The new EN ISO 10855 series provides international accepted guidelines about offshore containers 

Offshore container

The EN ISO 10855 ‘Offshore containers and associated lifting sets’ series, adopted by CEN in 2018, consists of three parts: part 1, on the design, manufacture and marking of offshore containers; part 2 on the design, manufacture and marking of lifting sets; and part 3 on periodic inspection, examination and testing. As a whole, this series of standards describes the requirements for the design, construction, inspection, testing and in-service examinations of offshore containers and associated lifting sets for the petroleum, petrochemical and natural gas industry.

EN-ISO 10855 adopts the international ISO 10855 series at the European levels. The ISO standard was developed by combining existing European, American and classification bodies standards into a single harmonised agreement. Its adoption in Europe ensures that the European oil and gas sector has access to a global harmonised and accepted set of requirements for offshore containers. With clear benefits in terms of interoperability, safety and cost efficiency in a sector that is by definition global.

Ron Winands, Board Director at Control Union Testing & Inspection, who was involved  in the process of developing the standards series as an expert, explains its added value: "under conditions in which offshore containers are often transported and handled, the ‘normal' rate of wear and tear is high resulting in damage for which repair will be needed. However, offshore containers that are designed, manufactured and periodically inspected according to the EN ISO 10855 series should have sufficient strength to withstand the normal forces encountered in offshore operations.”

The standard series also ensures that offshore containers comply with the requirements of IMO, the International Maritime Organization, on the design, construction, inspection, testing and in-service examination. In doing this, the EN ISO 10855 series does not duplicate efforts: it does not specify certification requirements for offshore containers that are already covered by IMO MSC / Circular 860 and SOLAS, the international convention for the safety of life at sea. For instance, IMO MSC / Circular 860 already requires certification of offshore containers by national administrations or organizations duly authorized by the administration. Indeed, the certificate of conformity as described in EN ISO 10855 complies with IMO MSC / Circular 860: a good example of how standardization contributes to compliance to regulation.

The EN ISO 10855, developed in the framework of ISO, was published by CEN/TC 12 ‘Materials, equipment and offshore structures for petroleum, petrochemical and natural gas industries’, whose Secretariat is held by NEN, the Netherlands’ National Standardization Body, with CYS, Cyprus’ National Standardization Body, as twinning Secretariat. 


This text is based on a longer article published in nr. 1, 2019 of Ocean Energy Resources, the leading trade journal in the Netherlands for the complete upstream, oil and gas industry and the renewable energy business. The full article can be found at page 24 of the PDF edition


For more information, please contact Ron Winands, Board Director at Control Union Testing & Inspection, Jarno Dakhorst, CEN/TC 12  Secretary, NEN and Michael Zantis, CYS or CCMC’s Joanna Frankowska at the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre.