Definition: International Classification of Ships by Type, Revised 1994


An ad hoc UNCTAD-EC meeting of the secretariats of national and international organisations interested in type of ship classifications held a meeting in Geneva in October 1987 where it was agreed that there was a need for a clear definition of ship types and a form of hierarchical type of ship classification which would be applicable both to sea-going and to inland waterway craft. All marine structures form level 0 of the ICST which at the next level (level 2) is divided into merchant ship structures, naval (military) craft, and non-ship structures. The merchant ships group is divided into four basic groups at level 2: liquid, dry bulk, other dry cargo, and miscellaneous types (for all other vessels). The groupings should be based according to the construction of the ship or non-ship marine structure, rather than its particular use at a point in time. No proposals are made at present for the further breakdown of non-ship structures below level 2, or naval vessels below level 1.

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