The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has begun the issuance of new certificates of ship registration as it phases out the old permits.
NIMASA, in a statement recently signed by its Assistant Director of Public Relations, Edward Osagie, said the move was in a bid to ensure the utilisation of secured statutory certificates and to prevent the entry of unseaworthy and substandard ships into the Nigerian flag.
The Director-General, 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.
“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.”
He said the all-encompassing process of issuance would ensure robust screening of vessels that would visit the Nigerian waters.
According to the statement, the new regulation, which took effect from July 1, 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 vessels, among others.
It said the Certificate of Cabotage Ship Registry for bareboat chartered vessels and foreign-owned vessels were also affected.
Others are Certificate of Cabotage Ship Registry for Joint Venture Owned Vessel, Deletion Certificate, Bill of Sale and Transcript of Registry.
The Certificate of Mortgage to Secure Account Current and Certificate of Freedom of Encumbrance has also been changed.
It said, “All existing certificates issued by the Registrar of Ships before the commencement of the new regulation remains valid and should be carried onboard vessels until their expiration.
“But vessel owners or Masters may apply for the re-issuance of their existing certificates.”
According to the statement, the issuance of the 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.