GUIDE TO SHIP REGISTRIES (OGSR)
Located in the Caribbean Sea, Anguilla is the most northerly of the Leeward Islands. It is a British Overseas Dependency. Britain’s Queen is the Chief of State represented by a local governor. There is a Unicameral House of Assembly. The legal system is based on English common law. The capital city is The Valley, and the official language is English. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, NATO, the EC, the OECD, the UN, and the IMO.
Anguilla has few natural resources, and the economy depends heavily on lobster fishing, offshore banking, tourism, and remittances from emigrants. Principal exports are lobster and salt. The unit of currency is the East Caribbean Dollar.
Vessels registered in Anguilla are British vessels. The Registrar of Ships in The Valley administers registration matters, and except for fees, the procedure is based on the UK Merchant Shipping Act of 1894.
For more information on the United Kingdom and its territories, visit the United Kingdom listing.
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Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is a parliamentary democracy headed by the British Queen through a local Governor. It is located in the Eastern Caribbean and is comprised of three islands: Antigua, Barbuda, and the uninhabited Redondo. Independent from Great Britain since 1981, it is a member of the United Nations, the International Maritime Organization, and the Commonwealth of Nations. The capital is St. John’s, and the official language is English. The chief industries are manufacturing and tourism, and the monetary unit is the East Caribbean dollar.
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A continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific, Australia is a federal parliamentary state headed by the British Queen represented by a local Governor General. A Prime Minister is the head of government. English and aboriginal languages are spoken, and the capital is Canberra. The legal system is based on English common law. Australia is a member of the United Nations, the IMO, the Commonwealth of Nations, and OECD.
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The Bahamas Archipelago consists of some 700 islands and 2,400 cays located in the Atlantic Ocean 50 miles south and east of Florida, and extending south and east almost to Haiti. Independent from Great Britain since 1973, The Bahamas is a parliamentary democracy headed by a Prime Minister of the governing party, with a monarch (Queen Elizabeth II) represented by a Governor General. The capital is Nassau, and the English language is spoken. It is a member of the British Commonwealth, United Nations and the IMO. The Bahamas is a stable, developing nation whose economy is based primarily on tourism, financial services and maritime services. It exports pharmaceuticals, cement, and refined petroleum products, and its major trading partners are the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway. The currency is the Bahamian dollar, and its ports include Freeport, Matthew Town, Marsh Harbor and Nassau.
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The Kingdom of Bahrain is a small island state near the western shores of the Arabian Gulf. The population in 2010 stood at about 1.2 million. Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands, the largest being Bahrain Island. Saudi Arabia lies to the west of Bahrain, while Qatar is to the southeast across the Gulf of Bahrain.
Known for its oil, Bahrain is also home to many large financial institutions. Bahrain has the freest economy in the Middle East and is tenth freest overall in the world based on the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom published by the Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal.
Bahrain is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council of Arab States (GCC), Arab League, the United Nations and the IMO.
Bahrain Maritime Law regulates shipping, and the Directorate of Registry of Shipping and Seamen (DRS) at the General Organisation of Sea Ports administers registration.
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An Islamic republic, Bangladesh is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the UN, and the IMO. It is located in southern Asia bordering the Bay of Bengal between Burma and India. The capital is Dhaka, and the official language is Bangla. The legal system is based on English common law. The President is the Chief of State, the Prime Minister is the Head of Government, and the legislature is composed of a unicameral National Parliament. Bangladesh is one of the world’s poorest, most densely populated and least developed nations. Its economy is overwhelmingly agricultural relying heavily on the cultivation of rice. Major trading partners are the United States and Western Europe. The unit of currency is the Taka.
Bangladesh has very comprehensive maritime legislation. The Bangladesh Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1983 (ordinance xxvi of 1983) (“Ordinance”) covers vessel registration and most of the maritime matters in Bangladesh. The Department of Shipping in Dhaka headed by the Director-General administers this Ordinance. The Director-General acts as the Registrar General of Bangladesh ships. The principal officer at the port of Chittagong acts as the Registrar of Bangladesh Ships and represents the Registrar General.
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Barbados is a parliamentary democracy located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela. It achieved independence from England in 1966. It has a ministerial government with a bicameral legislature. The Governor General is appointed by the Queen of England; the Prime Minister is the leader of the political party holding the majority of seats in the House of Assembly. The capital is Bridgetown, and English is the primary language.
Barbados boasts one of the highest standards of living of all the small island states of the Eastern Caribbean. The economy is based on tourism and manufacturing, and the primary exports are sugar and molasses, rum, chemicals, and electrical components. The United States and the United Kingdom are the major trading partners. The monetary unit is the Barbadian dollar.
The Shipping Act, 1994 and the Shipping (Oil Pollution) Act, 1994 revised the Barbados Shipping Act (1982). The Principal Registrar in London is the registrar for all foreign-owned ships entered on the international register; the Director of Maritime Affairs is registrar for near coastal and CARICOM trade ships below 150 gross registered tons. A Deputy Principal Registrar is also based in Bridgetown for duties associated with the international register.
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Located in Western Europe bordering the North Sea between France and the Netherlands, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a civil law legal system influenced by English Constitutional theory. The King is the Chief of State; the Prime Minister is the Head of the Federal Government. There is a bicameral Parliament. Belgium is a member of the UN, NATO, OECD, EU, and the IMO. The capital is Brussels, and the principal languages are Dutch and French.
Belgium has a private enterprise economy, a highly developed transport network, and a diversified industrial and commercial base. It has few natural resources and therefore generally imports most raw materials. Exports include iron and steel, transportation equipment, tractors, and diamonds. Most of its trade is with other EU nations. The unit of currency is the Euro.
Ship registration in Belgium is governed by the Act of 21 December 1990 and the Royal Decree of 4 April 1996. By this legislation, Belgium finally abandoned the former strict link between shipowner’s nationality and vessel’s flag.
Belgian shipowners are free to register their vessels under a foreign flag and foreign shipping companies can operate their ships under Belgian flag provided that the vessels are operated from Belgium.
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Formerly known as British Honduras, Belize is situated on the east coast of Central America bordering the Caribbean Sea between Guatemala and Mexico. For 4,000 years, Belize formed the keystone of the empire of the ancient Maya Indians whose advanced culture flourished even as the first shipwrecked British vessels landed. Belize is a parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster model and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Queen Elizabeth II is head of state and is represented in the country by Governor General Dr. Colville N. Young, Sr., a Belizean and Belize's second governor general. The primary executive organ of government is the cabinet, led by a prime minister (head of government). Cabinet ministers are members of the majority political party in parliament and usually hold elected seats in the National Assembly concurrently with their cabinet positions. The capital is Belmopan, and Belize is a member of the UN, and the IMO.
A combination of natural factors - climate, the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, numerous islands, excellent fishing, safe waters for boating, jungle wildlife, and Mayan ruins - support the thriving tourist industry. The Government of Belize has designated tourism as one of its major development priorities. English is the official language, and the United States is the main trading partner. The unit of currency is the Belize dollar, worth one-half of a US Dollar (fixed exchange rate).
The International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) operates under the authority of the Minister of Finance who is also the Prime Minister. IMMARBE develops its activities through a main office located in Belize City known as IMMARBE’s Head Office and through a number of designated offices located in the main ports of the world.
· No restrictions as to who can apply for registration;
· The maritime Law is derived from the English common Law system supplemented by local legislation. There is also a pool of legal professionals devoted to the expeditious processing of most maritime related affairs;
· No restrictions on the class, type, or size of vessel that can be registered;
· There is an extensive network of overseas deputy registrars to facilitate registration of vessels. Applications may be submitted by fax allowing for same day registration;
· No requirement to have a local crew;
· Belize is known for its high standard of safety and is signatory to numerous maritime safety conventions including: Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Tonnage Measurement of Ships, International Convention on Load Lines, Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, and International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea;
· Vessels registered with IMMARBE are exempt from all forms of local income tax and stamp duties.
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Bermuda is a UK Overseas Territory which has its own Parliament and which makes its own national laws. The UK extends international maritime and other conventions to Bermuda where they are enacted into Bermuda law for Bermuda ships. The territory has a sound legal framework for company law and shipping law, based on UK practice and is a reputable jurisdiction for carrying out ship registry and finance transactions. Bermuda offers the option to set up exempt companies to carry on international trade and is a base of choice for a great many well known large shipping interests.
The Bermuda Ship Registry is based in Hamilton in Bermuda but also has a team of experienced surveyors based in the UK, Croatia and Spain who are available to attend ships easily and quickly for surveys and audits when required. The registry is a UK category 1 register which means it is authorised to register ships of all types and sizes.
Currently the makeup of the register shows high percentages of passenger cruise ships, LNG tankers, bulk carriers and tankers, with a number of very large commercial yachts. The new Passenger Yacht Code is available for owners wishing to register such craft in Bermuda. Facilities exist to legally empower ship's captains to perform legal marriages on board ships.
The Merchant Shipping Act of 2002 provides the primary legislation for merchant shipping practices in Bermuda. The port of registry for Bermuda ships is Hamilton. The registry of ships in Bermuda is governed by the Bermuda Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) regulations 2003 which define who can be a qualified owner and the processes for registry. Priority of mortgages and related matters follow UK practice and are well understood. The registry is able to accept demise registry both "in" and "out."
The registry charges an annual tonnage fee based on net tonnage plus charges on an hourly basis for the attendance of surveyors. The registry is available, with notice, 24 hours per day and 365 days per year for registry transactions and has an emergency telephone cover 24 hours per day for survey emergencies.
Bermuda enjoys a high reputation in the various Port State Control areas and is currently the highest ranking flag on the Paris MOU "White List." The territory has completed its voluntary IMO flag state audit which will make Bermuda a "low risk" flag in the Paris MOU.
The Bermuda Ship Registry has existed since 1789 and in its present form it has been an internationally successful registry since the 1980s.
Bermuda ships are British ships and fly the red ensign although they are not UK ships and Bermuda is not an EC flag. The Bermuda Ship Registry is a part of the wider Red Ensign Group which includes the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Cayman Islands and the UK. This group collectively provides high quality ship registry services to discerning clients.
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The Bolivian International Vessel Register (RIBB), is a Technical Organization dependent on the Defense Ministry that has overseen the Lake and Maritime Fluvial Navigation Policies of the country since 1975 (DL. No. 12684), consequent with its Exterior Policy to exert its right of use of the sea and its maritime quality in all the seas of the world, pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Sea in its Articles 91 and 94, signed in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on December 10th of 1982, subscribed by Bolivia on November 27th of 1984 and ratified by Law of the Republic No. 1570 of July 12th 1994.
Therefore, according to a State Policy, the country decides to maintain an Open Vessel Registry, within a national strategy.
"Perform the registration of inscription of vessels and naval artifacts, maritime privileges, naval mortgages and preventive embargoes, as well as the endorsement of the crew certificates, in maritime waters and international rivers; in conditions that guarantee a safe navigation and the protection of aquatic media; that allows Bolivia to maintain the maritime nation condition."
"Establish a registry with quality certification and international recognition that allows the presence of the Bolivian flag in maritime waters and international rivers.
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British Virgin Islands (member of the Red Ensign group)
The British Virgin Islands (“BVI”) are an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom (UK) located in the Caribbean Sea east of Puerto Rico. Road Town is the capital, and English is the official language. The Queen of the UK represented by the Governor is the Head of state, and the Chief Minister is the head of government. There is a unicameral Legislative Council and an Executive Council. The legal system is English law. The British Virgin Islands are a member of CARICOM and OECS and, through the United Kingdom, a member of the British Commonwealth, the EC, NATO, the OECD, the UN, and the IMO.
The economy, one of the most prosperous in the Caribbean area, is largely dependent on the tourism and the international financial services industries.
Breeding livestock is the most significant agricultural activity. The US Dollar is the official currency of the Territory. Chief trading partners are the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States. The principal exports are rum, fresh fish and livestock. The main port is Port Purcell on the island of Tortola.
Vessels are registered in BVI are British Ships and, except for fees, the procedure is basically identical to the main UK system. The law covering the registration of ships is the BVI Merchant Shipping Act 2001 which is modeled after the UK Merchant Shipping Act 1995. Registration and ship safety and environmental protection regulation mirror corresponding UK regulations.
The BVI Registry specializes in the registration of yachts.
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The Republic of Bulgaria is situated in the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. It has a coast on the Black Sea, and to the north a large part of the Danube River forms the border line between Bulgaria and Romania. With these two water basins, Bulgaria has a strong shipping industry with a large fleet and well developed shipbuilding and ship repair industries. The country was part of the Eastern Communist Block until 1989 when a peaceful turn to a democratic rule took place. It is a full member of the United Nations including the IMO and a member of the European Union. The capital city is Sofia, and the language spoken is Bulgarian. The country has a civil law system and is governed by a unicameral National Assembly with a President as the Chief of State and the Chairman of the Council of Ministers as the Head of Government.
The Bulgarian economy continues its difficult adjustment from four decades of Communist rule with extremely high inflation. Many aspects of a market economy are already in place and functioning, but much of the industrial sector has yet to reestablish itself. Its chief exports are machinery and agricultural products, and its principal trading partners are the CIS countries. The unit of currency is the Bulgarian lev.
The law governing ship registration in Bulgaria is the Shipping Merchant Code (1970), Articles 27-62. More details are provided in the Special Regulations (1992) for the entering of ships in the ship registers at the Bulgarian ports. The authority entitled to register vessels under the Bulgarian flag is the Marine Administration.
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The editors are working on an update. The Royal Government of Cambodia has decided in 2015 to end the agreement with the ISROC handling the Cambodian ship licensing procedures due to the lack of proper mechanisms including the national regulations to monitor the vessels flying Cambodian flag.
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The Canadian nation was created by the 1867 confederation of provinces. Located in northern North America, Canada is a bicameral parliamentary democracy with its capital at Ottawa. English is the official language, and the legal system is based on British common law except in Quebec where a civil law system based on French law prevails. The Queen of Great Britain is the Chief of State represented by a Governor General and the Head of the Government is the Prime Minister. It is a member of the Commonwealth, the OECD, the UN, and the IMO.
An affluent, high-tech industrial society, Canada boasts an impressive economy with significant recent growth in manufacturing and mining. Its chief exports are newsprint, wood pulp, timber, crude petroleum and machinery, and its major trading partners are the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
The monetary unit is the Canadian dollar.
Canada's Register of Ships is well established and governed by the Canada Shipping Act.
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Canary Islands (Special Register for Spain)
Located in the Atlantic Ocean west of Morocco, the Canary Islands form two provinces of Spain. The 15th Additional Provision of the Law of Ports and the Merchant Navy of 24th November 1992 created a special register in the Canary Islands. The Spanish Ministry of Civil Works is responsible for this register, which has offices in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
In respect of Spanish vessels, entry on this special register requires cancellation of any entries on the ordinary register. It also accepts registration of foreign vessels.
The registered office of the owner must be in the Canary Islands. Any kind of vessel may be registered apart from fishing vessels. The requirements for registration are as follows:
(a) The vessel must be a civil ship used for commercial navigation. Fishing ships are excluded.
(b) It must be at least 100 GT.
This entry was prepared with the kind assistance of Lara Hidalgo | Iberian Yachts Consulting http://www.ibyc.es
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The Cayman Islands are located in the Caribbean Sea approximately half way between Cuba and Honduras. The capital of George Town is situated on the largest of the three islands, Grand Cayman. A overseas territory of the United Kingdom, the Cayman Islands follow English common law but comprise a separate jurisdiction with separate laws from the UK. The Head of State is the Queen of England, who appoints a Governor to preside over the government. There is a parliament with both elected and officially appointed members. The Senior Minister is the Leader of Government Business. There is a unicameral legislature. English is spoken.
The economy depends heavily on tourism, offshore financial services and investment in local real estate. The unit of currency is the Cayman Islands dollar, and the Caymanians enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. About 90% of the island's food and consumer goods must be imported, mostly from the United States, the United Kingdom, and countries in the region. The Cayman Islands Shipping Registry (CISR) is the Maritime Administration of the Cayman Islands. The Registry operates as an integrated unit, having the registration, safety and administrative sections of the Administration under one umbrella, thus enhancing efficiency and response time.
The governing merchant shipping law of the Cayman Islands is primarily based on the corresponding English maritime law of the United Kingdom (UK), suitably adjusted where necessary to accommodate issues unique to the Cayman Islands. In this regard, there are several innovative provisions in the updated Merchant Shipping Law designed to widen the scope of persons and other legal entities eligible to register ships under the Cayman Islands flag. Regarding safety provisions, the CISR generally applies international Convention standards. Features introduced in the 1999 amendments to the Merchant Shipping Law include the following:
Ships under construction and mortgages thereon can be registered.
Mortgages on provisionally registered or conditionally registered ships can be registered.
Fractional shares can be registered where the ship is owned by a shipping entity that does not have a separate and distinct legal personality.
Enhanced mortgagee protection is afforded.
The Port of Registry for Cayman Islands ships is George Town. A Cayman Islands ship may fly the UK Red Ensign as its national colors, or may wear the Cayman Islands Red Ensign, which consists of the UK Red Ensign with the Cayman Islands crest in the fly.
The Cayman Islands enjoy a rich seafaring heritage. The Cayman Islands Shipping Registry (CISR) is part of the Red Ensign Group of Category One British registries comprising: Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Isle of Man and the UK. As a Category One British Registry (granted in 1991), the Cayman Islands are able to register vessels of all sizes and classes, from small yachts to super tankers. However, as a matter of policy, fishing vessels are not currently being registered except those owned locally and operating in Cayman waters.
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Chile is a narrow southern South American nation bordered by the Eastern Andes and the Pacific Ocean coastline. Santiago is the capital of this Spanish speaking republic which is headed by a President. It is a member of the UN, IMO, and Organization of American States.
The monetary unit is the Chilean peso. The economy is prosperous and greatly dependent on copper mining and production. Major trading partners include the EC, the United States, Japan and Brazil.
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China is located in eastern Asia bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea and South China Sea between North Korea and Vietnam. It is a Communist state with its capital at Beijing. Standard Chinese or Mandarin, Yue (Cantonese), Hu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien - Taiwanese), and various dialects and minority languages are spoken. The President is the Chief of State and the Premier is the Head of Government. There is a unicameral National People's Congress. The legal system is a complex amalgam of custom and statute, largely criminal law. A rudimentary civil code went into effect in the late 1980s. Continuing efforts are being made to improve civil, administrative, and commercial law. China is a member of the UN and the IMO.
China has moved from a Soviet style centrally planned economy to a more flexible and more productive framework with some market elements although still under Communist control. Air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table in the North threaten the county's economic growth. Exports include textiles, garments, footwear, toys, machinery and equipment. Leading trade partners are Japan, the Untied States, Germany, South Korea, and Russia. The currency is the Yuan.
The law on vessel registration is the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Ship Registration (issued by the State Council on June 2, 1994. Document No. 155) and the Interim Measures for Registration of Mortgage over Ships under Construction (issued by the State Marine Safety Administration on June 9, 2009) (the "Regulations"). The local Marine Safety Administrations are the governmental entities responsible for the registration of ships in China (the "Registration Authority").
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A member of the OAS, the UN, and the IMO, Colombia is located in northern South America bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. Colombia is a Spanish speaking republic with a dominating executive branch headed by a President. There is a bicameral Congress, and the legal system is based on Spanish law. The capital is Bogota.
Colombia’s economy has grown rapidly since the early 1990s due to government reform measures. Oil, coal, and coffee are the chief exports to the United States, the EC, and Venezuela. The currency is the Colombian peso. The Ship Registry is under the authority of the Ministry of National Defense and is governed by Decrees No. 2324 (Sept 18/84); No. 2451 (Jul 31/86); No. 1423 (Jun 30/89); 2327 (Oct 15/91); and 2384 (Oct 21/91)
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The Comoro Islands are an archipelago of four islands and several islets located in the Western Indian Ocean about ten to twelve degrees south of the Equator and less than 200 miles off the East African coast. The archipelago is the result of volcanic action along a fissure in the seabed running West-Northwest to East-Southeast. The four major islands are Ngazidja, Mwali, Nzwani, and Mayotte. The total area of the four islands is 785 square miles (2,034 square kilometers).
The total population of the Comoro Islands is estimated to be over 700,000 people today. Over 27% live in urban areas. In recent decades the population was increased by the forced evacuation of Comorians from Madagascar and Zanzibar.
The inhabitants are a blend of various peoples of the Indian Ocean littoral. African, Malagasy, and Arabic features are clearly evident. Maritime commerce before entry of Europeans into the Indian Ocean brought Comorians into contact with peoples from southern Africa to Southeast Asia. Since the end of the fifteenth century European influence has also impacted upon Comorian life.
The official languages of The Union of the Comoros are French and Arabic. French is the language of government while Arabic is the language of Islam, the major religion in the Republic. French is used as the official language on the island of Mayotte.
In daily life, most people speak one or more varieties of Comorian, the language group indigenous to the Islands. It is closely related to the Swahili of the East African coast. Comorian is typical of a Bantu language with a large number of noun classes and an elaborate set of verb tenses and aspects. For centuries, people have used Arabic script to write Comorian and there is an attempt presently to normalize orthography for writing the varieties of the language in Roman script.
The rich vocabulary of Comorian has been enhanced by the borrowing of words from many other languages. Since Comorians have been involved in maritime trade for a thousand years or more, they have come into contact with a number of different peoples and their language reflects this contact. Words of Indian, Persian, Arabic, Portuguese, English, and French origin have been added to those of African ancestry.
There are four varieties of Comorian spoken in the Islands: Shingazidja, Shimwali, Shinzwani, and Shimaore, each one named for the primary island on which it is spoken.
Traditionally, seaborne trade played an important role in the Islands ' economy. Today, agriculture is the principal economic activity with crops grown both for domestic consumption and export. The major food crops are cassava, coconut, bananas, rice, sweet potatoes, pulses, and corn. Vanilla, ylang-ylang, cloves, and copra have been the major export crops.
Some animal husbandry is undertaken by individual farmers and a small scale fishing industry exists. Coelecanth specimens provided some income for fishermen and the government. This fish was thought by western scientists to have been extinct for 70 million years but has been caught by local fishermen for years. At one time it was sold to the local government and resold to museums and research centers all over the world.
There is a small tourist industry on the Islands which had been recently promoted by South African interests.
France has been the major trading partner of the Comoros. The Islands have a relatively large negative trade balance and the government has been for many years dependent upon external aid.
The currency of the country is the Comorian franc. Its value is tied to the US dollar at 378.7 Comorian francs to 1 US Dollar. There are banks on the islands of Ngazidja, Nzwani, and Maore but no bank on Mwali.
The Union of Comoros Maritime Shipping Act 2001 provides a modern legal framework for the operation of a competitive International Ship Registry.
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The Cook Islands acts in free association with New Zealand. In the conduct of its foreign affairs, the Cook Islands interacts with the international community as a sovereign and independent state. Responsibility at international law rests with the Cook Islands in terms of its actions and the exercise of its international rights and fulfillment of its international obligations. Located in the South Pacific Ocean about halfway from Hawaii to New Zealand, the Cook Islands has the right to move at any time to full independence by unilateral action. The Chief of State is the Queen of England through a representative, and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister. The Cook Islands enjoy a British legal tradition. The courts are efficient, honest, and transparent and, due to the relatively light load of cases, the country is one of the fastest jurisdictions in the world. Cases in the Cook Islands High Court are heard by current and retired judges of the New Zealand High Court and can be scheduled within weeks.
The Cook Islands are a member of IMO, FAO, UNESCO and the UN Environmental Conference. They are not, however, a United Nations member. The capital is Avarua, and the principal language is English. The economy is based on tourism, fishing and financial services. New Zealand and Japan are the chief trading partners. The currency is the New Zealand dollar.
The Cook Islands Register is considered a flag of convenience by the ITF. The Registry is governed by the Ship Registration Act, 2007 and the Maritime Transport Act, 2008.
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Costa Rica is located in Central America bordering on Nicaragua and Panama and the Caribbean Sea and North Pacific Ocean. The capital is San José. It is a Spanish speaking democratic republic with a unicameral legislature and a President. The legal system is based on Spanish civil law. Costa Rica’s economy depends on tourism and the export of coffee and bananas to the United States, Germany, Italy, Guatemala, and the United Kingdom. The currency is the Costa Rican colon.
The Maritime Port Division within the Ministry of Public Works and Transport oversees the Administrative Register of Ships.
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Located in southeastern Europe bordering the Adriatic Sea between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia, the Republic of Croatia was officially recognized by the international community on January 3, 1992 after the breakdown of the former Yugoslavia. Croatia is a member of United Nations and the IMO. The capital is Zagreb, and the principal language is Croatian. The government is a parliamentary democracy with the President as the Chief of State and the Prime Minister as the Head of Government. There is a bicameral Assembly (Sabor).
The chief exports of Croatia are machinery and transport equipment and chemicals. Major trading partners are the EC countries and Slovenia. The monetary unit is the kuna.
The law governing ship registrations in Croatia is the Maritime Code which fully implements all international maritime and labor legislation.
Companies for a specific purpose may be incorporated and may be used for any legal purpose. A company must have at least one director. Officers and directors may be of any nationality. A company must have a registered office in Croatia.
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Curaçao is the main island of what was until October 10 2010 the Netherlands Antilles. The Netherlands Antilles consisted of two Leeward Islands, Curaçao and Bonaire, and the three Windward Islands Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba. These islands enjoyed self-determination on all internal matters and deferred to the Netherlands in matters of defense, foreign policy, and some judicial functions.
The Government of the Antilles had successfully established a major base for the registration of foreign ships. Under the Shipping Act and the Shipping Decree, which is a matter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, ships could be registered under the above mentioned flag.
On October 10, 2010, the Netherlands Antilles dissolved as a country, due to the restructuring of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In its place, two new countries came into existence, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, the two largest islands of the former Netherlands Antilles. The remaining three smaller islands were integrated in The Netherlands under a special legal status. Curaçao and Sint Maarten remain autonomous countries within the Kingdom. As a consequence, the Netherlands Antilles Ship Register on this date transferred to Curaçao and became the Curaçao Ship Register. The Directorate of Shipping and Maritime Affairs, which manages the register, was also transferred to Curaçao and continues as the Maritime Authority of Curaçao. The transfer has had no external or internal legal effects, other than the change of name. All flag state responsibilities concerning vessels registered in the former country Netherlands Antilles rest with the new country Curaçao.
The economy of Curaçao depends on tourism, the refining and transshipment of Venezuelan petroleum, and offshore finance. Consequently, the it has a more developed infrastructure than other nearby countries. Another major industry is ship repairing. Curaçao's ship-repair dry dock is one of the largest of the Western Hemisphere. Its capital is Willemstad.
Curaçao vessels fly the Dutch flag, but the registry is considered an open registry.
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Cyprus is situated in the eastern Mediterranean, lying at the hub of 3 continents. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia. The island’s time zone is 7 hours ahead of New York and 7 hours behind Tokyo.
Cyprus’ estimated population is 870,000 (population census 2008). Greek and Turkish are the official languages of the Republic but English is widely spoken and understood, and is regularly used in commerce and government.
The structure of government is similar to that in other western democracies where human rights, political pluralism and private property are safeguarded.
Since the 1st May 2004, Cyprus has been a European Union Member State.
Cyprus has an open, free market economy driven by thriving tourist and service sectors and an export-oriented industry. Cyprus is classified by the World Bank among the high-income economies. Its currency is the Euro
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Denmark is a constitutional monarchy situated in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic and North Seas on a peninsula north of Germany. With its capital in Copenhagen, Denmark is ruled by the Prime Minister and unicameral parliament with the Queen as the Head of State. Danish is the chief language, and the legal system is based on civil law. Denmark is a member of the UN, EU, OECD, NATO, and the IMO.
The Danish economy is highly developed with high-tech agriculture, modern small scale, corporate industry, and comfortable living standards. It is self-sufficient in food and energy production and exports meat and dairy products as well as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, industrial machinery and various services (including shipping). The unit of currency is the Danish krone (DKK) and Denmark has not joined the monetary union of EU. Denmark’s major trading partners are the EU, Norway, and the United States.
The nation maintains two registries:
The Royal Danish Register of Shipping is the traditional, national register reserved for ships of Danish ownership which are home-ported in the country.
The second register, the Danish International Ships Register (“DIS”), was created by Act of Parliament No. 408 of July 1, 1988 (currently Executive Order no. 460 of April 11, 1997). Like the traditional registry, the DIS is reserved primarily for Danish owners, but the difference is in the degree to which foreign interests are allowed to participate in management and ownership of the shipping company, the types of eligible vessels, geographical and trade restrictions on activity, cabotage, taxation, and crewing issues. In particular, under the DIS, Danish shipowners may operate ships with a crew not subject to Danish national collective agreements but on international competitive terms.
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Located between the islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, Dominica is well deserving of its status as the Nature Island of the Caribbean, with lush tropical rain forests and 365 rivers coursing over 290 square miles of breathtaking terrain. An environmental mindset (The national motto is “Après Bondieu, C’est la Terre,” “After God, the Earth”) has preserved the beauty of this island, which is a popular ecotourism destination that remains unspoiled by the commercialism that has overrun other Caribbean countries. In the past decade, tourist arrivals have increased steadily at a rate of 12 percent per year.
Twenty-nine miles long and sixteen miles across at its widest point, the island is home to 89,000 residents, including 3,000 Carib Indians, descendants of the island’s original inhabitants. European eyes first sighted Dominica (pronounced “Doe-mee-NEE-kah”) on a Sunday in 1493. Later, the English and the French alternately owned the island.
A British colony until 1967, Dominica was granted full independence November 3, 1978. As a commonwealth, it operates on a parliamentary system, with the prime minister, chosen with the majority party, as chief executive; the president serves as ceremonial head of state. Its capital is the port city of Roseau; Portsmouth is a second active port. Agriculture is the mainstay of the Dominica economy, with bananas as the chief crop, along with citrus, mangoes, root crops, and coconuts. Its manufacturing industry produces soap, coconut oil, copra, furniture, cement blocks, and shoes. Major trading partners are the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, and Canada.
The commonwealth’s Ministry of Finance operates its International Ship Registry and an International Business Unit charged with diversifying the economy, expanding the economic base, and generating employment. Dominica’s political stability, lack of corporate or capital gains taxes, open trade and payments system, and superior communications systems are among its most appealing draws for offshore companies.
The International Maritime Act of 2000 governs the shipping industry. The Maritime Administration works in close partnership with Dominica Maritime Registry Inc. (DMRI) to operate “The Flag of Responsibility.” The Dominica Maritime Administration is the enforcement agency for all matters concerning seaworthiness, safety, and seafarer qualification. Legally bound to make the Dominica shipping registry its sole mission, DMRI is uniquely dedicated to its registrants. DMRI’s senior management has more than 100 years’ combined experience in writing and enforcing international shipping regulations. Its board of quality management advisors-comprising a roster of internationally recognized marine safety and pollution prevention advocates-plays an active daily role in ensuring the Dominica fleet takes proactive, cost-effective compliance measures. Their representation of Dominica registrants at the United Nations International Maritime Organization and other international bodies ensures advocacy of unparalleled influence and stature. Input and advice are encouraged through Dominica Shipowners Association and Registry members are welcome to serve on Dominica delegations. The registry employs advanced communication technology to solicit input and provide timely notice of current, pending, and revised regulatory requirements. Affiliation with distance learning and training programs and plans to establish the Caribbean World Maritime Institute for crew education and training are evidence of further commitment to superior marine safety and pollution prevention standards.
The Registry is operated by the Commonwealth of Dominica and the Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Registry, Inc. (DMRI), located in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. DMRI is an ISO 9000/2001 Certified Company, another testament to our commitment to quality and our customers.
Number of Vessels
The Republic of Ecuador is located in western South America between Colombia and Peru on the Equator bordering the Pacific Ocean. It is divided into 21 provinces distributed throughout four different regions: Coast, Sierra or Mountains, Eastern Regions or Amazon, and the Insular Region or Galapagos Islands.
Ecuador is a full member of the UN, the OAS, Andean Community, and the IMO. The legal system is based on civil law. The President is the Chief of State and Head of Government, and there is a unicameral National Congress. The capital is Quito, and the official language is Spanish.
Ecuador’s main exports are crude oil, bananas, shrimp and other sea products, oil derivatives, coffee, cocoa, and non-traditional products such as fruits and flowers. The United States and Latin America are its chief trading partners.
The main port is Santiago de Guayaquil. Other ports are Puerto Bolivar, Manta and Esmeraldas, where the main oil terminal is located.
The currency unit is the sucre, although most transactions with foreign entities are carried out in US dollars.
The legislation governing Ecuadorian Ship Registry is conformed by the Code of Maritime Police, the Regulation for Maritime Activities issued by the Merchant Marine National Office (DIGMER), the Regulations for Inscriptions for the Harbormaster's Office, the Law for the Development of Maritime Transport and Related Activities, the General Law of Registration, and the Law for Facilitation of Exports and Maritime Transport and its Rules and Regulations.
Number of Vessels
Located in Northern Africa bordering the Mediterranean Sea between Libya and the Gaza Strip, Egypt is a republic with its capital at Cairo. The legal system is based on Islamic law, and Napoleonic codes. The Chief of State is the President, and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister. There is a bicameral legislature: the People’s Assembly and the Advisory Council. Arabic is the official language but English and French are widely understood. Egypt is a member of the UN and IMO.
Whilst for several years, half of Egypt’s gross national product originated in the public sector, and most industrial plants were owned by the government, the situation has now changed in this respect as Egypt adopted a privatization scheme whereby the private and the Public Enterprise Sectors largely contribute in Egypt’s gross national product side by side with the public sector. Its chief exports are crude oil and petroleum products and also cotton, yarn and raw cotton. Leading trading partners are the EU, Japan, and the United States.
The monetary unit is the Egyptian pound. The Egyptian Registry of Ships Act for 1949 governs the Egyptian Ship Registry which is under the control and management of the Egyptian Ministry of Maritime Transport.
Number of Vessels
This Eastern European republic borders on the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland between Russia and Latvia. Its capital is Tallinn. Estonia reestablished its independence in 1991 after being occupied by the former Soviet Union for fifty years. It is led by a President and a Prime Minister together with a unicameral Parliament. Its legal system is based on civil law, and it is a member of the UN and IMO.
Estonia has pursued an ambitious market reform program since independence in order to reintegrate into Western Europe. Exports include timber, textiles and food products; principal trading partners are Finland, Sweden, Russia, and Germany. Estonian is the chief language, and the currency is the Estonian kroon.
According to Law of Ships Flag and Register of Ships Act passed on 11 March 1998 and entered into force 1 July 1998 seagoing ships and ships under construction shall be registered by Estonian courts. There are four departments of courts for that purpose:
• The Registration Department of the County Court of Harju
• The Registration Department of the County Court of Tartu
• The Registration Department of the Country Court of Pärnu
• The Registration Department of the Country Court of Viru
Bareboat chartered vessels shall be registered at the Register of Bareboat Charterers of the Estonian Maritime Administration. Small vessels (up to 12 m in length) and recreation vessels (up to 24 m) shall be registered at the Register of Small Craft of the Estonian Maritime Administration.
Number of Vessels
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about 250 nautical miles (290 mi; 460 km) from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland. It is an internally self-governing British Overseas Territory, with the United Kingdom responsible for defence and foreign affairs.
Number of Vessels
Situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands have a population whose whole way of life revolves around the sea.
The Islands are self-governing, with close political and cultural ties to Scandinavia, and Denmark especially. Yet despite close relations to Denmark, the Faroe Islands have chosen to stay outside the European Union (EU).
The Faroe Islands were populated more than a 1000 years ago by seafaring Norwegians and Irish monks, and love of the sea is still deeply rooted in the Faroese people.
Faroese seafarers today are highly educated and enjoy an excellent reputation for their skills. These skills have been acquired in an outstanding educational environment on the Faroe Islands.
Although the population of the Faroe Islands counts less than 50,000 people, it is safe to say, that Faroese sailors have traveled the globe many times over.
Since the Faroe Islands are a microstate in an advanced part of the world, their maritime authorities can rely on highly educated staff, at both managerial and administrative level.
Furthermore, there are several obvious benefits in terms of sheer concentration of knowledge in a country this size.
Government administration of the national and international ship register is both efficient and multilingual (as is the majority of the population).
Moreover, highly qualified legal advisers are easily accessible, and there are several financial institutes on the Islands with a great deal of experience in the field of international ship financing and brokering.
Number of Vessels
The South Pacific island nation of Fiji declared itself a republic in 1987 and left the British Commonwealth. Fiji is a member of the UN and the IMO. The capital is Suva, and the Chief of State is the President with the Head of Government being the Prime Minister. English is the official language, and the legal system is based on the British system.
Fiji’s economy relies predominantly on agriculture but political uncertainty and drought contribute to substantial fluctuations in earnings from tourism and the production of sugar. The unit of currency is the Fijian dollar, and major trading partners include the EC, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. The legal bases for merchant shipping are the Maritime Transport Decree and Ship Registration Decree.
Number of Vessels
Located in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland between Sweden and Russia, the Republic of Finland is a member of the UN, IMO, OECD, and EU. It is headed by the President, Prime Minister, and unicameral Parliament. Helsinki is the capital, and Finnish is the most widely spoken language. The legal system is a civil law system with Swedish influences. Finland has a highly industrialized, largely free market economy. Its key economic sector is manufacturing, principally the wood, metals, and engineering industries. Chief exports include paper and pulp, machinery, chemicals, metals, and timber. The EC countries are its leading trade partners. The unit of currency is the Euro.
The registration of ships in Finland is governed by Finnish Maritime Code (674/l994) (“the Code”); the Ship Register Act and Statute (512/l993) (“the Act”); and the Ship Register Decree (874/1993) (the “Statute”). The Finnish ship register is maintained by the Finnish Maritime Administration (“FMA”). However, the local Municipal Government for the Åland Islands maintains a register for ships which have the province of Åland as their port of registry. Currently, some 100 vessels are entered in the Åland Ship Register. The port of registry for ships registered in Finland can be named by the owner. In other cases, the port of registry is the residence of the owner or, if the owner is not domiciled in Finland, the city of Helsinki.
Number of Vessels
France is a member state of the EC, NATO, the OECD, the UN, and the IMO. It is located in Western Europe bordering the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel between Belgium and Spain. To the south it is between Italy and Spain and borders the Mediterranean Sea. The French Republic has two parliamentary chambers, a President and a Prime Minister. The capital is Paris, and it has a civil law legal system.
The French economy is highly developed and is a leader in agriculture and industry. Exports include machinery and transportation equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs and agricultural products. The unit of currency is the Euro, and major trading partners include Germany, Italy, the United States, Luxembourg, and Belgium.
There are several Ship Registers in France, namely:
1) Metropolitan France and French overseas departments (departments d’outre mer) Register;
2) International French Register;
3) French Polynesia Register;
4) New Caledonia Register;
5) Wallis and Futuna Register;
6) French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF) Register, also known as the Kerguelen Islands Register.
The last four Registers mainly operate locally.
All types of sea-going vessels can be registered in the French Register. Registration in the French Register for vessels weighing 3 gross registered tonnes or below is optional, provided that they do not sail into territorial waters. Beach vessels or sports boat equipped with oars or paddles are excluded from registration. Vessels operating only in French territorial waters or between ports of French overseas department, as well as towing and services vessels operated in French territorial waters shall be registered in the French Register and cannot be registered in foreign registries.
In relation to the French Register, administration for registration of vessels is organised in administrative centers for maritime affairs (centre administratif départemental des affaires maritimes). There is one center in every département.
The International French Register replaced the Kerguelen Islands Register for trade vessels and commercially operated leisure vessels over 24 m in overall length.
Other commercially operated leisure vessels as well as shipping vessels and vessels used exclusively for marine or oil operation activities, provided they comply with some conditions (Law No. 96-151 of 26 February 1996; Decree No. 97-243 of 14 March 1997, as partially re-enacted in the Transportation Code that came into effect on 28 October 2010), can still be registered on the Kerguelen Island Register.
The International French Register (Registre International Français (RIF)) is a captive register, created in 2005 (Law No.2005-412 of 3 May 2005). It is administered through the Guichet unique (single window) located in Marseilles. As an EU registry the RIF guarantees access to the national waters of European Union member states cabotage(European home trade) provided the vessels are not solely operated on national cabotage (national home trade).
Vessels that can be registered on the RIF are:
1) Vessels engaged in the deep sea trade or in international cabotage (international costal navigation); and
2) Commercially operated leisure vessels over 24 m in overall length, manned with a professional crew.
Vessels that are not eligible to be registered on the RIF are the following:
1) Professional fishing vessels;
2) Passenger liner vessels trading between European Union countries, as well as on lines between the EU and Morocco, Algeria or Tunisia (French Decree n° 2006-142 of February 10, 2006);
3) Vessels operating only on national home trade (cabotage national); and
4) Vessels providing services in the area where specific port regulations apply (pilot’s launches, harbour tugs, signalling vessels, harbour maintenance dredgers).
The Editors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Christine Ezcutari and the staff at Norton Rose LLP | 40 rue de Courcelles | 75008 Paris, France
Tel:  (0) 1 56 59 50 00
Fax:  (0) 1 56 59 50 01
Number of Vessels
Georgia occupies a very central and strategic geographical position in the Southern Caucasus region. It constitutes the western neck of Caucasus through which cargos using the different type of transport are carried.
Georgia borders Russia in the North, Azerbaijan in the East, Armenia in the South as well as Turkey. A common maritime border is also shared with Ukraine.
Institutional reforms were implemented in 2011 to increase the efficiency of the transport sector. One of the biggest achievements was accomplished through the structural reforms which separated the policy making body from the regulatory one.
The policy making function was allocated to the Transport Policy Department of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and regulatory to the three separate and independent agencies established after the division of the United Transport Administration of the Ministry.
Each agency is responsible for its own sphere, operating with its own budget - the Legal Entities of Public Law - Civil Aviation, Maritime Transport and Land Transport agencies.
The Transport Policy Department of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia is responsible for devising the national transport policy. The whole transport policy is based on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union (PCA) signed in 1996 for 10 years and now automatically renewed every year.
Is a member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) since 1993
Joined 15 international IMO and UNECE conventions in 1994
Joined 10 other transport conventions in 1994
Adopted a Maritime Code with the assistance of IMO and EU experts (1997)
Set up an Agency in charge of Maritime Transport which obtained Quality Standards
Certificate of ISO-9001: 2008 standard.
Was confirmed by IMO MSC in the IMO STCW "White List" operated first in 2001.
Georgian Shipping Company as a Maritime authority was established in 1967, in 1997 with the President's order it was transformed as Maritime Transport Administration of Georgia. After reforms in 2011 Maritime Transport Administration was renamed as Maritime Transport Agency (MTA).
Maritime Transport Agency represents the National Maritime Authority of Georgia under the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia that effectively implement organizational and legal instruments in the maritime field derived from national and international requirements covering the following areas:
Regulation of Georgian maritime sector in accordance with the national legislation and international requirements by ensuring the maritime safety and security of Georgian ports and merchant fleet flying the Georgian flag;
Prevention of marine pollution;
Performance of search and rescue operations;
Proper functioning of the seafarers training and certification system.
Top management strives for continual improvement in all areas of above-mentioned activities by following:
Maintenance of Quality Management System in accordance with ISO 9001:2008;
Meeting and exceeding customer requirements;
Implementation of all applicable industry Best Practices;
Involvement of the personnel in the management system;
Development of statistical and strategic directions based on the data analysis
Policy of attracting vessels under Georgian Flag by offering the competitive, low registration costs, flexibility of manning the vessel without any restriction on the nationalities of the crew or the owner.
Number of Vessels
Located in central Europe, Germany borders the Baltic Sea and the North Sea between the Netherlands and Poland. A German-speaking federal republic, Germany has a civil law system with judicial review of legislative acts in the Federal Constitutional Court. The Head of State is the President, and the Head of Government is the Chancellor. The Capital City is Berlin.
Progress towards economic integration between Western and Eastern Germany (the previous German Democratic Republic) following reunification in October 1990 is clearly evident, but the Eastern Region will no doubt continue to depend on subsidies funded by the Western Region for many more years. Germany has a highly urbanized and skilled population and enjoys excellent living standards. It has an advanced market economy and is a world leader in exports, particularly machines and machine tools, motor vehicles, chemicals, and iron and steel products. Its major trading partners are the EC nations and the United States. The unit of currency is the EURO. Germany is a member of the EU, NATO, UN, and IMO.
The registration of seagoing ships is governed by the "Flaggenrechtsgesetz" and the "Schiffsregisterordnung." In general, the law of registration applies to vessels with a hull of over 15 meters in length but shorter ships may also be registered. War ships and ships of public authorities are excluded. There are separate official registers for seagoing vessels ("Seeschiffsregister"), for inland waterway vessels ("Binnenschiffsregister"), and for ships under construction in German shipyards as well as for floating docks ("Schiffsbauregister") governed by similar though not identical rules.
Germany also has a second, "International Register." All vessels have to be registered in the Ordinary Ship Register, and vessels "internationally registered" are additionally entered in the German International Ship Register.
The OGSR staff gratefully acknowledges the kind assistance of Reinhard Schale of Dr. Schackow & Partner with the preparation of this summary | Domehof 17, 28196 Bremen, Germany | Telephone  (421) 36990 | Fax:  (421) 3699 144 | Email:firstname.lastname@example.org | http://www.schackow.de
Number of Vessels
Located in western Africa bordering the North Atlantic Ocean between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo, Ghana is a constitutional democracy with its capital at Accra. The President is the Chief of State and Head of Government, and there is a unicameral National Assembly. The legal system is based on English common law and customary law. English is the official language. Ghana is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the UN, and the IMO.
Ghana is well endowed with natural resources, and has twice the per capita output of many of the poorer countries in western Africa. The economy revolves around subsistence agriculture. Cocoa, gold, timber, tuna, bauxite, and aluminum are the major exports. Principal trading partners are Germany and the United States. The currency is the Cedi.
The legislation governing the maritime industry in Ghana is the Shipping Act of 2003. The Ghana Maritime Authority oversees ship registration.
Number of Vessels
The Gibraltar Ship Registry (GSR) is a member of the Category I Red Ensign Group of the United Kingdom and United Kingdom dependency registers. The Category I Red Ensign Group now comprises the United Kingdom, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands and the Isle of Man. The GSR exists within the Gibraltar Maritime Administration (GMA). The GMA is headed by the Maritime Administrator, appointed by the Minister for Maritime Affairs.
The advantages of registering a ship in Gibraltar are many, not least fiscal: membership of the Red Ensign Group and the benefits that derive from Gibraltar's status as part of the European Union (EU). The GSR is also an EU Member States' Register and its vessels are entitled to full EU cabotage privileges.
The Register is open to all types of ships irrespective of size, with the exception of fishing vessels, ships propelled by nuclear power and ships not classed with one of the recognised Classification Societies.
Ships that are over twenty years old on the day of registration have additional requirements.
Pleasure yachts are handled by the entirely separate organization Gibraltar Yacht Registry Limited.
The administrative and clerical work of the commercial Registry is undertaken in Gibraltar by The Register of Ships which is a government department headed by a Maritime Administrator appointed by the United Kingdom.
The Gibraltar Merchant Shipping (Registration) Ordinance 1993 and the Gibraltar Merchant Shipping (Ship Registration) Regulations 1997 govern the Register. Gibraltar is an open registry. The Gibraltar Ship Registry continues to consolidate its position as a significant Red Ensign group registry for commercial vessels.
The clear objective for the Registry as set out by the Government of Gibraltar is quality over quantity and, as a result, long-term stability for the Register and the ships that operate under it have been favored over short term growth. In particular, the Registry is particularly concerned to keep the average age of the vessels on the Register as low as possible and is careful as to what vessels over 20 years it does in fact approve. This view is finding considerable acceptance especially amongst Northern European shipping groups and can only assist Gibraltar registered vessels in particular as to issues of Port State Control for example.
The GSR is internationally recognised as a quality Register by Port State Control (PSC) authorities (the GSR is on the Paris MoU â€˜White List'), Banks and international Law firms.
The GSR has experienced significant growth in ship numbers and Gross Tonnage (GT) over the last ten years. This growth has been attributed to a number of factors, particularly the flexibility and professionalism of GSR staff, the support to ship operators by local ship representatives and the straightforward registration processes that are available.
Number of Vessels
Greece is a member of the EU, NATO, the OECD, the UN, and the IMO. It is in southern Europe bordering the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas between Turkey and Albania. The nation has a presidential parliamentary government with its capital in Athens. Its legal system is based on codified Roman law. There is a President and Prime Minister as well as a unicameral Chamber of Deputies.
Greece has a mixed capitalist economy with tourism and shipping as major sources of foreign exchange and agriculture that is nearly self-sufficient. Exports include manufactured goods and foodstuffs, and major trading partners are Germany, Italy, and France. The unit of currency is the euro.
Greece has one of the most celebrated maritime traditions in history. Its registry was established by the Royal Decree of 1836 on Commercial Shipping. Thereafter, the Royal Decree No. 10/7-17-1910, as amended, came into force and continues to regulate all registration procedures.
In June 2012 government reforms re-established the standalone Ministry of Merchantile Marine and the Aegean following three years during which it was part of a combined Ministry of Developement, Competitiveness and Shipping. The maritime community believes this restoration will strengthen the Greek fleet and industry.
The Ministry is the central Registry office, but all major Greek ports may accept vessel registration documents and may record mortgages.
Number of Vessels
Grenada is located in the Caribbean Sea north of Trinidad and Tobago. It is a parliamentary democracy with its capital in Saint Georges. The Queen of England represented by a Governor General is the Chief of State, and the Prime Minister is the Head of Government. There is a bicameral Parliament, and the legal system is based on English common law. Having achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1974, Grenada is a member of the Commonwealth and the UN. Agriculture is the chief economic activity, particularly the production of nutmeg and mace. Tourism is another economic mainstay.
The unit of currency is the East Caribbean dollar. Leading trading partners include the Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Grenadan vessels are not considered British vessels but instead fly the Grenadan national flag. The Grenada Shipping Act #47 of 1994 is the principal law that governs vessel registration and other maritime matters. This Act entered into force in December 1996. The Grenada Ports Authority is responsible for administering the Shipping Act.
Number of Vessels
Guernsey is a group of islands located in the English Channel to the Northwest of France. It is a British crown dependency but is not part of the UK or of the European Union. However, the UK Government is constitutionally responsible for its defense and international representation. Guernsey has a long and rich maritime history and throughout has held on firmly to its British identity.
Whilst there has been a British Customs & Excise presence in Guernsey since the late seventeenth century, the precise date of the commencement of recognition and operation of Guernsey as a port of British Registry is unclear. Certainly, since the 1894 UK Merchant Shipping Act, the Registry has enjoyed a most active role in providing this valuable service to commercial and private vessel owners.
In 2000 the States of Guernsey's Board of Administration, which is responsible for both Customs and Harbour departments, agreed that the Registry should transfer from Customs to the Harbour Authority to create a new 'one stop shop'. This created a single point of access for Port Control registration, (which had always been administered by the Harbour Authority) and bringing the full British Register (Part I), Fishing Vessel Register and Small Ships Register all under the same roof, from 1 January, 2001.
The Registry is administered under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2002. In 1 February, 2009 new regulations were introduced governing registration and tonnage.
Information on bareboat charter, crewing and mortgages may be found by contacting the registry.
Number of Vessels
Honduras is a Central American nation bordering Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua, and has a coastline on the Caribbean Sea and an outlet to the Pacific Ocean through the Gulf of Fonseca. It is a republic with its capital at Tegucigalpa. The President is the Chief of State and Head of Government, and there is a unicameral legislature. Spanish and Indian dialects are spoken. It is a member of the OAS, the UN, and the IMO.
Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy but manufacturing is in its early stages. Exports are bananas, coffee, shrimp, lobster, and minerals, and the main trading partners are the United States and Germany. The unit of currency is the lempira.
On November 4, 1994 the Honorable National Congress approved the new Organic Law of the Merchant Marine which entered into force on January 1, 1995. The new law updates the registration procedures and is designed to attract larger vessels.
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Hong Kong is a thriving port in Eastern Asia bordering the South China Sea and China. After 156 years of separation under British rule, Hong Kong was reunited with China on 1 July 1997. With the resumption of the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, China has implemented the principle of 'one country, two systems' and fulfilled the promises of 'a high degree of autonomy' and 'Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong'. Under the Basic Law, the mini-constitution for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Central People's Government has granted Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy - a situation that is unparalleled anywhere else in the world. In addition to institutionalizing the 'high degree of autonomy', the Basic Law delineates the rights and obligations of the residents of Hong Kong and clearly prescribes the social, economic and political systems which are different from those of the Mainland China. It preserves for Hong Kong people their usual way of life; Hong Kong people continue to enjoy all their rights as before; the free and open economic system is maintained; a smooth democratic development is assured; and Hong Kong continues to enjoy a stable and peaceful society.
Hong Kong is one of the freest and most vibrant economies in the world. Free enterprise and free trade; prudent financial management and low taxation; the rule of law; an executive-led government; and an efficient civil service have all been part of Hong Kong's tradition. All these factors underlie Hong Kong's success and have been guaranteed in the Basic Law.
The autonomy of the Hong Kong Shipping Register is well enshrined in the Basic Law. It provides the constitutional rights and legal basis for Hong Kong to continue to maintain a shipping register and to issue related certificates under its own legislation under the name "Hong Kong, China." The Merchant Shipping (Registration) Ordinance governs vessel registration. The register is run by the Marine Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and is separate from the Chinese Register. One unique feature of the Hong Kong Register is the requirement to hoist two flags at the stern of a Hong Kong ship, that is, the national flag of the People's Republic of China and the regional flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
A number of measures have been implemented since 1 April 1999 to make the Hong Kong Register even more competitive, user friendly and efficient. These measures are aimed to further improve the Register's quality at a reduced cost. The measures include reduction of fees; streamlining of procedures for ship registration, seafarers' licensing and employment and discharge of seafarers; and 365 days plus 24 hours services. In addition, a flag-state quality control (FSQC) system has been introduced to ensure highest safety standards and full compliance with international conventions by all Hong Kong registered ships in a cost-effective manner.
The proper flags to be flown on a Hong Kong registered ship are the national flag of the People's Republic of China directly above the regional flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Number of Vessels
Hungary (in Hungarian: Magyarország) is a landlocked country in continental Europe that shares borders with Austria, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Serbia. A sovereign realm since the year 1000, Hungary regained her independence on a smaller territory in 1918, upon the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Having been a member of the Soviet Block (Warsaw Pact, CMEA etc.) between 1945 and 1990, Hungary became a multiparty, parliamentary republic in 1990. Hungary’s new constitution came into force as of 1 January 2012. In Hungary legislative powers are vested in the Parliament which is elected for a four-year term. The head of state is the President of the Republic, Mr. János Áder (since May 2012), and the executive arm of the Government is headed by the Prime Minister, Mr. Viktor Orbán. Parliamentary elections will be held in the spring of 2018. Hungary has been a full member of the United Nations since 1955, and member of the European Union since May 2004. Hungary joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as a full member in March, 1999.
The capital city is Budapest, and the official language is Hungarian. The currency is Hungarian Forints (Ft or HUF). (One US Dollar is equal to, approximately, HUF 286, while one Euro is equal to, approximately, HUF 310 on the basis of the USD-HUF and EUR-HUF exchange rates quoted by the National Bank of Hungary on 1 February 2016)
In Hungary, Act XLII of 2000 on traffic (transport) on waterways (the “Shipping Act”) regulates shipping activity. Under the Shipping Act, the Roads, Railway and Shipping Office of the National Transport Authority (in Hungarian: Nemzeti Közlekedési Hatóság Útügyi, Vasúti és Hajózási Hivatala) (hereinafter: “Shipping Authority” or “Registration Authority”, as the context may require) under the Ministry of National Development, Office of the Minister of State for Transport Policy (in Hungarian: Nemzeti Fejlesztési Minisztérium, Közlekedéspolitikáért Felelős Államtitkárság)) serves as the government authority for shipping, and also keeps the Ship Register (in Hungarian: hajólajstrom) for the registration of seagoing large ships, inland-water large ships, small ships, ferries, floating machinery and self-propelled floating machines. The application form (in Hungarian) is available on the home page of the Registration Authority in electronic format.
Under the Shipping Act all floating vessels must be generally registered in the Ship Register, boats (except ferryboats), non-engine-driven water sport equipment, non-engine-driven small-ships (except sailboats), self-propelled floating vessels without residential superstructure and with a deck smaller than 25 m² and other floating facilities are exempt from such obligations.
Appeals against the decisions of the Shipping Authority are dealt with by the Central Office of the National Transport Authority (in Hungarian: Nemzeti Közlekedési Hatóság Központi Hivatala).
A list of applicable Hungarian legal rules is provided in Table 1.
List of applicable legislation
Act V of 1931
on the Promulgation of the International Convention for the Unification of Statutory Privileges and Maritime Hypothecs, made in Brussels, on April 10, 1926
Act XCIII of 1990
Act LIII of 1994
on the Enforcement of Judicial Decisions
Act CXVII of 1995
on Personal Income Tax
Act LXXXI of 1996
on Corporate Tax and Dividend Tax
Act XLII of 2000
on Traffic on Waters (Shipping)
Act LXXIX of 2000
on the Promulgation of the International Convention for "the repatriation of sailors" made at the International Labour Conference in 1987
Act LXXVIII of 2000
on the Promulgation of the International Convention for "social security of sailors" made at the International Labour Conference in 1987
Act LXXVII of 2000
on the Promulgation of the International Convention for "medical assistance and health protection for sailors" made at the International Labour Conference in 1987
Act LXXVI of 2000
on the Promulgation of the International Convention "for the welfare of sailors in the harbours and on the sea" made at the International Labour Conference in 1987
Act X of 2001
on the Promulgation of the International Convention for the Prevention of Contamination from Ships "MARPOL 1973/1978"
Act XI of 2001
on the Promulgation of the International Convention for the "life safety on the sea" SOLAS 1974/1978, made in London, on November 1, 1974
Act XXII of 2008
on the Promulgation of the International Convention for the "limitation of liability for maritime claims", made in London on November 19, 1976
Act V of 2013
on the Civil Code
Law Decree 13 of 1979
on International Private Law
Decree 198/2000 (XI.29.) of the Government
on the registry of vessels
Decree 13/2001 (IV.10.) KÃVim, of the Minister of Transport and Water Management
on the conditions of shipping eligibility and suitability of inland waterway floating vessels and on the survey and certification of their working ability
Decree 29/2001 (IX.1.) KÃViM, of the Minister of Transport and Water Management
on the Fees of Shipping Authority
Decree 263/2006 (XII.20.) of the Government
on the National Transport Authority
"Act" means an Act of the Hungarian Parliament.
"Government Decree" means a Decree approved by the Council of Ministers (or the Government in a Cabinet Meeting).
"Decree of a Minister" means a Decree issued by a member of a Government (a Cabinet Minister).
In Hungary, legal rules such as Acts, Government Decrees, as well as decrees of the members of the Government (Cabinet) are not effective until published in the official gazette (Magyar KÃ¶zlÃ¶ny).
The OGSR gratefully acknowledges the kind assistance with the preparation of this summary of
György Antall, partner with
Réti, Antall & Partners Law Firm
The correspondent law firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Hungary
Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 78, H-1055
Telephone: +36-1-461-9888, Fax: +36-1-461-9898
Number of Vessels
Located in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is an archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Bahasa Indonesia, a modified form of Malay, is the official language but English, Dutch and local dialects are widely spoken. The legal system is based on Roman-Dutch law substantially modified by indigenous concepts and by a criminal procedures code.
The Chief of State and Head of Government is the President, and there is a unicameral House of Representatives. Jakarta is the capital. Indonesia is a member of the UN, ASEAN, and the IMO.
The economy is mixed with some socialist institutions and central planning but with emphasis on deregulation and private enterprise. The Law on Government decentralization is now gradually being implemented. Chief exports are manufactured goods and fuels to Japan and the United States. The currency is the Indonesian Rupiah.
The Shipping Law No. 21 of 1992 dated September 17, 1992 covers the maritime matters in Indonesia. This Shipping Act is further implemented by a number of government regulations which specifically regulate certain fields in maritime law, as follows:
• Government Regulation No. 69/2001 replacing Government Regulation No. 70/1996, concerning Harbors;
• Government Regulation No. 1/1998 concerning Investigation of Ship Accidents which gave birth to the existence of the Maritime Investigation Court;
• Government Regulation No. 82/1992 concerning Transportation in Waters (“GR 82/1999”);
• Government Regulation No. 7/2000 concerning Seafarers Affairs;
• Government Regulation No.81/2000 concerning Navigation;
• Government Regulation No. 82/2000 concerning Water Transportation; and
• Government Regulation No. 51/2002 concerning Vessels (“GR 51/2002”).
In addition, Indonesia has ratified the International Convention on Maritime Liens and Mortgage 1993 (“Convention”) based on the Presidential Regulation No. 44 of 2005.
According to Article 19 of GR 51/2002 and its elucidation, the vessel registration shall cover the registration of
• right of ownership;
• hypothec encumbrance; and
• any other in rem rights over the vessels, such as: bareboat charter and leasing.
The vessel registration shall be recorded in the Indonesian vessel list consisting of
• Daily Registry;
• Master Registry; and
• Central Registry.
The Daily Registry and Master Registry shall be conducted and maintained in every place of vessels registration, while the Central Registry shall be centrally conducted and maintained in the place determined by the Minister of Communications. In this regards, the Minister of Communications has issued a Decree No. KM 14 of 1996 dated March 29, 1996 as amended by Decree No. KM 1 of 2002 dated January 14, 2002 (the “KM/1996”) concerning Simplification of Procedures of Vessels Procurement and Registration which intends to simplify the vessel registration requirements and procedures
Number of Vessels
Ireland, a member of the EU, UN and IMO, is comprised of 26 counties occupying five-sixths of an island in the North Atlantic Ocean to the west of Great Britain. Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, comprises the northeastern sixth of the island. Most of Ireland's population is descended from the Celts. Gaelic, a modern form of ancient Celtic, and English are the official languages. A republic with its capital in Dublin, Ireland has a legal system based on English common law, as modified by statute since the country gained its independence, but subject to a Constitution (Bunreacht Na hireann).
Ireland's economy was agricultural until the 1950s, when a period of rapid industrialization began. Today, exports of chemicals, data processing equipment, and industrial machinery are the mainstays of the economy. Ireland's unit of currency is the Euro, and its major trading partners are other Member States of the EU and the United States.
The Mercantile Marine Act, 1955, together with regulations made under that Act, governs ship registration. The Irish shipping and shipping services sector has its own dedicated development office, the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO). The IMDO operates under the aegis of the Marine Institute.
Number of Vessels
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man is located off the coast of Great Britain, in the Irish Sea. A self-governing British Crown dependency, the Isle of Man is not part of the United Kingdom but forms part of the British Isles. Its own Parliament controls all internal issues affecting the Island, while the United Kingdom acts on its behalf in international matters. The Isle of Man is not a full member of the EU, but it does have a special relationship that permits freedom of trade between the Island and the EU countries.
The capital is Douglas, English is spoken and the currency is the British pound. International banking, manufacturing, and tourism are the principal sectors of the economy. The United Kingdom is the major trading partner.
It is a busy offshore commercial and financial center with a wide range of sophisticated facilities, among them fund, trust and company management, insurance, including captive insurance and project finance.
The Isle of Man has a long established maritime industry, its first ships being registered in 1786. Manx vessels fly the British Red Ensign and as such are entitled to all British support including consular services throughout the world. If they wish, those registered owners resident in the Isle of Man may fly on their ship the Red Ensign incorporating the "Three Legs of Man."
Manx ships are within the regulatory jurisdiction of the Isle of Man's Ship Registry and are subject to the Merchant Shipping legislation in force from time to time in the Isle of Man, including the Merchant Shipping Registration Act 1991 covering vessel registration.
Number of Vessels
Established in 1948, Israel is located in the Middle East bordering the Mediterranean Sea between Egypt and Lebanon. A republic, Israel is a UN and IMO member with its capital at Jerusalem. The legal system is a mixture of English common law, British mandate regulations, and, in personal matters, the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim legal systems. The Chief of State is the President and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister; there is a unicameral parliament.
Hebrew is the official language, and English and Arabic are also spoken. Israel has a market economy with government intervention. Its agricultural and industrial sectors have developed rapidly over the last 20 years, and the nation is largely self-sufficient in food production except grain. The unit of currency is the Israeli shekel. Major trading partners include the EU, the United States, and Japan; exports include machinery and equipment, cut diamonds, and chemicals.
The Shipping and Ports Authority within the Ministry of Transport and Road Safety oversees vessel registration. The relevant legislation is the Vessels' Ordinance (Mortgage & Transfer) 1948; the Shipping Law (Vessels) 1960; the Shipping Law (Regulations of Building & Measurements) 1961; and the Shipping Law (Regulations of Registration) 1962.
Number of Vessels
In southern Europe, Italy is a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea bordering upon France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The Republic of Italy also includes the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. It is one of six founding members of the European Community, and a member of the OECD, UN, and IMO. The capital is Rome, and the form of government is that of a parliamentary republic, with the President of the Council of Ministers who is responsible for the administration of the country; the bicameral Parliament; and the President of the Republic who is the head of the country vested with some limited powers. Italy's economic success is attributable to many medium and small enterprises which have supported the economy of the country for the past 60 years. Though the economy is based on private enterprise, there is a significant government involvement in some industrial and commercial activities even if it has been reduced in the last few years following privatisation. Major trading partners include the EU countries and the United States. Chief exports include metals, textiles and clothing, production machinery, wine and motor vehicles. The unit of currency is the Euro.
The Italian Code of Navigation regulates shipping, and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport oversees vessels’ registrations. There are several local ship registries located with the various Ports Authorities throughout Italy
In 1997 – 1998, through the law Acts 30.12.1997 no. 457 and 27.2.1998 no. 30, Italy established an International Registry. These Acts have introduced some amendments to the Navigation Code, which clarify the position.
The International Shipping Registry is divided into 3 sections:
• The first section is dedicated to vessels owned (more than 12 ship shares out of a total of 24) by an Italian or EU individual or company.
• The second section pertains to vessels, new buildings or vessels coming from a foreign registry, belonging to a non-EU individual or company who takes over the effective control of the ship directly through a permanent structure based in Italy, managed by an Italian or EU individual or company (domiciled in the place of registration of the vessel). This Italian/EU individual or company assumes all responsibilities for dealings with the Italian administrative authorities through a declaration to be submitted to the registration office.
• The third section is for vessels belonging to not EU subjects and temporary suspended from a non EU registry as a result of a bareboat to an Italian or EU subject.
Apart from the special rules provided for by the Act No. 457 (regarding the fiscal and labor regime), the vessels registered in the International Registry must comply with the same international provisions, regulations, and conventions of the Italian first registry vessels. The law of the temporary dismissed flag country rules mortgages on vessels entered into the third section of International registry ("bareboat in vessels") – see sect. 8 and 14 d. P.R. 21.2.1990 no 60.
Number of Vessels
The island of Jamaica is situated in the Caribbean Sea to the southwest of Cuba and has a population of approximately 2.5 million. A former British colony, the country gained its independence in 1962 and is now an independent parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth. The Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II who is represented in Jamaica by the Governor-General. The branches of government are: the Legislature, (consisting of a Senate and House of Representatives); the Executive, (Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister); and the Judiciary, which is independent of both the Legislature and the Executive.
Kingston is the capital of Jamaica and the legal tender is the Jamaican Dollar (J$). The principal port is Kingston; however the Port of Registry is Montego Bay.
Registration of ships in Jamaica is governed by the Jamaica Shipping Act 1998 which established the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), the body that administers the Registry and is responsible for the development of shipping generally. The Act came into force in January 1999 and is closely modeled on current English legislation. Unless otherwise stated, references to sections in this chapter are references to sections in the Act.
Number of Vessels
Japan is an island chain located in eastern Asia between the north Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan east of the Korean peninsula. It is a constitutional monarchy and a member of the OECD, the UN, and the IMO. The capital is Tokyo, and the Japanese language is spoken. The head of government is the Prime Minister, and there is a bicameral Diet. The Emperor is the chief of state in symbolic sense and without political power.
Japan is known for its strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and remarkable government/industry cooperation. It has one of the most powerful economies in the world. Major trading partners are the Southeast Asia, the United States, and Western Europe, and chief exports are manufactures including machinery, motor vehicles, and consumer electronics. The unit of currency is the yen.
The Ship's Registration Rule ("Senpaku-Toki-Kisoku") regulates registrations in the Tokisho for the recording of vessel ownership, while the Ship's Law ("Senpaku-Hou") and its enforcement regulations cover registrations in the "Chihou-unyukyoku", an administrative register for determining the tax on a vessel.
Number of Vessels
Jersey is a British crown dependency but is not part of the UK or of the European Union. However, the UK Government is constitutionally responsible for its defense and international representation. It is one of the Channel Islands located in the English Channel between the UK and France. The British Register of Ships in Jersey is the largest Category 2 registry in the Red Ensign Group.
The island has specific tax, ownership and Social Security advantages for its ships and for crew employment contracts managed under Jersey Law. It is not part of the EU Social Security or VAT regimes. EU resident users may prefer to pay VAT on importation into the Union. Alternatively, temporary importation into the EU is available for all yachts for 18 months at a time. This makes the Jersey registry ideal for non-EU owners whether they wish to sail in EU waters or worldwide.
On 26 November 2013 the Shipping Register in Jersey took a major step towards being a fully open register – A new MOU with the United Kingdom’s MCA was been signed so that the Island can register commercial vessels, including workboats, up to 399 gt. (The previous limit was just 150gt). This followed an amending Order in Council made in May and local Jersey legislation passed in November. It is also the culmination of developments which have seen the appointment of the Island’s Marine Surveyor and agreements being reached with Recognised Organisations such as Lloyd's Register and RINA. The MOU lays down ship safety standards, quality objectives and a delegation matrix which are all in line with full Category 1 jurisdictions such as the Isle of Man and the Cayman Islands so this move lays the groundwork for future expansion should the Island want it. In the meantime, the advantages of Jersey as an efficient pragmatic British Register which lies outside the EU continue to be appreciated and the Registry has already seen growth of over 10% this year ahead of this expansion.
The Small Ships Register
The Small Ships Register (SSR) is an inexpensive and simple method to show where your ship is registered when you enter international waters or foreign ports. The SSR is only applicable to Jersey residents.
Registration with the SSR costs less than full registration but it does not provide proof of ownership and a marine mortgage cannot be recorded. If you require this, you should apply for full registration.
Number of Vessels
Located in the Middle East northwest of Saudi Arabia, Jordan is a constitutional and democratic monarchy with its capital at Amman. The King is the Chief of State and the Prime Minister is the Head of Government. There is a bicameral National Assembly, and the legal system is based on the French Law. Arabic is the official language, but English is understood by the vast majority of the people. Jordan is a full member of the United Nations, the Arab League, and the IMO, as well as member of the World Trade Organization WTO. Jordan benefited from increased Arab aid during the oil boom of the late 1970s and early 1980s when its gross national product grew at an annual rate of more than 10%. Since then, Jordan's economy has experienced several problems and rebounds. The principal exports are phosphates, fertilizers, potash and agricultural products, and chief trading partners are the EU, United States, Iraq, Japan, and Turkey. The unit of currency is the Jordanian Dinar JD. Aqaba is the only port in the country and it is a Free Zone Area Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZA).
The law which governs Jordan's maritime industry is the Maritime Commercial Law No. (12) year 1972, chapter (3) article (10) to article (42), based on Napoleon's French Civil Code. In addition, the Encouragement of Investment Law No. (16) year 1995 gives investors great benefits in order to invest in Jordan. The Registry is administered by the Ports Corporation in Aqaba.
Number of Vessels
The Republic of Kenya is located in Eastern Africa bordering the Indian Ocean between Somalia and Tanzania and has a coastal line of 640 kilometers. The President is the Chief of State and Head of Government, and there is a unicameral National Assembly. The legal system is based on English common law, tribal law, and Islamic law. The capital is Nairobi, and English and Swahili are both official languages. Kenya is a member of the UN, the IMO, the OAU, and the Commonwealth of Nations. Kenya’s chief exports are tea and coffee, and its major trading partners are the EC countries. The currency is the Kenyan shilling.
In pursuit of its agenda in maritime transport and to further strengthen its maritime administration, the Government of Kenya established Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) in 2004, for the purpose of transferring areas of responsibility over shipping concerns from the Merchant Shipping Department of Kenya Ports Authority to an independent Governmental Authority (parastatal). Thus KMA under the Incorporation Order is responsible for Port and Flag State implementation of various international instruments relating to maritime transport. The Authority aims to broaden and modernize the institutional and legal framework for the implementation of maritime safety, security and the preservation of the marine environment.
National maritime legislation remains one of the primary tools for attaining international standards in safety and security and the preservation of the marine environment. Only through such regulations can the Government enforce international maritime conventions, especially those emanating from the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Such rules and regulations are also relevant for the implementation of national maritime safety, security and marine environment conventions/programmes.
A relevant development to KMA’s mandate and activities is the Kenya Government’s decision on private sectors’ involvement in the operations of Mombasa Port. In this context there shall be a need to update and revise national commercial maritime legislation to complement the activities of KMA by taking on board recent developments in the international maritime field. Commercial legislation will also enhance the development especially of an international vibrant shipping industry and help the Government not only achieve its objectives under the current Poverty Reduction Strategy but also the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
The statutes that guide the operations of Kenya Maritime Authority are the KMA Act 2006 and the Merchant Shipping Act, 2009 which came into effect on 1st September 2009. Establishment of KMA therefore marked a major milestone in Kenya's maritime industry.
Number of Vessels
Latvia is situated on the eastern shore of the Baltic sea, sharing borders with Lithuania to the south, Estonia to the north and Russia to the east and Belarus to the southeast. The area of Latvia totals 64,000 square kilometers with 500 kilometers of coastline. The population is about 2 million people, of which 61,4% are Latvians. The capital of Latvia is Riga. Latvia is divided into four historical regions: Vidzeme, Kurzeme, Latgale and Zemgale. The official language is Latvian.
Latvia is a democratic republic. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of the Republic and is the head of the government. The President of Latvia is elected by the Parliament for four year term. The President has more like representative function especially as regards to state`s foreign policy, although he has rights to initiate new legislation acts and block some parliamentary decisions.
After the restoration of independence in September 1991, Latvia has sought to join various international organizations. In April of 2004 Latvia became a member of NATO and in May of 2004, a member of the European Union. Latvia is also a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). From 2014 the currency is EUR.
The legislation regulating shipping in Latvia, and ships registration in particular, is the following:
* Civil Law from 1937
* Maritime Code from 2003
* Cabinet Regulations on registration of ships in Latvian Ship Register from 06 June 2006
and other bylaws adopted by Government
Number of Vessels
The Liberian Registry has been in successful operation for over 67 years. It is the second largest registry in the world, measured by gross vessel tonnage, representing over 14 percent of the world’s ocean-going fleet with nearly 4,000 ships of more than 185 million gross tons. As the world’s premier open ship registry, the Liberian Maritime Program is renowned for quality, efficiency, safety and service. Liberia is recognized at the top of every industry “white-list” including the International Maritime Organization and the major Port State Control authorities such as the US Coast Guard and the Paris and Tokyo MOU regimes.
The Liberian Registry is administered by LISCR, LLC, the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry, a U.S. owned and operated company that provides the day-to-day management for the Republic of Liberia's ship and corporate registry. LISCR is recognized globally for its professionalism and commitment to safe and secure shipping as well as its proficient administration of one of the most efficient, technologically advanced and tax effective offshore corporate registries in the world. The Liberian Registry, headquartered in Vienna, Virginia (outside Washington, D.C.) maintains offices in Dubai, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Monrovia, New York, Virginia, Panama City, Piraeus, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Zurich. It also maintains dedicated representatives in Bergen, Houston, Leer, Limassol, and Rio de Janeiro.
The Registry provides its clients with 24-hour service making it the value-added partner for quality shipowners and shipmanagers in the demanding environment of the global shipping industry. In addition to its regional offices in the major maritime centers of the world, the Liberian Registry is also supported by a worldwide network of more than 400 nautical inspectors and auditors. This global infrastructure ensures that there is always someone available to provide assistance and service anywhere in the world.
Advantages of the Liberian Registry
• Shipping Industry Leader
• Quality Reputation - White Listed in Every Port State Control Jurisdiction
• Recognized for Quality by Oil Majors, OCIMF, CDI and Rightship Inspection Regimes
• Global Service Network – Experienced, Responsive and Practical
• Staff of Shipping Experts, Not Bureaucrats
• Technical and Program Innovations
• First Class Customer Service
History of Liberia's Maritime Program
Located in western Africa bordering the North Atlantic Ocean between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone, Liberia was established in 1847 by freed American slaves. The only African country to have escaped European colonization, it is a member of the OAU, the UN, the IMO and the ILO. English is the official language, and the capital is Monrovia. There is a dual system of statutory law based on Anglo-American common law and customary law based on unwritten tribal practices for indigenous sector.
The Liberian Registry, established in 1948 by former U.S. Secretary of State Edward Stettinius, is recognized as one of the foremost open ship and corporate registries. During the past 67 years, the country's commitment to safe shipping has remained steadfast.
The Liberian Registry is a sovereign maritime jurisdiction responsible for the registration, regulatory enforcement, and safety of ocean-going ships. The Registry establishes identification details for ships and records legally enforceable documents, such as mortgages and bills of sale.
The Registry is also responsible for the enforcement of maritime treaties, including Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS); Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL); and the Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). The Ship Registry runs in parallel with the Liberian Corporate Registry, which performs the same functions as the corporate registration service of any other government.
Since its inception, the Liberian Registry has been operated from the United States. This further strengthens the U.S.-Liberia alliance and provides the Registry the ability to participate in the international arena with key industry institutions such as the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Liberian Registry is strong and growing. The dedication and commitment of quality owners bringing in new acquisitions and new construction vessels ensures that this trend will continue.
Benefits of the Liberian Registry
Vessel Construction: The Liberian Registry does not require vessels to be constructed by a particular nation. Shipowners have the freedom to search and solicit shipbuilders solely on commercial considerations, such as competence, experience and price.
Vessel Manning: Manning requirements specified by the Liberian Registry are based exclusively on competence, international recognition and safe operation. Many national registries require manning by citizens of the country of registry. This promotes higher wages, inflated labor costs and overheads, excessive bureaucracy, and the potential for interference from organized labor.
Harmonized Audits: The Liberian Registry is the first and so far the only major open registry to have trained a worldwide network of lead auditors in both the International Safety Management (ISM) and International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Codes.
Verification and Certification Services for MLC 2006 (Maritime Labour Convention) Compliance: Liberia provides full compliance services, including approval of shipowners’ Declaration of Maritime Labor Compliance Part II and vessel certification. Highly competitive block fee arrangements with fleet discounts ensure value for service. Also offered are in-house training for operators and recruitment services and workshops and gap analysis to assist shipowners and operators and expedite verification of the company’s measures for compliance.
Ship Financing: The mortgage-recording regime of the Liberian Registry is internationally recognized and acceptable to banks from many jurisdictions, allowing the best opportunity to obtain the most favorable financing.
Ease of Registration: The pre-registration formalities are user friendly, designed to meet international standards in relation to safety and documentation but not to delay operations. Bareboat registration in and out is permitted and no restraints are placed on a ship wishing to transfer out of the Registry.
Asset Protection / Ownership Flexibility: Unlike many national registers, the Liberian Registry recognizes the need and actively protects the opportunities for asset protection. The Corporate Register of Liberia allows the use of and maintains the integrity of single purpose corporate vehicles. Likewise, the Corporate Register must continue to offer flexible corporate vehicles to ensure that specific ownership options are available to meet the needs of the multitude of shipowning structures.
Tax Sensible Jurisdiction: Vessels in the Liberian Registry are taxed annually with a fixed fee based on the net tonnage of the vessel. Similarly, Liberian Corporations have a fixed annual tax. Taxes on operations and profit are not assessed.
Double Taxation Treaties: Double taxation is avoided in nearly all major shipping business areas due to tax recognition treaties established between Liberia and most countries.
Strategic Agreements: The Liberia/China Agreement on Maritime Transport provides that Liberian flag vessels will be charged the preferential rate for tonnage dues when visiting any port in China. The preferential rate savings equates to a 28% discount for each vessel's tonnage dues.
Acceptable Flag for EU Tonnage Tax Schemes: The Liberian Flag is an acceptable choice for many of the new Tonnage Tax Schemes currently being offered in the EU, including the UK, German and Dutch tax systems.
Depreciation Principles: Ocean shipping requires the use of capital-intensive investments. Due to the varying market conditions and demand for ocean transportation services, many shipowners have difficult years without profit. With recognition of alternative jurisdictions, Liberia offers depreciation alternatives not available with most national registers. This in turn allows flexibility with respect to Profit & Loss reporting.
Vessel Surveys: Liberia has authorized qualifying classification societies to conduct the full range of statutory surveys during attendance for routine classification surveys. Qualifying classification societies are not restricted to a particular national society. This provides cost savings, reduction of bureaucracy and operational/scheduling flexibility for shipowners.
Customer Service: The Liberian Registry is administered by a U.S. owned and operated company and managed by industry professionals who understand the business of shipping. Likewise, significant investments in technology are being made to ensure superior service and convenience. In addition to the Registry’s offices located in major shipping centers, there is also a network of more than 400 nautical inspectors and auditors, who are available to attend vessels when needed.
Safe and Quality Reputation: Year in and year out, the independent statistics of underwriters, Port State Control Authorities, seafarer advocates and salvage institutions all recognize Liberia as having a quality reputation of standards.
Security: The post-9/11 world has brought new responsibilities for commercial shipping and maritime administrations. The Liberian Registry has been on the leading edge of the development and implementation of the IMO’s ISPS Code. Liberia believes in a practical and low-cost approach to ensuring security conscious shipping. A network of approximately 150 security inspectors attends vessels when needed.
Adoption and Enforcement of International Regulations: Participation in the UN bodies of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) is another important factor for respectable ship registries. Liberia is known for its international involvement in ensuring the development of practical new regulations when necessary. Likewise, Liberia ratifies important conventions, enacts domestic legislation in support of safety, pollution prevention and seafarers’ welfare, and ensures equitable enforcement of these scriptures.
Liberian Shipowners’ Council (LSC): Liberia is one of the few open registries with an independent shipowners' council. The LSC provides member shipowners with a venue to monitor and address problems facing the industry and to share and exchange information and ideas. The LSC is also a member of the International Chamber of Shipping, and the International Shipping Federation (the only maritime employer association who can represent shipowners at the International Labour Organization). As such, Liberian Shipowners are able to benefit from the valuable services of this leading industry institution. Link to LSC Brochure
Pricing: The Liberian Registry offers professional service at a competitive price. Savings realized by use of technology are passed back to clients of the Registry.
Number of Vessels
Lithuania is situated on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea bordering Latvia, Belarus, Poland, and Russia. The official language is Lithuanian, and the capital is Vilnius. The Republic is a full member of the United Nations. The President is the Chief of State, and the Premier is the Head of Government. There is a unicameral Seimas (Parliament). The legal system is based on civil law. The monetary unit is the Lithuanian Litas.
Since acquiring independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, Lithuania has made steady progress in developing a market economy. Much of the state property has been privatized, and trade is diversifying.
The laws which govern Lithuanian ships registration include the Regulations on Registration of Seagoing Ships of the Republic of Lithuania (2005), the Maritime Safety Law of the Republic of Lithuania (2005), and the Merchant Shipping Law of the Republic of Lithuania (1996), among other legislation.
Number of Vessels
Located in Western Europe between France and Germany, Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy and a member of the EC, NATO, the OECD, the Benelux Union, the UN, and the IMO. The capital is also called Luxembourg. The chief of state is the Grand Duke with a Prime Minister as the head of government. There is a unicameral Chamber of Deputies. The legal system is based on civil law. Luxembourgisch, German, French, and English are spoken.
Luxembourg's economy is stable and prosperous. Small but highly productive family owned farms dominate the agricultural sector. Steel production, and the plastics and chemical industries are important. Banking and other financial services account for a growing proportion of the economy. Major trading partners are the EC countries, The Euro is the unit of currency.
A country without a historical maritime tradition, Luxembourg adopted a complete body of maritime legislation and established its own ship register in November 1990 as governed by the Luxembourg Maritime Act, 1990 and amended in June 1994. The 1990 law creating the public shipping register was amended on June 17, 1994. Responsibility for the establishment of the Luxembourg Register lay with the Ministry of Economy and External Trade, and the management of the Register was assumed by the Maritime Commissioner.
In 2012, the YCF Group established EuroFlag Services (EFS) for the purpose of offering Bareboat Charter Registration under the Luxembourg Ship Registry.
As a solution to the EU Flag Requirement, EFS carries out comprehensive ship registration and management services specifically for shipowners seeking to register vessels with the Luxembourg Flag.
Number of Vessels
An Autonomous Region of Portugal, Madeira is an island located off the coast of southwestern Europe, approximately 625 miles from Lisbon and 545 miles off the coast of Africa. Portugal is a member of the UN, NATO, the IMO, and the OECD, and it is expressly provided that all international conventions ratified by Portugal shall be complied with by Madeira. Portuguese is spoken, and the currency is the Euro.
The International Shipping Register of Madeira (MAR) was established by decree in 1989. Together with the Industrial Free Zone, the Financial Services, and the International Services Centre, it comprises what is known as Madeira's International Business Centre (IBC). The IBC is not a fixed location but a concept that geographically encompasses the whole of Madeira creating a business centre. MAR has been declared as Portugal's second register and all ships joining MAR fly the Portuguese flag.
MAR, as a Portuguese register, is among the international registers of the highest quality, having guaranteed adequate measures to ensure an efficient surveillance of all vessels registered. All international conventions ratified by Portugal are fully applicable to and respected by MAR. MAR is included in the White List of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding.
The law which governs Madeira ship registrations is Decree-Law no. 96/89 of the 28th of March, further amended by Decree-Law no. 393/93 of the 23rd of November and Decree-Law n. 31/97 the 28th of January. The latter Decree-Laws introduced some important modifications to the former including the authorization for the registration of pleasure yachts at the International Shipping Register of Madeira.
The Portugese Institute for Ports and Shipping (IPTM) serves as the maritime Administration for MAR. The IPTM also supervises a "conventional register," yet it is much smaller than MAR, hosting only about fifteen vessels compared to the MAR's 160 vessels.
Number of Vessels
Located in southeastern Asia, Malaysia is a federation of thirteen states comprising eleven from Peninsula Malaysia and two from the island of Borneo (Sabah and Sarawak). The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, and the official language is Malay. Malaysia was a colony of the British Empire until 1957. Today it is a constitutional monarchy. The Paramount Ruler is the Chief of State and the Prime Minister is the Head of Government. There is a bicameral parliament. The legal system is based on English common law. Malaysia is a member of the Commonwealth, ASEAN, the UN, and the IMO.
The Malaysian economy is a mixture of private enterprise and a well-managed public sector. Chief trading partners are Singapore and the United States. Principal exports are electronic equipment, petroleum and petroleum products, palm oil, and wood and wood products. The currency is the ringgit.
Registration of ships in Malaysia follows an almost identical practice as in the United Kingdom from which most of the existing Malaysian maritime laws and administrative practices are derived. The law governing ship registration is the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952.
The Directorate General of the Marine Department oversees the Malaysian Ship Registry, the Malaysian International Ship Registry, as well as the Langkawi International Yacht Registry.
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Building on its long and varied maritime tradition, Malta, a member of the European Union, has today established itself as one of the leading maritime hubs and service centres in the Mediterranean region. Placed to become an international centre of excellence in the maritime industry, the Island offers a whole range of international maritime services and facilities as part of a comprehensive package for the maritime industry.
Maritime Malta has also developed a very strong legal and regulatory platform that has enabled the Malta flag to become a reputable international ship register which is now established as one of the largest in the world.
Vessel registration under the Malta flag and the operation of Maltese ships is regulated by the Merchant Shipping Act of 1973, a law based in the main on United Kingdom legislation but subsequently revised and amended in 1986, 1988, 1990, 2000 and 2010. The main legislation is supplemented by a comprehensive set of rules and regulations.
The Malta Flag formally came into existence as an ‘open’ register in 1973 with the promulgation of the Merchant Shipping Act, Chapter 234 of the Laws of Malta. It has experienced significant and constant growth since inception and has now established itself amongst the largest registries in the world in terms of tonnage. The phasing out of single hull tankers has significantly lowered the average age of the fleet and Malta’s accession to the European Union in 2004 has gone a long way in adding its attraction to operators and charterers alike. The administration of the Malta Registry of Shipping and Seamen is now, more than ever, giving increasing and fundamental importance to safety of life at sea and the prevention of pollution as well as compliance with international maritime conventions.
The Malta Registry of Shipping and Seamen (the “Registry”) is administered by the Merchant Shipping Directorate of the Authority for Transport in Malta.
The Merchant Shipping Act provides that the homeport of every Maltese vessel shall be VALLETTA. Furthermore, the flag set out hereunder is the proper maritime flag for all Maltese vessels. It consists of a red field bordered in white, with a Maltese Cross at its centre.
It is important that the owners and masters of Malta Flag vessels ensure that the homeport VALLETTA is marked on and the national colours hoisted on board Maltese vessels.
Advantages to Shipowners using Malta Fla
• European Flag with a long maritime tradition.
• 24 hour, 7 days a week service
• Reputable and internationally recognised ship Register.
• No exchange control authorisations are required for the purpose of incorporating or operating a shipping company insofar as 80% or more of the shares are owned by non-residents; this also applies to the taking of security for loans or other facilities over Maltese-registered vessels owned by companies registered locally;
• Ships may be registered in the name of legally constituted corporate bodies or entities irrespective of nationality, or by a European Union citizen.
• On the White List of the Paris MoU and Tokyo MoU and on the Low Risk Ship List of the Paris MoU.
• No nationality restrictions for master, officers and crew.
• No trading restrictions and preferential treatment to Maltese ships in certain ports.
• No hidden costs and no inspection fees.
• Customer service oriented approach that values long term customer relationships.
• Well-organised and highly responsive flag Administration with one of the largest registers in the world and very active in European Union fora and international organisations.
• Maltese requirements well known to main shipyards and main classification societies.
• Marriages can be officiated onboard Maltese ships.
• A clear strategic political vision supporting business and the maritime industry.
• Availability of a whole range of maritime services including very reputable and experienced legal and corporate services supporting registration, management and administration.
• Backed up by a professional shipping registry that values long term customer relationships.
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The Republic of the Marshall Islands is situated nearly midway between Hawaii and the Philippines, and is the easternmost island group in Micronesia. The capital city is Majuro. The country consists of two parallel chains of atolls and islands in the central Pacific Ocean, known as the Ratak (Sunrise) chain and Ralik (Sunset) chain. Together, the Marshall Islands is comprised of approximately 1,225 islands and islets, which spread across an ocean area of 1.9 million square kilometers.
British Naval Captain John William Marshall gave his name to the area now known as the Marshall Islands in the 1700s. However, the islands have been under the control of various nations throughout the last few centuries including Spain from the late 1400s to the late 1800s, Germany from 1885 to World War I and Japan from 1914 to World War II. After World War II, the Marshall Islands became a part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under United States (US) administration.
The Government of the Marshall Islands was officially established in 1978 following the signing of the Constitution, which represents a blend of the US and British models of government. The islands gained their independence in 1986 after signing the Compact of Free Association with the US. The Marshall Islands became a full member of the United Nations in 1991, and has since established diplomatic relations with most of the world's major maritime and industrial nations.
Agricultural production is concentrated on small farms and the most important commercial crops are coconuts and breadfruit. Small-scale industry is limited to handicrafts, tuna processing, and copra. The Marshall Islands also has a small but growing tourist industry. The monetary unit is the US dollar.
The Marshall Islands Registry
The Marshallese have been a seafaring people for millennia and it is a natural extension of that maritime heritage that the Republic of the Marshall Islands would develop a modern, efficient maritime administration that is globally recognized for professionalism, contributions to the safety and security of shipping and efforts to protect the marine environment. In choosing an administrator for the Registry, the Marshall Islands turned to International Registries, Inc. (IRI), the world's oldest non-governmental flag State administrator, which now has over 60 years experience.
As an active member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Marshall Islands has ratified and implemented all key international conventions and instruments. It continually strives to promote the quality of vessels in its Registry, and those operating under the Marshall Islands flag achieve the highest ratings in the port State control (PSC) international rankings. In fact, the Marshall Islands Registry is the only major open registry to be included on the White Lists of both the Paris and Tokyo MoUs and to hold Qualship 21 status with the US Coast Guard for four consecutive years.
Through the Registry's decentralized organization with 20 full-service offices located in maritime and financial centers around the world, the Registry offers an around-the-clock duty officer system and real time support to vessels flying its flag. Under the Maritime Act, a ship may be registered and a mortgage, Bill of Sale or related instrument in proper form may be recorded at any of the Registry's worldwide offices.
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Mauritius is an island of volcanic origin estimated to have been formed some 70 million years ago. It is situated in the West of the Indian Ocean between latitudes 19°58' and 20°32' South and longitudes 57°17' and 59°46' East. Its land area of 1865 square kilometers also has jurisdiction over the islands of Rodrigues, Agalega and St. Brandon.
On account of the island's remoteness from large land masses and the influence of the Southeast Trade Winds which bring marine air throughout the year, the climate is sub tropical and warm and pleasant all year round. Cyclones occur during the summer months (October to March). They may be disruptive but an efficient weather system provides forecasts, information and advice. Mauritius Standard Time is GMT +4.
Formerly uninhabited, Mauritius was discovered in the early 16th century by the Portuguese who, however, made no serious attempt at settlement. In 1688, the Dutch occupied the island but abandoned it in 1710. The Dutch named Mauritius after the Dutch prince, Maurice Van Nassau. The French took possession of the island and called it Isle de France. They developed the island rapidly until 1810 when it was handed over to the British and officially became a British colony in 1815. It became an independent country within the Commonwealth in 1968.
The population of Mauritius stands at slightly above 1 million. The rate of growth of the population is estimated at 0.8 % per annum and population density is 616 persons per square kilometer. Notwithstanding its size, the country embraces a great diversity of people of Indian, African, Chinese and European origin. The result is a mosaic of racial groups, cultures and religions which co-exist in a peaceful and enviable harmony. Not surprisingly, the languages spoken are as varied as the people, while English is the official language, French is commonly used in everyday life. However, Creole is the lingua franca and is understood by one and all.
Mauritius is internationally recognized as one of the few open and stable democracies among the developing countries. The Republic of Mauritius has a presidential democracy. The President is the Head of the State and Commander in Chief. The Prime Minister acts as Head of Government, with full executive power.
Internal transport is entirely dominated by vehicle traffic. Cheap public transport is provided by bus and taxi services which operate in all areas. The focal point of sea transport is Port Louis harbor that is situated in the Northwest of the island. It is a modern and efficient port which provides a wide range of cargo handling and harbor facilities including the handling of containers, petroleum products, fertilizers, cement, edible oil, etc. Transhipment facilities with a free storage period of 14 calendar days are available. In 2006, over 5 million tons of cargo were handled through the port.
There are regular sailings of cargo vessels between Mauritius and the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, the Far East, Australia, the U.S.A. and Canada. Air traffic operates from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam international airport, which is situated in the Southeast of the island and is about an hour's drive from Port Louis. The continuing rapid growth of cargo and passenger traffic has necessitated the extension of the cargo terminal and the construction of a new terminal building.
The major airlines serving the island are Air Mauritius, Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air India, Singapore Airline, Cathay Pacific, Zambia Airways, South African Airways, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic Airways.
The island is covered by a telephone network that is fully digitalized with computer controlled electronic exchanges. A network of optical fiber cable has been installed. The system provides International Direct Dialing (IDD) facilities to all subscribers and access to the Internet. Mauritius is able to provide international gateway facilities to many countries. Mauritius is not just a tourist paradise. A ride inside the country will show you a nationwide beehive of industries with thousands of skilled men and women busily engaged in a spectacular industrial revolution.
Several key factors have contributed to our industrial development. These are: political stability within a democratic framework on the Westminster model, excellent air and sea connections, sophisticated communication facilities plugged into the world network, an educated workforce, bilingual in English and French. Mauritius is now embarking on the second phase of its industrial program in order to diversify its economy.
Apart from the industrial revolution, Mauritius has established sector services such as a centre for offshore business and a free port authority. The centre for offshore activities is providing a variety of schemes that can use Mauritius as a base to be involved in investment around the world. The Free Port Authority is becoming a platform to serve the Indian Ocean regions and the African countries with goods not only from Mauritius but also from any part of the world.
The Merchant Shipping Act has recently been amended to make the registry most attractive. The salient features of the Register of Mauritius Ships are described in this directory.
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Mexico is one of the world’s largest countries with a surface of 1,964,375 square kilometers of land and 3,149,920 square kilometers of sea. Mexico is a federal republic divided into thirty-one (31) states and a federal district (seat of the federal powers). The executive power is the president who is elected for a period of six years without reelection. The legislative power is divided into two parliamentary chambers (representatives and senate). The judicial power is headed by the Supreme Court of Justice.
The legal system of Mexico follows the pattern of codified law based on the Napoleonic Civil Code. The laws are generally contained in codes, both at federal and state level. Most of the provisions which are relevant to a foreign investor, such as commerce, corporations, foreign investment, labor, intellectual property, tax and maritime matters are regulated by federal statutes.
Mexico is the world’s fourteenth (14th) largest economy. The Mexican economy reached an average growth rate of four percent (4%) of the Gross Domestic Product in 2011 and inflation was around three point eighty two percent (3.82%). For the year 2012 the Gross Domestic Product grew four percent (4%) for the first quarter of the year and inflation reached three point zero-seven percent (3.07%). This information was published by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit on the first days of May.
On June 1, 2006, the new Mexican Navigation and Maritime Commerce Law (Ley de Navegación y Comercio Marítimos) (“NL”) was enacted with the purpose of strengthening maritime commerce in Mexico and enhancing business opportunities for Mexican shipping companies.
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Moldova, officially the Republic of Moldova is a state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North and East. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The nation is a parliamentary republic with a President as Head of State and a Prime Minister as Head of Government. Moldova is a member state of the United Nations, Council of Europe, WTO, OSCE, GUAM, CIS, BSEC and other international organizations. Moldova currently aspires to join the European Union, and has implemented the first three-year Action Plan within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy.
Ship Registration in the State Register of Ships of the Republic of Moldova is governed by the Merchant Maritime Code (30.09.1999) and performed by the "Harbor Master Giurgiulesti."
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Located in Western Europe bordering the North Sea, Belgium, and Germany, the Netherlands is a Dutch-speaking constitutional monarchy and a member of the EC, the OECD, the UN, and the IMO. Amsterdam is the capital and The Hague is the seat of government.
The Chief of State is the Queen, and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister. There is a bicameral legislature called the Staten Generaal. The legal system is based on civil law. The economy is highly developed and affluent and is based on private enterprise. The trade and financial services sector contributes to over half of the country's Gross National Product. The Netherlands has an open banking system under the control of the Dutch Central Bank which is practically unhindered by exchange control regulations. Several banks provide a wide variety of ship financing possibilities in the euro and/or foreign currencies.
The Netherlands export various goods to its main trading partners the EC and the U.S. with Rotterdam as its international distribution centre, being the largest port in the world and gateway to Europe.
Over the past years the tonnage registered under Dutch flag has grown significantly, yet maintaining its high standard because of the successful policy of the Dutch government which maritime policy included improvement of facilities, safety and tax incentives.
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New Zealand is made up of two major islands and several smaller ones and is located southeast of Australia. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the OECD, the UN, and the IMO. The majority of inhabitants are of European descent, but the indigenous Maori form a substantial percentage of the population. New Zealand is a parliamentary democracy with the Queen of England represented by a local Governor General as the head of state and a Prime Minister as the head of government. The capital is Wellington, and the largest city is Auckland. English and Maori are the official languages.
The chief industries are food processing, textiles, machinery, tourism and fish and forest products; the chief crops are grains and fruits. Cattle and sheep farming have been particularly successful. Major trading partners include Australia, Japan, and the United States. The monetary unit is the New Zealand dollar.
Registration is governed by the Ship Registration Act of 1992. The Maritime Transport Act 1994 covers among other things, manning and survey requirements. It also controversially opened up coastal trading to foreign flag vessels. The Register is comprised of two parts - A and B. Part A covers nationality requirements, evidence of title, registration of mortgages, and bareboat charter registration for commercial vessels, while Part B principally covers the requirements regarding pleasure craft. Further information about each type of registration can be found on the registry website http://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/
A Guide to Ship Registration - htts://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/commercial/ships/registration/documents/A-guide-to-Ship-Registration.pdf
Registration type flow chart - https://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/commercial/ships/registration/documents/Ship-registration-requirements-flowchart.pdf
New Zealand registered ships fly either the New Zealand flag or the marine flag of New Zealand which is the New Zealand Red Ensign usually worn by merchant ships registered in the United Kingdom with the addition on the fly of the Southern Cross as represented by four five-pointed white stars.
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The Federal Republic of Nigeria located in West Africa comprises 36 states and a federal capital territory, Abuja. It borders the North Atlantic Ocean between the Republic of Benin and Cameroon. The official language is English as Nigeria was a British colony until gaining independence on October 1st, 1960. It is a member of the Commonwealth, the UN, the AU and the IMO. The Nigerian government has been in civil rule since 1999 The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The legal system is based on Nigerian legislation and judicial precedents, Received English law comprising Common Law; doctrines of equity; statutes of general application in force in England on January 1, 1990 and Customary law (which includes Islamic law in some northern states).
The Nigerian economy, shored up by robust banking and fiscal regimes has matured considerably as a result of which Nigeria is currently regarded as an emerging market that continues to attract FDI. Chief trading partners remain the United States and the EC nations. There is a notable and fast-growing trading relationship with China. The currency used is the Naira. (NGN)
The law which governs ship registrations in Nigeria is the Merchant Shipping Act, 2007 (MSA). In 2004 Nigeria introduced a cabotage regime established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003. The current regulatory body for the Nigerian maritime industry is the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) established by the NIMASA Act 2007. There is other legislation for maritime matters like the Admiralty Jurisdiction Act 1991 which regulates jurisdiction for maritime suits.
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Norway is located in northern Europe bordering the North Sea and North Atlantic Ocean west of Sweden. It is a constitutional monarchy with its capital at Oslo. The Chief of State is the King, and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister. There is a modified Unicameral parliament. The legal system lies somewhere between a civil law and common law traditions. Norway is a member of the European Economic Area (“EEA”), OECD, UN, and IMO. Norwegian is the official language.
Norway has a mixed economy combining free market activity and government intervention. It is ranked among the world's major shipping nations. The government controls the vital petroleum sector and subsidizes agriculture and areas with sparse resources. Norway is an exporter of petroleum, forest products, metals, fish and fish products. Major trading partners are the EC nations. The unit of currency is the Norwegian kroner.
The Kingdom of Norway is stable economically and politically. It has an objective, capable and efficient legal system. The courts have a high standing. There are a number of law firms which include shipping and finance in their areas of practice. The firms are of high international standing and are well connected with capable foreign law firms. The international shipping practice of these firms is to a large extent conducted in English.
The national ship register is called the Norwegian Ordinary Ship Register (“NOR”). The law governing the NOR is the Merchant Marine Act of 24th June 1994 No. 39. In addition to its traditional ship register (“NOR”), Norway also has a second, captive register, the Norwegian International Ship Register (“NIS”) which was created by an act of Parliament, the NIS Act of 12 June 1987 No. 48.
The NIS differs from the NOR in that it enables direct registration by foreign shipowners and allows employment of foreign seafarers on local/national wages established through collective wage agreements between an employers' federation and an independent union which organizes the seafarers. NIS has been designated as a second register by the ITF. NIS vessels beneficially controlled by non-Norwegian owners may be classified as Flag of Convenience (FOC) unless covered by an ITF approved collective agreement.
There is one nationwide registration office, the Ship Register (“Skipsregistrene”) located in Bergen under the governance of the Ministry of Trade and Industry which administers both the NOR and the NIS. The Norwegian Maritime Directorate is the enforcement agency for all matters relating to the seaworthiness of all Norwegian ships and to the safety and qualifications of seafarers.
On January 1, 2012, both the Norwegian Ordinary and International Ship Registers merged with the Norwegian Maritime Directorate to form the Norwegian Maritime Authority. As a result, both registers are now a department of the Directorate. Registration policies will remain the same but will become easier and more efficient as a result of consolidating the organizations. The Norwegian Maritime Authority and its components remain departments of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The Norwegian Ordinary and International Ship Registers are efficient and objective, maintaining a high professional standing in its work. They are recognized by owners and financiers as being reliable and offering strict but helpful service.
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Oman is a monarchy and a member of the Arab League, the UN, and IMO. It is located in the Middle East bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf between Yemen and the United Arab Emirates. Arabic is the official language with 75% of the population belonging to the Ibadhi sect of Islam. The capital is Muscat, and the legal system is based on English common law and Islamic law with ultimate appeal to the Sultan (the chief of state and head of government). There is a unicameral Consultative Council.
Oman is a middle-income economy that is heavily dependent on dwindling oil resources. Because of declining reserves and a rapidly growing labor force, Muscat has actively pursued a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialization, and privatization, with the objective of reducing the oil sector's contribution to GDP to 9% by 2020 and creating more jobs to employ the rising numbers of Omanis entering the workforce. Tourism and gas-based industries are key components of the government's diversification strategy. By using enhanced oil recovery techniques, Oman succeeded in increasing oil production, giving the country more time to diversify, and the increase in global oil prices throughout 2010 provides the government greater financial resources to invest in non-oil sectors. Oil production is the economic mainstay but fish, processed copper, and textiles are also important industries. Major trading partners include the United Arab Emirates, Japan, and South Korea. The unit of currency is the Omani rial.
Merchant shipping is regulated by Sultani Decree No. 35/81 (1981), and the Law Regulating Navigation in Territorial Waters Sultani Decree 98/81 (1981) administered by the Ministry of Communication.
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The Republic of Palau consists of eight principal islands and more than 250 smaller ones lying roughly 500 miles with maritime boundaries with Indonesia, Philippines and the Federate State of Micronesia. The Republic of Palau obtained full sovereignty in 1994 under a Compact of Free Association with the United States of America.
The Palau International Ship Registry was created by an amendment to the Title 7 of the National Code in 2010. The Palau International Ship Registry was appointed by the Government of the Republic of Palau as the Ship Registry Administrator and provides registrations of all types of vessels on behalf of the Government of Palau. The Registry is administered from Houston, Texas, USA.
Palau does not currently offer company formation services. There are no requirements concerning local ownership or participation in ownership.
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Panama is a constitutional republic bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the Northern Pacific Ocean between Colombia and Costa Rica. It is a member of the OAS, the UN, and the IMO. The President is the Chief of State and Head of Government, and there is a unicameral Legislative Assembly. The legal system is based on civil law. Spanish is the official language but many Panamanians also speak English. The capital is Panama City.
Panama’s economy is service based with emphasis on banking, commerce, and tourism. Trade and financial ties with the United States are close. Bananas, shrimp, clothing, and sugar are major exports, and principal trading partners are the United States and the EU. The monetary unit is the balboa. The Panama Canal was opened in 1914, and jurisdiction was transferred to Panama from the United States in 1979. However, the United States turned over control of canal operations on December 31, 1999.
The General Directorate of Merchant Marine of the Panama Maritime Authority is in charge of all administrative proceedings related to the registration of ships. The New York Representative Office, sometimes referred to as Segumar, directs all casualty investigations, provides technical certificates and ensures compliance with legal navigation, safety, sanitary and marine environment pollution prevention requirements on the part of Panamanian vessels. Annual Safety Inspections are no longer handled through New York, but by the Directorate General of Merchant Marine, in Panama.
Law No. 8 of January 12th, 1925 establishes the procedure for the nationalization and admeasurement of vessels and is the cornerstone of Panama’s maritime legislation. The Panama Register is the world’s largest shipping registry.
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Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is a group of islands including the eastern half of the island of New Guinea between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific Ocean east of Indonesia. It is a parliamentary democracy with its capital at Port Moresby. The Chief of State is the Queen of England represented by a local Governor General and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister. There is a unicameral national Parliament. The legal system is based on English common law. It is a member of the Commonwealth, the UN, and IMO. English is spoken by 1 to 2% of the population, and Motu is spoken in the Papua region; there are also 715 indigenous languages.
The eastern half of the island of New Guinea - second largest in the world - was divided between Germany (north) and the UK (south) in 1885. The latter area was transferred to Australia in 1902, which occupied the northern portion during World War I and continued to administer the combined areas until independence in 1975. A nine-year secessionist revolt on the island of Bougainville ended in 1997 after claiming some 20,000 lives.
Papua New Guinea is richly endowed with natural resources, and mining of numerous deposits including copper and gold accounts for about 60% of export earnings. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for 85% of the population. Australia, Japan, the United States, and New Zealand are major trading partners. The unit of currency is the kina. The National Maritime Safety Authority manages the Ship Register.
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The Republic of the Philippines is an archipelago composed of more than 7,100 islands located between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea. The country is a member of ASEAN, the UN, and the IMO. Manila is the capital, and Filipino and English are both official languages. It has a presidential-republican form of government with the President as Head of State. Legislative power is vested in a bicameral Congress (House of Senate and House of Representatives). The legal system is mainly based on Spanish and Anglo-American laws.
Being an archipelago, maritime transportation is one of the cheapest and principal modes of transporting passengers and goods to the major islands of the country, as well as serving as a vital link to international trade. The Philippines is primarily an agricultural nation with a light manufacturing sector as well. The Philippine peso is the official currency. Major trading partners include the United States and Japan. Principal exports are electronics, textiles, coconut products, copper, and fish. The Philippine Coast Guard is the agency vested with the exclusive authority over the registration and documentation of Philippine vessels. However, contracts or transactions which evidence ownership or which affect the title of registered vessels must first be approved by the Philippine Maritime Industry Authority known as MARINA.
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Located in Central Europe east of Germany, Poland is a member of the European Union, UN and IMO. It is a Polish speaking democratic state with its capital at Warsaw. The President is the Chief of State, and the Prime Minister is the Head of Government. There is a bicameral national assembly. The legal system is a mixture of continental (Napoleonic) civil law and holdover communist legal theory but changes are being introduced. In 1989, the first free election since communist control resulted in an overwhelming victory for the trade union Solidarity. Since 1990, Poland continues to make progress in the difficult transition to a market economy, particularly in the areas of privatization and industrial production. Machinery and transport equipment are important products, and principal trading partners are Germany, Italy, and Russia. The unit of currency is the zloty.
The Register of Ships is kept by the Maritime Chamber which is responsible for the vessel’s home port (either Gdynia/Gdansk or Szczecin/Swinoujscie). As quasi-judicial bodies, the tasks and organizations of these authorities are determined by the Maritime Chambers Act of 1961, with subsequent amendments. The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Maritime Chambers are professional judges and, as a rule, the Vice Chairman is in charge of the Register.
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Romania is located in southeastern Europe, on the lower Danube River with access to the Black Sea. On the western Coast of the Black Sea lies Constanta with Romania's largest seaport. The ancient metropolis is 185 miles away from the Bosphorus Strait. Romania is a semi-parliamentary Republic with two legislative bodies: Senate and Chamber of Representatives. It is a member of the EU, IMO and UN.
The Romanian Naval Authority and the Romanian Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure ensure efficiency in registry operations.