Registro Italiano Navale (RINA) history


( RINA has its origins in 1861 and for the first time took on the name of Registro Italiano Navale in 1917. But it was only in 1999 that the Registro Italiano Navale was transformed into a joint-stock company under the name of RINA S.p.A.

It is one of the oldest ship classification registers in the world (the third by date of foundation) and is certainly among the most authoritative.

RINA S.P.A. is based in Genoa and is the holding company of the group. The RINA group mainly provides classification, certification, testing, testing and inspection services in the maritime, industrial, rail, environmental and other fields.

It all began in a London coffee house, Lloyd’s, where underwriters and shipowners would meet to conclude insurance arrangements. The owner of the coffee house decided to keep records of the contracts drawn up there and a register of the ships involved. That evolved into developing basic rules and requirements for ships to be insured, which was the basis of ship classification. At that time, 1851, Genoa was also a maritime powerhouse and Registro Italiano Navale, RINA, was set up to do the same thing. In the first year RINA classed 340 vessels.

RINA snapshot in March 2024.

Registro Italiano Navale early beginnings

RINA was founded as operational company RINA S.p.A. by Registro Italiano Navale, a private body founded in Genoa in 1861, to resolve a number of economic concerns involved in the maritime transport sector. It is the third-oldest ship classification register in the world, after the English Lloyd’s Register (1760) and the French Bureau Veritas (1828). It is also a founding member of the IACS (International Assosiation of Classification Societies), a non-governmental organization that currently consists of twelve member marine classification societies. In its first 140 years, the Registro Italiano Navale operated as a monopoly on ships flying the Italian flag. Subsequently, a European directive came into force, which liberalized the ship classification and related activities, and led the Registro to enter for the first time a competitive market.


In 1999, the Registro Italiano Navale transferred all the operational activities to a brand-new company, RINA S.p.A., of which it then became the sole shareholder, now the majority shareholder. Currently, the Registro Italiano Navale is a private non-profit organization, comparable to a foundation.

RINA Services S.p.A.

In 2009, RINA Services S.p.A. was established, a company to which RINA S.p.A. transferred the authorisations and accreditations relating to classification, certification, auditing and testing services.

In the following years, RINA acquired three companies operating in the consulting engineering market, D’Appolonia (2011), Centro Sviluppo Materiali (2014) and Edif Group Limited (2016). In 2017, D’Appolonia was rebranded as RINA Consulting.

RINA provides quality assurance and certification for ship's components and accessories, including life-saving appliances, marine pollution prevention, fire protection, navigation, radio communication equipment, deck gear, cables, rodes, and anchors. It also provides engineering consultancy services through the RINA Consulting S.p.A. and its subsidiaries.

RINA is one of the founding members of IACS and actively participates in technical, research and rule-making groups in different institutional contexts at national and international level.

Maritime Controversy

In December 1999 the tanker MV Erika sank off the coast of Brittany, causing a major oil spill. RINA was the certification society responsible for issuing all the safety certificates for Erika. The case came to trial in 2007 and Total, which chartered the oil tanker, was eventually found guilty and ordered to pay a fine of €375,000 and a compensation to the civil parties of €200,000,000.








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