TVAS – the Towing Vessel Approvability Scheme

The Towing Vessel Approvability Scheme – supported by the DNV Direct© platform - reflecting Noble Denton marine services established technical standards for towing vessels in the marine and offshore industries.

These standards form the basic criteria which provide owners and operators of towing vessels with measures denoting the suitability of the vessel for differing operations in diverse operating areas. Many charterers of towing vessels, in accordance with their quality management systems, prefer to contract vessels that are entered into the Towing Vessel Approvability Scheme.  By doing so, they can be assured of contracting a well-founded and well-equipped vessel that has been surveyed recently and is being monitored to a consistent technical standard.

Objectives of the Towing Vessel Approvability Scheme

  • To provide vessel owners, when presenting their vessels for towing services, with a Towage Approvability Certificate which confirms the vessels’ acceptability to a published and recognized standard. 
  • To provide operators, charterers and surveyors with consistent levels of towing vessel suitability based on internationally acceptable criteria. 
  • To provide interested parties with a reference register listing offshore towing vessels and identifying those vessels that have been accepted into the Towing Vessel Approvability Scheme. You can access this register here.

TVAS fleet management

For vessel owners and operators who are registered with the scheme, DNV Direct© provides an overview and an efficient way to manage the scheme including:
  • Enhanced interaction between DNV and customers by allowing direct communication through a chat-style interface and secure exchange of documentation 
  • Facilitated annual re-validation of the TVAS certificate
  • Direct interaction with surveyors assigned to a specific vessel inspection.

The TVAS digital certificate

Where acceptability is confirmed, the vessel will be issued with a digital certificate denoting either an ocean-going salvage tug, unrestricted, coastal, or restricted designation. The Approvability Certificate will have a validity of five years and the entire lifecycle can be tracked through TVAS.

Guideline on the approvability of towing vessels

DNV’s Noble Denton marine services have issued technical guidelines to enable operators and other interested parties to review a vessel’s suitability for entry into the Approvability Scheme. It describes the various categories within the scheme. A standard towing vessel report form has been established which will be used during the initial and subsequent survey for approvability.