The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has started the issuance of new certificates of ship registration.
In the same vein, the agency which remains the designated authority (DA) in the maritime industry is also simultaneously pushing the phasing out of what it called the “old permits”.
This is in a bid to ensure the utilisation of secured statutory certificates and prevent the entry of unseaworthy and sub-standard ships into the Nigerian flag.
Giving an insight into the development, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh said: “We are restructuring the Nigerian Ship Registration Office to serve you more efficiently and effectively. We are determined to grow our national fleet and tonnage to an enviable height.”
Continuing in a statement issued at the weekend and made available to Maritime Bits, 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.”
According to the statement which was signed by NIMASA Assistant Director, Public Relations, Mr. Edward Osagie, the new regulation which took effect from July 1, 2021 involves the 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.
Others are the Certificate of Cabotage Ship Registry for Bareboat Chartered Vessel; Foreign Owned Vessels; Certificate of Cabotage Ship Registry for Joint Venture Owned Vessel, Deletion Certificate, Bill of Sale and Transcript of Registry.
In the same vein, the Certificate of Mortgage to Secure Account Current and Certificate of Freedom of Encumbrance have also been changed.
The statement added that all existing certificates issued by the Registrar of Ships before the commencement of the new regulation remain valid and should be carried on board vessels until their expiration.
It however noted that vessel owners or Masters may apply for the reissuance of their existing certificates
The Merchant Shipping Act, 2007 makes it mandatory for the Originals of Certificates of Registry to be carried on board vessels at all times.
It should be noted that issuance of these certificates is a fulfillment of Section 30 of the Merchant Shipping Act 2007 which provides, inter alia, that “the Registrar of Ships shall on completion of the registration of a ship, issue a certificate of registration in such form as may be approved by the Agency”.