Ship Registration Introduction - Articles - Ratson Landing Craft Tank Ship Building


Ship Registration Introduction

 September 21, 2018

Every ship needs its own nationality just like a person. After a vessel is finished to be built, the vessel will need to follow the ship registration process. In the ship registration, the vessel will be documented and given the nationality as the sign of ownership of the vessel. Following the international rules, every vessel needs to be registered in a country and has a flag state as the sign of the ownership. The flag state is used to make the vessel becoming the subject of the law of the flag state. Every vessel that registered has the right to sail under the flag of the country where it is being registered.

Ship registration helps us to understand the ownership of the vessel as well as the regulation that controls it. As the example, after being classified as BKI and registered in Indonesia, the vessel will have an Indonesia flag state. This flag shows that the vessel is being registered in Indonesia and Indonesia regulation has the control over the vessel. A state controlling the vessel from the documents of the vessel which includes the data of inspection schedule, certification of the vessel's equipment and crew, as well as ensuring the safety and the pollution prevention. This is used to ensure the seaworthiness of the vessel. Any vessel that is violated the rule can result in the revoked sailing permit.

Furthermore, the flag state is issued based on the classification of the vessel. Seaworthiness of the vessel also measured from the classification of the vessel. Certain flag state can only be established based on the certain classification of the vessel. It can be for several classifications depending on the regulation of the country. For example, Marshall Island under the regulation of International Classification, therefore, to obtain Marshall Island flag state, the vessel should be built under IACS classification. In this case, the Marshall Island flag state has a class preference as its representative which is Bureau Veritas (BV) which allows vessel under BV classification could issue the Marshall Island flag state with ease.

The organization that registers the ship is called the registry. Registries usually is a shipowner which can be governmental or private agencies. Sometimes, the shipowner can also use the third party to do the administer inspection. Furthermore, a registry can only register their vessel under its own nation. This is called traditional or national register. In some cases, a registry could also register their vessel under a foreign country. This is called open registries or often called flags of convenience.

Ship registration is necessary for the vessel that is operated locally and internationally. The vessel that has flag state under the local classification can only be operated under the territorial waters of the registry nationality. Every vessel that is operated cross international border will need a permission from the destination country to enter the country. Furthermore, each country has its own rules on what type of vessel can be registered under their country. For example, the Liberian Registry only accept vessels that have more than 500 net tonnes that conduct foreign trade. Any vessel that doesn't have any ship registration will be considered as illegal and may be captured.

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