The Nigerian Ship Registration Office is being restructured by the Federal Government to prevent unseaworthy and sub-standard ships from flying the Nigerian flag.
In a statement, Edward Osagie, Assistant Director, Public Relations, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said the agency has begun issuing new certificates of ship registration while phasing out the old licenses.
“We are revamping the Nigerian Ship Registration Office to serve you more efficiently and effectively,” he cited NIMASA Director-General Dr Bashir Jamoh as stating. We are committed to increasing the size of our national fleet and tonnage to an enviable level.”
Jamoh said: “We are committed to ensuring that our Ship Registry remains of international standard and this is why we have enhanced our certificates with more security features that would stand the test of time. The all-encompassing process of issuance will ensure robust screening of vessels that would visit our waters.”
Certificate of Nigerian Registry, Provisional Certificate of Registry, Certificate of Nigerian Registry for Bareboat Chartered Vessel, Fishing Boat, and Certificate of Cabotage Ship Registry for Wholly Owned Nigerian Vessel are among the new regulations, which took effect on July 1.
Bareboat Chartered Vessels and Foreign Owned Vessels are both affected by the Certificate of Cabotage Ship Registry. Other documents include a Certificate of Cabotage Ship Registry for a Joint Venture Owned Vessel, a Deletion Certificate, a Bill of Sale, and a Registry Transcript.
Changes have also been made to the Certificate of Mortgage to Secure Account Current and the Certificate of Freedom of Encumbrance.
All current certificates granted by the registrar of ships before the implementation of the new legislation are still valid and should be kept on board until they expire, he said. However, vessel owners or masters can apply to have their existing certificates reissued.
Originals of registry certificates must be carried onboard vessels at all times, according to the Merchant Shipping Act of 2007.
He pointed out that the certificates are issued by Section 30 of the Merchant Shipping Act 2007, which states, among other things, that “the registrar of ships shall issue a certificate of registration in such form as may be approved by the agency upon completion of the registration of a ship.”