1978 – The idea of establishing a Philippine classification society was first formally proposed by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) through its Deputy Administrator.

1980 – MARINA introduced the world-wide trend through a series of meetings with the Philippine Association of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (PANAME) and other cognizant associations belonging to the shipping and shipbuilding industry sectors. The main concern then was to directly involve Filipino expertise and competency in the growing concern for safety at sea and the protection of the marine environment. Foreign classification societies mostly conduct surveys and classification of ships plying the international trade. The main bulk of Philippine-owned registered ships engaged in the domestic trade remained unclassed. It was in this light that the need to establish a Philippine classification society was seriously considered.

1989 – Leading the initiative, PANAME formulated the Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws of the Philippine Register of Shipping (PRS) on December 21, 1988 and was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 26, 1989 as the first-ever Filipino Classification Society. The PRS Rule Book was also promulgated and adopted after more than three (3) years of painstaking research, and study by PANAME experts.

The first PRS Rule Book (1989) contains the rules and standards for the construction and classification of steel vessels which are continually updated to keep pace with the advancement of technology and shipping operations.

1991 – PRS started regular survey work for classification of vessels in the domestic trade on January 19, 1991, after its first Rule Book for the Construction and Classification of Steel Vessels (1989) was finally printed in book form and formally launched at the newly inaugurated Manila Diamond Hotel with the maritime community in attendance and with no less than then President Corazon C. Aquino, the Secretary of Transportation and Communication, the MARINA Administrator and the Commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) delivering their congratulatory messages. PRS was subsequently accredited by the Philippine Coast Guard as a Classification Society for the domestic fleet on June 7, 1991.

1992 – MARINA recognized PRS with the acceptance of the first Provisional Class Certificate issued to a vessel.

1994 – On February 22, 1994, PRS was accredited by the PCG as a Load Line Assigning Authority.

1995 – On August 5, 1995, PRS was accredited as an International Sewage Pollution Prevention (ISPP) Survey Authority.

1996 – On September 5, 1996 , PRS was accredited as an Oil Pollution Prevention Survey Authority and as Noxious Liquid Substance in Bulk Survey Authority under the MARPOL Convention.

2000– With its excellent management system, PRS received on March 28, 2000, the prestigious ISO 9001: 1994 from the Anglo Japanese American Environment Quality and Safety Certification Service (AJA, EQS) based in London, UK.

2001 – MARINA officially accredited PRS on July 3, 2001 after said agency had formulated its criteria for accreditation of Classification Societies for the domestic trade.

2003 – PRS quality management system certification was upgraded to ISO 9001: 2000.

2011 – PRS quality management system certification was upgraded to ISO 9001:2008 by the Global Certification Limited based in Birmingham, U.K. after successfully passing its audit.

2014 – The Society of Naval Architects & Marine Engineers Inc. (SONAME) joins PRS as ex-oficio member of the PRS Board of Trustees. SONAME is the rebranded name of PANAME since 2008 and has an expanded membership scope to cover not only naval architects and marine engineers but all those professionals involved in the design, construction, operation and repair and maintenance of marine vessels, structures, machinery and related fields.

2016 – PRS responds to the changing maritime landscape and rebrands its corporate image in May, 2016 and adopted the “Safe Seas Always” advocacy. At the same time, PRS expands its services through the establishment of subsidiary companies like the PRS Technical Services, Inc. offering marine consultancy services and the PRS Quality Assurance, Inc. offering management system certification services to the Philippine maritime industry.