A chemist is recognised as an authorised gas expert when he has passed an exam, organised by the Harbour Master, the Fire Officer and the Environmental Service. His/her main task is to check compliance with certain legal safety standards (GHPV – Art 3.13.9) in the port.
When a sea vessel needs repairs, certain conditions must be met (GHPV – Art 3.8). The authorised gas expert has to declare the workspace ‘safe for fire’ and/or ‘safe for entry’.
If a tanker wants to moor at a non-conventional tanker quay, the captain must be able to provide a gas-free certificate (GHPV – Art 3.13.1). The authorised gas expert will check the cargo tanks to ensure that they are gas-free or inert. In case of inertisation, it is imperative that an explosive mixture can never be formed when mixed with air (E.g. in case of a leak or in case of a human error).
Certificates issued by the authorised gas expert are only valid for 24 hours, after which a re-inspection has to be carried out.