The Norwegian Maritime Authority is pleased that ship registration in Norway is becoming more adaptive and internationally competitive. A regulatory amendment will allow bareboat registration in and deregistration from the Norwegian International Ship Register (NIS) and the Norwegian Ordinary Ship Register (NOR).
“We are continuously working on the conditions for the Norwegian maritime industry. The bareboat registration may increase the number of Norwegian ships flying the Norwegian flag and boost the employment of Norwegian seafarers. This will provide the industry with access to new markets and, at the same time, prevent permanent deregistration from Norwegian ship registers,” says the Minister of Trade and Industry, Iselin Nybø.
“The industry has desired this change, which is an important step for Norway to remain a competitive and attractive flag state,” says Director General of Shipping and Navigation, Lars Alvestad.
“By permitting bareboat registration, the Government’s maritime strategy is continued. Bareboat is a common form of hiring ships in international shipping, and the new rules can contribute to more ships being registered in the Norwegian ship registers and prevent ships from flagging out. Today, many ship registers in other countries allow for such registration. Permitting bareboat registration in Norway will further strengthen the Norwegian flag and the Norwegian ship registers’ competitiveness.”
Bareboat deregistration from the Norwegian ship registers
The possibility of temporary bareboat deregistration from the NIS and NOR registers implies that the ships do not need to be permanently deleted from the Norwegian ship registers any longer. Ownership and mortgages remain registered in Norway, whereas the ship flies a foreign flag during the bareboat charter period. On the expiry date of the registry, the ship will once again fly the Norwegian flag.
Unlike certain other flag states, there is no restriction as to which flag a vessel can be bareboat-registered to. The registered owner and mortgagee must consent to the change of flag, which will have been carefully considered.
Bareboat registration in the Norwegian ship registers
In addition to bareboat deregistration, bareboat registration in the NIS or NOR register could be relevant. For a ship which is subject to sale and leaseback transactions with foreign financial institutions, for instance, bareboat registration could be used to keep flying the Norwegian flag.
The financial institution may require ownership to be registered in a foreign ship register. Subsequently, the former owner, now the charterer, may choose to bareboat-register the ship in one of the Norwegian ship registers again. Ownership and mortgages remain registered in a foreign jurisdiction, whereas the ship continues to fly the Norwegian flag.
The bareboat charter registration into and deregistration from the Norwegian ship registers may have a validity of 10 years, although this can be extended by 5 years at a time. This scheme will be evaluated after 5 years.
Source: Norwegian Maritime Authority