ABS Rules Law and Legal Definition
ABS rules are the industry standards set and enforced by the American bureau of shipping (ABS) for the construction, maintenance, and operation of seagoing vessels and stationary offshore facilities. These Rules form the basis for assessing the design and construction of new vessels and the integrity of existing vessels and marine structures. ABS published its first technical standards, Rules for Survey and Classing Wooden Vessels, in 1870. When the era of wooden ships gave way to iron, ABS established standards for these structures, published as Rules for Survey and Classing of Iron Vessels. Likewise, when iron gave way to steel, ABS Rules for Building and Classing Steel Vessels were established and published in 1890. These Steel Vessel Rules continue to be revised and published annually.