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Nigeria - Register a n Vessel

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The procedure for the registration of a vessel is relatively straightforward. Provisional registration, which in terms of the law has the same effect as the so-called permanent registration, can be effected very quickly . Authority to help a ship, however will only be given once the Maritime Administration is satisfied that the vessel conforms to all the standards required by the relative international conventions.

1.Letter of application from owners of the ship or their agents addressed to the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)1 indicating the companys interest in registering a vessel in Nigeria.

2.Letter of Application for approval of vessels name. This is done by completing and submitting the required Form at the Ship Registry.

3.Letter of Application for condition survey Application for condition survey shall be made to the Director General, NIMASA upon payment of a statutory fee fees payable depends on the gross tonnage of the vessel. A surveyor would be nominated by the Registrar of Ships for the survey.

4.Completion and submission of forms.

  • Declaration of ownership (Form 1) This form shall be completed by the owner of the Vessel and return after declaration before a Commissioner for Oath at the Federal High Court.
  • Application form for registration of ship (Form 2)- This Forms shall be obtained at NIMASA. Duly completed forms shall be returned to NIMASA with the attached documents;

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Required Documents[edit]

  • Copy of certificate of incorporation;
  • CTC of Memorandum and Articles of Association;
  • CTC of Form CAC 7 (Particulars of Directors);
  • CTC of Form CAC 2 (Allotment of Shares) (Share capital should not be less than N25,000,000.00 (twenty five million Naira);
  • Current tax clearance certificate;
  • Bank statement or reference letter; and
  • Duly completed declaration of ownership form

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

The Director General,

Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency

Maritime House, 4 Burma Road Apapa,

Lagos, Nigeria.

Phone: +23412790622


NIMASA Head Office

Maritime House

4, Burma Road, Apapa

PABX: 5804800 - 4 Tel: 01 453 1466



ICT Contact


Phone: 08072894437


2 River Benue Street,

Off Ibrahim Babangida Way,

Maitama, Abuja, FCT.


Western Zone Office

88, Marine Road,


Tin-Can Island Port Office

NPA Commercial Building,

Tincan Island,Lagos.

Apapa Port Office

Atlantic House

2, Wharf Road,


Search & Rescue Base Clinic (SARBC)

3, Azare Crescent,Apapa GRA,


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The following are persons eligible to register a Nigerian Vessel:

  • Nigerian Citizens;
  • Duly registered Nigerian Companies;
  • Such other persons as may be permitted by the Minister for Transport.


Explain the fees structure which is required for obtaining the certificate/document.


Valid for 5 years and a renewal is required

Documents to Use[edit]

Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links

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Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time[edit]

The processing takes 1-3 months

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 

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A vessel is not eligible to be registered under the Act unless owned wholly by qualified persons, i.e., body corporate registered and owned by Nigerian citizens.

In the case of a national carrier, a maximum of forty per cent equity ownership by non-Nigerians is permitted. The maximum age of vessels for registration, according to the office of the new Government Inspector of Shipping (GIS), is ten years.

All types of vessel engaged in the inland waterways trade in accordance to:

i. Merchant Shipping Act 2007
ii. Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act, 2003
iii. Coastal and Inland Shipping Cabotage (Bareboat Registration) Regulations 2006
iv. Coastal and Inland Shipping Cabotage (Detention of Ships) Regulations 2006
v. Guidelines on Implementation of Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003

Required Information[edit]

  • Name of ship ;
  • Time and place of purchase;
  • Name of master;
  • Best particulars in respect of tonnage, building and description of the ship;
  • Bill of sale;
  • Deletion certificate;
  • Evidence of P&I (protection and Indemnity)insurance cover of the vessel ;
  • Curving and marking sign of the vessel;
  • Certificate of Tonnage measurement;
  • Application for approval of vessels name; and
  • International tonnage certificate.
  • Name and address of Ship managers;
  • Condition survey report and tonnage measurement certificate;
  • Certificate of carving and marking note of the ship;
  • Call sign certificate;
  • Load line certificate;
  • Evidence of ability or experience of the purchasers to operate and maintain ship; and
  • Log book of the vessel.

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Need for the Document[edit]

In pursuance of the success of Nigeria on maritime reforms, Nigeria made a bold attempt to change the face of maritime business within its coasts when it enacted the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003, Though designed to restrict foreign participation in Nigeria's domestic coastal trade, nevertheless a lot of opportunities exist for foreign involvement.

The objective of the Cabotage Act is primarily to reserve the commercial transportation of goods and services within Nigerian coastal and inland waters to vessels flying the Nigerian flag and owned by persons of Nigerian citizenship.

Information which might help[edit]

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Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links[edit]

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More information which might help people.