In line with its mission to contribute to the safety of life and property, and the environmental protection, ClassNK carries out all of its business with consideration on environmental and social aspects for the sustainable development of society as a whole, and ensuring its sound governance, thus provides service to stakeholders. ClassNK’s activities are carried out based on the following principles.

Code of Ethics 1. Observance of Laws
2. Independence, impartiality, and integrity
3. Confidentiality of Information
ClassNK, as an international classification society, will contribute to the world through the activities to ensure the safety of life and property, and to protect the environment.

✓The organization aims to be ahead of the social shift and contribute to the creation of a sustainable and better society.

✓The organization aims to flexibly respond to the changes of the surrounding business environment.

✓The organization aims to be trusted by related industries and societies, and strengthen its business foundation.

Code of Conduct Code of Conduct

[Management Policy]

1) Development of comprehensive services to meet a wide range of client needs

2) Stabilizing and enhancing management

[Mid-Term Initiatives]

  1. Strengthening intelligence and planning functions
  2. Establishing a comprehensive service system to evaluate and certify the reliability and sustainability of businesses
  3. Developing new business fields
  4. Promoting R&D
  5. Stabilizing and enhancing business infrastructure

Mid-term Plan(2022-2026)

Annual Business


Stakeholders surrounding ClassNK and the value we offer are as follows.


Typical subcategories Values to be provided
Transportation providers
  • Fair and transparent judgment as a third party
  • Development and maintenance of technical standards required
  • Provision of high quality and prompt service and information
  • Support with problem solving
Manufacturers and service suppliers
Cargo owners (*)
Insurance (*)
Industry associations (*)

(*) having a certain amount of influence on the way of our service regardless of whether they are the direct revenue resource.

Governments/global bodies/NGO

Typical subcategories Values to be provided
National, regional governments
  • Technical service as a Recognized Organization (RO) or third party certification body
  • Provision of appropriate information as a specialist
  • Support with administrative matters and collaboration with problem solving
International specialist organizations (IMO/IACS/ITU etc.)
  • Provision of appropriate information as a specialist
  • Collaboration with problem solving

Educational/research institutions

Typical subcategories Values to be provided
  • Collaboration with R&D and human resource training
  • Support on their activities
Research institutions


  Values to be provided
  • Appropriate treatment
  • Fair organization
  • Human resource training
  • Respect for individuality
  • Occupational health and safety


  Values to be provided
  • Fair and transparent transactions

International/regional community

  Values to be provided
International community
  • Proactive contribution to society
  • Independent activities for global environmental problems
Regional community
  • Respect of international norms including human rights, cultures and customs, and domestic laws
  • Contribution to regional economies and societal development


ClassNK taking a role of the impartial third-party certification body has established “Code of Ethics” as the fundamental basis of its business operations.

Code of Ethics

All personnel of ClassNK and its group companies shall comply with the following provisions.

1. Observance of Laws

ClassNK shall strictly observe all laws and social standards.

2. Independence, impartiality, and integrity

ClassNK shall ensure its independence to provide services as an impartial third-party organization.

Any commercial, financial or other pressures which may compromise impartiality shall not be allowed. When a relationship poses an unacceptable threat to impartiality, the relevant service shall not be provided. Actual or potential conflict of interests must be systematically identified and controlled.

ClassNK provides all potential customers access to its services without undue financial or other conditions in a non-discriminatory manner.

3. Confidentiality of Information

ClassNK shall maintain the confidentiality of information which they have learned in the course of their duties including information pertaining to customers, except when disclosure is authorized such as by agreements between ClassNK and customers or legally mandated.

Under this Code of Ethics, all personnel of ClassNK and its group companies shall build ethical organizational culture and realize fair and appropriate business relationships as well as comply with laws and regulations in order to perform the policies set forth in the management principles and vision faithfully, thus contribute to the development of society through its business operations.

  • “Compliance Manual”
    All executives and employees regardless of position and responsibility will equally and voluntarily comply with not only this manual, but also any laws and rules related to our business activities with the best of intentions in order to build a much more ethical organization culture.

Internal Control System

ClassNK has continuously considered governance systems appropriate for the foundation engaging in third-party certification. ClassNK has developed and operated an internal control system that includes “the system and other requirements defined by the Japan’s Ministry of Justice ordinance to maintain the appropriate operation of a general incorporated foundation” to reinforce corporate governance.

Based upon this internal control system, ClassNK treats the prevention of improper acts along with the growth of competitiveness and profitability, employ a mid- to long-term point of view, strive to build a firm business foundation for future development, ensure the appropriateness and legality of ClassNK operations, and efficiently pursue organizational objectives while satisfying the requirements of stakeholders and executing business activities to contribute to the development of our economy and society.

ClassNK has developed and thoroughly disseminated an “Internal Control Manual” to employees in order to build, institute, and continuously improve the internal control system as well as to reinforce its effective and complete execution.

  • “Basic Policy on Internal Control”
    ClassNK shall maintain an internal control system according to the “Management Principles and Vision”, which provides a common consciousness, objective, and sense of ethics throughout ClassNK.
  • “Regulations for Risk Management”
    In all business and operations related to the achievement of ClassNK objectives, ClassNK shall identify, analyze, and evaluate factors that adversely affect the achievement of said objectives as risks and provide appropriate measures against said risks.

Health, Safety & Environmental (HSE) Policy

As an international classification society providing services to ensure the safety of life and property at sea and to promote the protection of the marine environment, ClassNK considers health, safety and environment to be of the utmost importance. Through the implementation of our own occupational health and safety management system developed based on the relevant standards, ClassNK is striving to continually improve our health and safety performance. ClassNK also contributes to social development through activities aimed at promoting the protection of the marine environment.

ClassNK established the HSE Committee in order to promote the Society’s HSE and reviews and/or monitors Health, Safety & Environmental Policy, Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) objective, OH&S performance, results of internal audit, etc. periodically. Our Health, Safety & Environmental (HSE) Policy states our commitment to health, safety and environment. This policy is communicated to all employees.

Health, Safety & Environmental Policy

SDGs mapping of ClassNK business activities

ClassNK contribute to the accomplishment of SDGs through these business activities.

Business activities. Related SDGs
Safety surveys/audits in line with ClassNK technical rules and regulations including Load Line and SOLAS

Environmental surveys/audits in line with ClassNK technical rules and regulations including MARPOL (Oil/hazardous liquid substances /sewage / waste / air pollution), BWM, AFS, and HKC

Working condition inspections in line with regulations including MLC

R&D (rule development/ survey technology innovation/marine environmental protection/revolutionary technology development)

Certifications on renewable energy

Certifications on management systems, HSE, GHG emission, seafarer training institutions, and working condition

ClassNK Academy and other training services

Provision of support on design/construction/operation and regulatory requirement, software for optimization, and any solutions related to industry challenges

Ensuring management base (human resources, governance)

United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)

In June 2019, ClassNK signed the “United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)” and joined the local Japanese network “Global Compact Network Japan”.
The United Nations Global Compact is a global initiative advocated by the United Nations. The voluntary initiative incorporates responsible and creative leadership from each company/organization and invites members to perform as a member of society to realize sustainable growth.
ClassNK supports the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact made up of “Human Rights”, “Labour”, “Environment”, and “Anti-Corruption”, and is dedicated to carrying out initiatives for standards establishment, surveys, registrations, certification, R&D in order to contribute to our mission of helping ensure the safety of life and property and protecting the environment.

Human Rights

Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and

Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

  • In the Code of Conduct, ClassNK declares that “we respect laws and international norms, including human rights as well as the cultures and customs of other countries and regions” and operate under said declaration.

Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;

Principle 4: The elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;

Principle 5: The effective abolition of child labour; and

Principle 6: The elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

  • ClassNK verifies labor protection as a third party organization through surveys/inspections related to MLC and other labor regulations
  • In the Code of Conduct, ClassNK declares to implement “fairness and transparency” and “respect individuality”.

Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;

Principle 8: Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and

Principle 9: Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.

  • ClassNK verifies environmental pollution prevention as a third party organization through environmental surveys/audits related to ClassNK technical rules/international regulations on behalf of flag authorities. We do this in line with ClassNK HSE Policy.
  • ClassNK thoroughly shares information related to environmental regulations and new technologies to raise awareness in the industry and society.
  • Through its R&D ClassNK works for platform building where new environmental technologies can be smoothly applied.
  • ClassNK provides optimal software and solutions for environmental improvement.
Anti- Corruption

Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

  • In the Code of Conduct, ClassNK declares to implement “fairness and transparency”.