In Denmark, we have three ship registers: the Register of Shipping (DAS) (including the Shipbuilding Register), the Danish International Register of Shipping (DIS) and the Boat Register.
All Danish ships used for commercial purposes must be registered. However, exceptions are cargo vessels, barges, lighters, dredgers, floating cranes and the like of less than 4 gross tonnage (GT) or without complete decks.
Warships under construction at a Danish shipyard may be registered in the Shipbuilding Register, but completed warships are not eligible for registration in any Danish ship register.
Below, see the requirements for ships to be registered in the different registers
- The Register of Shipping (DAS): All Danish commercial ships of 5 GT or more can be registered. Pleasure vessels and houseboats used as private residences of 20 GT or more can also be registered.
- The Danish International Register of Shipping (DIS): Merchant ships (not fishing vessels) of 20 GT or more can be registered. Ships registered in the Danish International Register of Shipping must not carry passengers between Danish ports except in the case of passenger transport to and from offshore installations.
- The Boat Register (FTJ): Commercial ships of 5-20 GT can either be registered in the Boat Register or in the Register of Shipping. Commercial ships of less than 5 GT are only eligible to join the Boat Register.
- The Shipbuilding Register: All ships under construction at a Danish shipyard with an expected gross tonnage of 5 or more can be registered here.
- Pleasure craft: Pleasure craft of less than 20 GT cannot be registered in the Register of Shipping. Read more about pleasure craft of less than 20 GT.
When a ship is registered in the Register of Shipping, it is assigned its distinctive number or letters. If a registered ship is deleted and subsequently re-registered, the ship will not be assigned the same distinctive number or letters as before.
To register a ship, you must submit a number of documents. The documents must satisfy various formal requirements and we recommend that you read about them.
What documents are required?
To register a ship in one of the registers mentioned above, you must submit the following documents:
Register a ship
To register a ship, you must submit/send one of the application forms issued by the Register of Shipping. The choice of form depends on the register you would like the ship to be registered in. You can choose between the following forms:
To register an owner, you must submit/send one of the application forms issued by the Register of Shipping. The choice of form depends on the type of owner you would like to register. In the Merchant Shipping Act, the owner of a ship is called a “company” and this terminology is also used in the forms. You can choose between the following forms:
If the owner is already registered as owner of a ship, a new application is not required. However, a new application must always be submitted for jointly owned shipping companies, specifying the shares of the ship held by each owner.
Document of title
You must submit a document of title, for example a Bill of Sale or a Builder’s Certificate. The document will be registered and serves as documentation of who owns the ship. Please prepare your document of title using one of the forms issued by the Register of Shipping:
If the transfer of the ship to you was made using a different form, which is often the case for ships purchased abroad, the Register of Shipping will decide whether the document can be registered in the individual case. Only documents of title in Danish, English, Swedish or Norwegian can be registered. This means that documents of title in any other language must be translated into one of these languages in order to be registered.
Protocol of Delivery and Acceptance
The document of title must clearly show that title to the ship is transferred from the seller to the buyer, or in respect of new builds, from the shipyard to the client. If the document of title does not state the date of transfer to the buyer or the client, it must be supplemented with a Protocol of Delivery and Acceptance specifying the transfer date. You may send the Protocol of Delivery and Acceptance by e-mail.
Signing authority rules
If the owner of the ship is a legal person – for example a company or an association – the relevant forms, the Bill of Sale, etc. must be signed by the authorised signatories according to the records in the Danish Central Business Register or the articles of association and minutes of general meetings. These documents may also be signed by another person or company if they hold a power of attorney to sign.
Documentation of the signatory’s signing authority must be sent to the Register of Shipping. You need not submit transcripts from the Danish Central Business Register as the Register of Shipping can obtain the required transcript directly.
Foreign owners may register their ships in a Danish ship register in certain situations.
Deletion Certificate or Non-registration Certificate
If a ship is already registered in another country’s ship register, the ship must be deleted from that register before it can join one of the Danish ship registers. To show that the ship has been deleted from the foreign register, you must submit an original Deletion Certificate from that register to the Register of Shipping.
If the ship has not been registered before its admission to one of the Danish registers, instead of the Deletion Certificate you must present a certificate showing that the ship has not been registered in the country concerned. This certificate is called a Non-registration Certificate. The certificates must normally be issued by the ship registration authority of the country from which the ship is transferred to Denmark.
Documentation of previous owners
If you would like to have a used ship registered in one of the Danish ship registers, you must submit documentation of all previous owners of the ship. Generally, documentation is required of all owners since the date when the ship was delivered from the shipyard.
There are fewer requirements for documentation of previous owners in the following cases:
- Ships which have previously been registered in a Danish ship register. In that case, you only have to provide documentation of the owners from the date of deletion up to and including the owner now applying to register the ship.
- Ships which are transferred to Denmark or previously have been transferred from abroad. In that case, you only have to provide documentation of previous owners as from the date when the foreign owner sold the ship to a Danish owner.
Documentation of previous owners may be in the form of a copy of a Bill of Sale, a contract of sale, etc. In respect of ships to be registered in the Boat Register, you may use the form ‘Dedlaration on previous ownership). The declarations must be completed by the previous sellers and buyers of the ship.
To register a ship as a fishing vessel, you must apply for a licence to register a vessel from the Danish Fisheries Agency. Once the licence has been granted, the Register of Shipping will receive a copy directly from the Danish Fisheries Agency.
If you buy a ship which is already registered as a fishing vessel, you do not need a new licence to operate in the fishing industry and no further action is required.
Please note that fishing vessels are always assigned a port registration number which must be marked on the ship. You can reserve and choose from all available port registration numbers in the area where your port of registry is located. If you have not chosen a specific port registration number, the Register of Shipping will assign one. If your ship changes to a port of registry in another area, a new port registration number must be assigned.
To register a ship, you must send a copy of the ship’s Tonnage Certificate. The Tonnage Certificate must be issued by a Danish authorised tonnage measurer. Click here to see a list of authorised tonnage measurers.
If your ship already has an international Tonnage Certificate issued by a non-Danish tonnage measurer, you can send a copy of that certificate. You must send a copy of a Danish Tonnage Certificate within three months after the ship has been registered in a Danish ship register.
Once the ship has been registered
Certificates of Nationality
- A Danish Certificate of Nationality serves as documentation that the ship is entitled to fly the Danish flag.
All Certificates of Nationality are issued as electronic documents. If the owner of the ship has a Central Business Register (CVR) number, a NemID key card will immediately be sent to the e-Boks registered to the CVR number concerned. You can access the Certificate of Nationality on the website of the Danish Maritime Authority using the key card.
The Certificate of Nationality must always be kept available on board the ship, in either physical or electronic form.
When the ship has been finally registered, at the latest, the owner will be requested to inform the Register of Shipping of the place on the ship’s permanent structure where the distinctive number or letters assigned have been clearly and indelibly marked. You can send the carving and marking information by e-mail to the Register of Shipping. Once the carving and marking information has been provided and the ship has been registered, a Certificate of Nationality can be issued.
Temporary Certificate of Nationality
- The Register of Shipping may issue a temporary Certificate of Nationality on request. A temporary Certificate of Nationality may be issued to ships for which an application has been submitted for registration in Denmark once the construction of the ship has been completed or the ship has been purchased abroad.
A temporary Certificate of Nationality is issued for a short, limited period, normally 7-21 days. Temporary Certificates of Nationality may in some cases be extended. A temporary Certificate of Nationality may serve as the basis for the issuance of a temporary trading permit. A temporary Certificate of Nationality allows the ship to operate under the Danish flag before it has been registered. A temporary Certificate of Nationality may be issued on the basis of an original S form if the Register of Shipping finds that the ship satisfies the conditions for registration. This usually means that you must submit copies of all the documents required for registration. However, you must, as a minimum, submit a copy of the document of title and a Deletion Certificate/Non-registration Certificate (for ships transferred from abroad).
Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR)
The CSR forms apply to all ships engaged on international voyages, including cargo ships over 500 GT, and all passenger ships.
A Continuous Synopsis Record describes the history of the ship, for example the previous owners of the ship. The CSR must be kept on board the ship.
You apply by using one of the following forms:
A fee is payable for registration in the Register of Shipping, read more under ‘Annual fees’.