Genoa - This is one of the Brexit effects, in this case far from undesirable for the Ligurian economy: the historic American classification Society based in Houston with over 5,500 employees and two hundred offices worldwide, has chosen Genoa as the head quarter for the European MED certification of a whole range of on-board systems and equipment, from the safety and fire-fighting systems of ships registered in Europe, of which Great Britain is shortly to leave.
The activity carried out on behalf of the EU, previously based in London, was transferred to the Ligurian Office at the end of an extensive evaluation process. "I believe that the extraordinary connection between shipyards, professional capabilities, Universities and industrial shipping activities in this territory has won over - says Stefano Penco, Vice President Engineering for Europe of ABS - It is not often that a city collects and develop all these activities. As an Italian, I can only say that I am proud of ABS' s choice. At a time when multinationals tend to relocate to low cost countries, the fact that ABS has invested Genoa with this important role can only make me proud."
ABS, founded in 1862, has been present in Italy since 1948. In the early 2000 the Ministries of Transport and Environment recognized Abs as "body delegated to carry out statutory certification for ships registered in Italy falling within the scope of international conventions." A not only formal act, which allowed ABS to re-enter a market from which it had been missing for several years. With the decision of the American Headquarter to bring to Genoa the activities previously carried out by the London office, this role is destined to become even stronger. "We have already hired the first engineers dedicated to the activity - says Penco - I must say that the quality of training, here in Genoa, is truly an international excellence. The University of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, in particular, is capable of making a difference, and our American colleagues at ABS are aware of this. Just as the shipping tradition, carried on with great passion by the Merchant Navy Academy, is proving increasingly important."