Registering a ship in a Danish register, and certificates of nationality

About the Danish registers

In Denmark there are three ship registers; The Danish Ship Register (DAS) (including the Shipbuilding Register), the Danish International Register of Shipping and the Boat Register.

All Danish ships to be used commercially must be registered in one of the registers. However, cargo vessels, barges, battens, dredging machines, floating cranes and the like which have a gross tonnage (GT) of less than four and do not have fully continuous decks are exempt from this requirement.

In the Shipbuilding Register, which is a special section of the Danish Ship Register (DAS), all ships under construction in the Kingdom of Denmark can be entered as long as the ships' construction is so long that the ships can be identified and GT is expected to be measured at a gross tonnage of 5 or more. However, ships built for recreational purposes can only be entered if they are estimated to have a GT of 20 or more.

Below are the size requirements for a ship to be entered in the various registers:

  • The Danish Ship Register (DAS): Here, all Danish commercial ships with a GT of 5 or more can be registered. In addition, pleasure crafts, including houseboats, which are used as a private residency, are included if they have a GT of 20 or more.
  • The Danish International Register of Shipping (DIS): Merchant ships (not fishing ships) that have a GT of 20 or more can be registered here. Ships registered in DIS are not allowed to transport passengers between Danish ports, unless it is a matter of sailing to and from offshore installations.
  • The Boat Register (FTJ): Commercial ships of between 5 and 20 gross tonnage may be included either here or in the DAS. Commercial ships of less than 5 gross tonnage can only be admitted here.
  • The Shipbuilding Register: Here, all ships under construction can be recorded at a Danish shipyard, as long as they are expected to have a GT of 5 or more.
  • Please note that pleasure crafts with a GT under 20 cannot be entered or re-entered into any ship register. When a ship is declared for registration, it is assigned signal letters. When a registered ship is deleted and later reported once more (resumption), the ship does not receive the same signal letters as it previously had. However, ships that are deleted and resumed on the same day may, by prior agreement with the Ship Register, keep the same signal letters.

About Certificates of Nationality

1. Once the ship is registered – issue of a certificate of nationality

A Danish certificate of nationality documents that the ship is entitled to fly the Danish flag and is thus documentation of the ship's nationality as Danish.

All Certificates of Nationality are issued as electronic, verifiable documents.  You can at any time scan the QR code on the nationality certificate and verify that the certificate is valid.

Issued Certificates of Nationality are invalidated when a new certificate of nationality is issued to the ship, if the ship is deleted from the Danish register, when a bareboat-in registration expires or if the ship changes use to "former fishing ship".

You can access the certificate of nationality on the website of the Danish Maritime Authority in the self-service solution for ship owners with MitID or after registering as a user. See guidance here.

The certificate of nationality must always be available on board the ship, either in physical or electronic form.

A. Digital report

When the reporting of a ship, or the request to change an already registered ship, is registered, the reporter receives an email message stating: "Your report has been processed by a case worker and you can now resume your report".

You can then resume the report and must then enter the place in the ship's interior, fixed structure where the ship's signal letters are permanently marked in the ship's internal, fixed construction. You can then request the issuance of the certificate of nationality, which can be downloaded as a PDF file.

You can see an actual guide to this step in the guides for the different types of digital report.

B. Reporting when digital report cannot be done

You will be asked by the Register of Shipping no later than in connection with the completion of the manual processing of your report to state in writing – preferably by email – where the ship's signal letters are permanently marked in the ship's internal, fixed construction. Only when you have provided this information can the certificate of nationality be issued.

Provisional certificate of nationality

The Register of Shipping may, upon written request – preferably by e-mail – issue a provisional certificate of nationality. Issuing and requesting provisional certificates of nationality cannot be made in DSRG, the Self-Service solution.

A provisional certificate of nationality may be issued to ships that have been registered for registration in Denmark when the ship is completed or under construction for a test drive or similar purposes. Furthermore, various things must be documented and proved.

A provisional certificate of nationality is issued for a short, limited period, usually 7 – 30 days. Provisional certificates of nationality may be extended upon written request after evaluation of the circumstances.

A provisional certificate of nationality can serve as a basis for issuing a list of operational limits, crew specification, insurance certificate, etc. issued by the Danish Maritime Authority.

A provisional certificate of nationality makes it possible to sail under the Danish flag before the ship is registered. A provisional certificate of nationality is not a registration of the ship and no mortgage or other rights can be registered in the ship on that basis.

Report of documentary evidence and documents for the issuance of a provisional certificate of nationality

A. Digital report

If you wish to report digitally, you must complete the report of the ship, and the ship's new owner must sign the report.

So that you do not get slowed down in the flow, you must state that the seller is foreign (and thus cannot sign with MitID), regardless of whether it is correct or not.

Furthermore, you must also submit the following in copy to the ship register:

  • Copy of final document of title
  • Proof of the gross tonnage (GT) of the ship, for example by a copy of a Tonnage Certificate
  • Copy of deletion or non-registration certificate if the ship is imported from abroad

B. Reporting when a digital report cannot be done

In order to be issued a provisional certificate of nationality, you must submit the following:

  • Original signed form on reporting of the ship for registration corresponding to the register you want to report the ship to – one of the following: Form II 1 Ship with a GT of 20 or more, Danish Ship Register, or Form II 2 Ship without registration obligations, Danish Ship Register , or Form II 3  Ship in the Danish International Ship Register, or  Form  II  4  Ship in the Boat Register
  • Copy of final document of title
  • Copy of tonnage certificate
  • Copy of deletion or non-registration certificate if the ship is imported from abroad

Report for registration or resumption of ships

A. Digital report

See guidance for registration or resumption of ships

Please note that if you have a title document that is older than 30 days (issued more than 30 days ago) or the issuer of the deed does not have MitID, you can start the report digitally and then tick the box "power of attorney is sent" and then send the original deed to the Danish Ship Register. If the issuer of the deed has MitID, the report can also be done fully digitally in DSRG, the Self-Service solution.

B. Reporting when a digital report cannot be done

Here you get an overview of which documents and forms you should expect to submit to the Danish Ship Register when you report a ship for registration.

A number of form requirements apply to the documents, and we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the requirements

  1. First of all, for all ships other than pleasure crafts, including houseboats for private use, you must submit Form II 22 Reporting form for commercial ships to the Danish flag. (link). The form does not lead to registration, but is an administrative notification, which is used to assign signal letters to the ship and create it in DSRG, the Self-Service Solution and to start a case about surveys, etc. of the ship. There is no requirement that the form is signed by the ship's owner and the form can be submitted by anyone.
  2. You report a ship for registration by submitting one of the following forms to the Register of Shipping. Which form you should choose depends on which register you want to report the ship to. You can choose from these forms:

You report an owner by submitting one of the available forms to the Register of Shipping. Which form to choose depends on the "type" of owner you want to report. The Maritime Act calls an owner of a ship a "shipping company" and that language is followed in the forms. You can choose from these forms:

If the owner is already registered as the owner of a ship, no new report is required, except in the following two situations where an ownership report must always be submitted:

  1. When the owner is a shipping partnership, because one shipping partnership can only own one ship and it must be stated how much of the ship each party owns.
  2. When the ship is a commercial ship and the owner is non-Danish, because there are requirements for compliance with the activity and contact conditions, and the fulfillment of these requirements must be documented and stated specifically for each individual ship.

If the reported owner is a foreigner, special requirements apply

A document of title must be filed for the ship, which can be, for example, a deed, Bill of Sale or Builder's Certificate.

The document is registered and constitutes documentation as to who owns the ship. Title documents should be drawn up on one of the forms in the Register of Shipping:

See more about documents of title here, including the requirements for documents of title, which in turn include documents of title that are not made on the forms of the Danish Ship Register and in languages other than Danish Document requirements, (link)

If you want your used ship, cf. ( link) Executive Order on ship registration (Section 3 (26)) recorded in one of the Danish ship registers, you must generally provide a copy of documentation showing an unbroken timeline of transfers of ownership for the ship for all previous owners of the ship.

In principle, documentation showing an unbroken timeline for everyone who has owned the ship back to the time when the ship was delivered from the shipyard must be presented. Note the following deviations from the requirement:

  • If the ship has previously been registered in the Danish register, the series of owners must not be documented further back than the owner last listed in one of the Danish registers.
  • If the ship at some point has been imported from abroad (sold by a person or legal person to an owner residing in Denmark), the series of owners must not be documented further back than the owner residing in Denmark. In such situations, it may be necessary to prove that the ship is not registered abroad, usually in the country where

The documentation can be previous title deeds, sales contracts and similar.

For ships declared to the Boat Register, form II, 5 'Erklæring om tidligere ejerforhold' may be accepted instead of copies of previous documents. The declarations must be completed for former sellers and buyers of the ship and sent with the original signature of the seller, buyer and objective party witnesses.

It may be impossible to obtain copies of all old documents of title for a ship. In such a situation, the registrar of ships may, on request, accept the presentation of original signed declarations of previous transfers of the ship in place of a copy of the document of title, indicating to whom and when the ship was transferred.  If the ship registrar deems the documentation submitted to be satisfactory, the ship may be registered.

If the ship registrar deems that the documentation is not satisfactory, you can bring a case in court to obtain a judgment on your ownership of the ship, cf. The Danish Administration of Justice Act Chapter 44 (link) – a property judgment. A property judgment that says you own the ship will then be your title document, and no historical line of owners has to be documented. It should be noted that the courts have a different and broader basis for deciding on ownership of the ship than the ship registrar has. Contact the courts,, to hear more about how to obtain, and the expenses related to obtaining, a property judgment.

If you deem it more appropriate to obtain a property judgment than to obtain documentation for previous owners, you can choose that approach at any time instead.

Pursuant to section 41 (link) of the Danish Maritime Act, the Ship Registrar has the opportunity to allow preclusion of rights for, among other things, a ship that has been reported to the Register of Shipping. Implementation of preclusion means that after conducting a public announcement with a call for objections to a given property right, the ship registrar may, if no objections are received, decide that the precluded title can form the basis for registration. Preclusion is not usually used when there is a possibility of mortification or other legal decisions.

A document of title must clearly state that ownership of the ship is transferred from the seller to the buyer, or in the case of new construction, from the shipyard to the builder.

If the title document does not indicate the date of the buyer's or builder's assumption of ownership of the ship, he title document must be supplemented with this information, e.g. by a delivery record indicating the date of transfer of ownership rights. You can send the protocol to the Register of Shipping by e-mail.

A ship is imported from abroad when the seller is a foreigner or a Danish citizen residing abroad and the ship is not already registered in the Danish register.

If the ship is registered in another country's register of ships, the ship must be deleted from this register before it can be entered in one of the Danish registers. As documentation that the ship has been deleted out of the foreign register, you must present an original certificate of deletion from this register and send it to the Register of Shipping.

If the ship has not previously been registered in a Danish register prior to registration, you must instead present a certificate that the ship has not been registered in the country in question, usually the country where the seller resides. The certificate is called a Certificate of Non-registration. In case of doubt, non-registration certificates from several countries may be required.

It is a requirement for registration that a Tonnage Certificate has been prepared for the ship.

The Tonnage Certificate must have been prepared by a Danish authorized ship surveyor. Here you will find a list of authorized ship surveyors. As of 16 January 2023, the Danish authorized surveyors will report the information contained in the Tonnage Certificate directly in DSRG.

In the case of a ship from abroad and if your ship already has an international Tonnage Certificate issued by someone other than an authorized Danish surveyor, you can send a copy to us. No later than three months after the ship has been registered in the Danish ship register, you must submit a copy of a Danish Tonnage Certificate.

In the case of a ship to be entered or resumed in a Danish register, and the ship has a Tonnage Certificate issued by a Danish authorized ship surveyor, the old Tonnage Certificate can only be used if it was not issued more than 18 months ago, counting from the report of the ship. If the Tonnage Certificate is older, a new one must be issued.

A new Tonnage Certificate must be issued together with report of changes in the tonnage of the ship.

CSR reports and requirements apply to all passenger and cargo ships engaged in international voyages (SOLAS SHIPS), with a GT of more than 500.

The CSR reports contain the history of the ship. These include, for example, the ship's previous ownership and flag. All reports must be on board the ship.

Anyone can apply by using forms II 23 seen below:

Submission of the CSR document is not a registration requirement, but if the ship does not have the correct CSR documents on board, it may be detained for that reason.

Read more about CSR here