New certificates of ship registration have been issued by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), while previous licenses have been phased out at the same time.
The NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, stated that the issue of new certifications is intended to guarantee that statutory secure certificates are used and to prevent the entrance into the Nigerian flag of ships that are unseaworthy and understandard.
He said: “To serve you more efficiently and effectively, we are reorganizing the Nigerian Ship Registry Office. Our national fleet and tonnage are intended to develop to an enviable level.” We commit to ensuring we maintain International Standard in our Registry of Ships and this is why we have improved our certificates with more time testing security measures. The whole issuing procedure ensures that the boats which will enter our water are robustly screened.”
The new legislation, which took effect as of 1 July, comprises the Nigerian Registry Certificate, Provisional Registry Certificate, Nigerian Chartered Vessel Certificate, Fishing Boat Certificate and Nigenian Whole Owned Ship Certificate.
The Bareboat Chartered Vessel Cabotage Registry Certificate and Foreign Owned Ships are also impacted. Other include Cabotage Registration Certificate, deletion certificate, sales bill and registration transcript. The Current Mortgage Certificate and the Encumbrance Freedom Certificate have also been amended.
All certifications granted by the Ship Registrar before the new rule starts will be valid and must be carried on board vessels until their expiry. However, vessel owners or masters may request for their present certifications to be reissued.
It is essential for the original certificates of registration to be kept onboard ships at all times under the Merchant Shipping Act of 2007.
It should be noted that the issue of these certificates is a compliance with Section 30 of the Merchant Shipping Act of 2007, which stipulates, among other things, that the ‘Registrar of Ships shall issues a certification of registration as approved by the agency upon completion of the registration of a ship.’