The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has begun issuance of new certificates of ship registration.
The agency is at the same time phasing out old permits.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, made the disclosure on Sunday in Lagos in a statement signed by NIMASA’s Assistant Director of Public Relations, Mr Edward Osagie.
Jamoh said the development was aimed at strengthening security and preventing entry of unseaworthy and sub-standard ships.
“We are restructuring the Nigerian Ship Registration Office to serve us 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 standards; this is why we have enhanced our certificates with more security features that will stand the test of time.
“The all-encompassing process of issuance will ensure robust screening of vessels that will visit our waters,” he said.
Jamoh said that the new regulation, which took effect from July 1, involved change of 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, among others.
He added that Certificate of Cabotage Ship Registry for Bareboat Chartered Vessel and Foreign Owned Vessels was affected.
Others are Certificate of Cabotage Ship Registry for Joint Venture Owned Vessel, Deletion Certificate, Bill of Sale and Transcript of Registry.
“Certificate of Mortgage to Secure Account Current and Certificate of Freedom of Encumbrance have also been changed.
“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,” he said.
Jamoh said that vessel owners or masters might apply for reissuance of existing certificates.
He noted that Merchant Shipping Act of 2007 made it mandatory for originals of certificates of registry to be carried on board vessels at all times.
According to him, the issuance of the certificates is in fulfilment of Section 30 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 2007.
The Act provides: “The Registrar of Ships should on completion of registration of a ship, issue a certificate of registration in such form as may be approved by the agency.