Part 1 (The Regulations) of the applicable Rules.

Plans and information

In accordance with GACS procedures, we must receive certain plans and information before completion of TOC (details available separately). To assist the transfer process, owners can send documents in advance of the TOC survey. This allows us to provide quick and relevant advice, as well as timely update of survey and technical information on AP TOC, our online database.

Issue of certificates

On completion of all requisite TOC surveys, classification certificates and appropriate statutory certificates will be issued, enabling the vessel to continue trading. Full Term classification certificates can be issued on completion of the survey if all necessary plans and information have already been submitted. 

Download APSR-Handout on Transfer of Class