ABS Portable Accommodation Module Guideline and How it Affects You

Jan. 29, 2018

BROUSSARD, La. — On January 15, 2013, the American Bureau of Shipping, ABS, provided new guidelines for Portable Accommodations Modules. Going forward, any new module being constructed would have to meet the requirements detailed within the guide if it was going to be installed on an ABS-classed unit/vessel. Included in the guide were new requirements for "design, construction, installation, and survey of accommodations modules." (American Bureau of Shipping. 2018) Previously, each type of ABS-classed unit/vessel had its own specific guide that the module would need to meet. By introducing a single guideline that would cover all of the various units and vessels, ABS was hoping to accomplish the following:

portable accommodations module
  • To provide a streamlined approach to the installation approval of PAMs
  • Account for the fact that these modules are moved from one vessel/unit to another.
  • Minimal review will now be needed once installed onboard.

ABS introduced the new guideline, but it would still need to be enforced. That enforcement will come from the US Coast Guard. Acting as the United States Flag State Representative Agency, the USCG published its intent to enforce the PAM Guide in full. This was outlined in the US Coast Guards CG-ENG Policy Letter Serial# 01-16. (Hawkings, "CG-ENG Policy Letter 01-16", 2016)

So why is this now important in 2018?

Per the guide, "Existing modules to be installed onboard ABS classed units or vessels after 1 January 2018are to comply with this Guide." ("Guide For Portable Accommodation Modules", 2013, p. 2) Going forward all modules will need to be PAM certified if they are going to be used on an ABS classed units/vessels. With the new PAM certification, modules will be able to move to and from various ABS classed units/vessels without having to have various different certifications for each type.

HB Rentals, a Superior Energy Company, has a full rental fleet of ABS PAM certified modules. Including Sleeping Modules , Galleys , Diners , Engineering Cabins , and more . If you have any questions on how this new guideline will affect you or would like to learn more about HB’s PAM certified modules click the following link:

  1. Guide For Portable Accommodation Modules[PDF]. (2013, Jan. 15). Houston: American Bureau of Shipping
  2. Hawkings, B.J., Capt. (2016, Apr. 29). CG-ENG Policy Letter 01-16 [Letter to Distribution]. Washington, DC.