Guide On How to Register a Vessel/Ship in Nigeria

Shipping in Nigeria is regulated by the Nigerian Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act, 2003 and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is statutorily empowered with jurisdiction over the licensing and registration of ships and shipping companies in Nigeria. Ships are required to be registered in other to have national character to permit their movement in territorial or international waters

Parties that may register ships include:

  • corporations in their own name;
  • individuals;
  • joint owners (not exceeding five persons); and
  • other parties approved by the minister of transport.

Procedure for Vessel/Ship Registration

  1. The owner of the Ship or their agents will submit a letter of application addressed to the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) indicating their interest in registering a ship in Nigeria;
  2. Complete and submit application for Ship name approval Form at the Ship Registry;
  3. Payment of statutory fees on the gross tonnage of the Ship to Director-General of NIMASA for Ship Condition Survey;
  4. The Registrar of Ships nominates a Maritime Surveyor to carry out the Ship condition survey;
  5. The Maritime Inspectorate Division (MID) under the Government Inspector of Shipping (GIS) will either the American Bureau of Shipping, Bureau Veritas, Germanischer Lloyd, or Lloyd’s Register of Shipping to Classify the Ship;
  6. Complete the Declaration of Ownership (NIMASA Form 1) deposed before a Commissioner for Oath at the Federal High Court and submit at NIMASA;
  7. Complete Application Form for Registration (NIMASA Form 2) and submit at NIMASA with the following documents (not all documents are required from individual owners):
  8. Copy of Certificate of Incorporation;
  9. Certified True Copy of Company Memorandum and Articles of Association;
  10. Certified True Copy of Form CAC 7 (Particulars of Directors);
  11. Certified True Copy of Form CAC 2 (Allotment of Shares of a Share Capital which shall not be less than Twenty-Five Million Naira[N25,000,000]);
  12. Current Tax Clearance Certificate;
  13. Duly completed Declaration of Ownership Form;
  14. Bank Statement/Reference Letter;
  15. Applicable waiver certificate;
  16. Certificate of Nigerian Ship Registry;
  17. Cabotage Affidavit Form;
  18. Crew list declaration;
  19. Evidence of payment of Fees
  20. Certificate of Registration of Shipping Company with NIMASA
  21. The Registrar of Ships after being satisfied that the applicant has met all the registration requirements and duly completed the process, will then enroll the Ship in the Register of Cabotage Vessels and Ship Owning Companies of Nigeria.

Vessel/ship registration can also be deregistered with the permission of the Registrar. It is important to seek professional advice on vessel/shipping registration considerations.

By Adeola Oyinlade & Co.

Note: The content of this article is anticipated to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Adeola Oyinlade & Co provides help and offers advisory to both local and foreign clients on ship registration in Nigeria.

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