Self-propelled passenger and cargo ships and hovercraft, as well as drilling platforms and other movable installations, may on request be registered in the Norwegian International Ship Register.

OWNERSHIP NIS is open to foreign shipping companies.

MANAGEMENT OF SHIPS REGISTERED ACCORDING TO THE NIS-ACT § 1 no.2 and § 1 no.3. When the shipowner does not satisfy the nationality requirements set out in § 1 no.1 of the Norwegian Maritime Code the technical or commercial management must be carried out by a Norwegian shipping company with its head office in Norway or by one of it’s management offices abroad. The management agreement is to be entered into between the owner and the Norwegian registered head office. The Norwegian registered head office will be recorded in the register.

Technical management includes manning, outfitting and maintenance of the ship while Commercial management maintains among other things manning, outfitting and maintenance of the ship.

No. of Ships 766
Tonnage 19,084,985 grt
Age Limit No restriction provided the technical standard is satisfactory
Size Restrictions Overall length must exceed 10m.
Ownership Requirements Norwegian and foreign owned ships may be registered. Foreign owners need not establish a Norwegian based shipping company although they must appoint an authorised representative in Norway for the purposes of accepting service of legal process and must entrust either the technical or commercial management functions to a Norwegian manager, which must be either a Norwegian citizen, an unlimited partnership where all participants are Norwegian subjects or a Norwegian company where 60% of the capital and voting power is in Norwegian hands.
Documents Required

An application for registration containing details of the ship, its owners and managers must be filed with the NIS accompanied by the following:- 

  • application to the Norwegian Maritime Directorate for a name certificate; 
  • evidence of title (e.g. a bill of sale if the ship is being transferred to a new owner or a builder's certificate if it is the ship's first registration); 
  • international tonnage certificate endorsed by an approved classification society and submitted to the NIS directly by an approved classification society; 
  • (if appropriate) a certificate of deletion/freedom from encumbrances from the previous registry or a request for discharge of any registered encumbrances of which the registrar of the previous registry has confirmed due receipt; 
  • if the owner is non-Norwegian, a copy of the management agreement with the Norwegian manager and the letter appointing the authorised representative in Norway together with "firmattests" (certificates of good standing) relating to the manager and authorised representative; 
  • guarantee for wages; 
  • various information about the owner, including certification of registered companies; 
  • declaration of the nationality of the managers and representatives; 
  • provisional certificate of nationality.
Registration Fees Fees are payable to the NIS Register: Nkr 6,782 payable upon registration and an annual fee of NKr 5,800 for subsequent years. There are also fees to be paid to the Norwegian Maritime Directorate (NMD) which are calculated separately for each specific ship.
Type of Mortgage A statutory form of Norwegian mortgage is required which sets out specific details of the loan transaction. The mortgage must be registered with the NIS.
Approved Classification Societies ABS, BV, CCS, DNV, GL, KRS, LR, NKK, PRS, RINA, RS.
Crew Nationality There are no restrictions on nationality of the crew except that the Master must be Norwegian (although an application for dispensation from this requirement can be made and such applications are normally treated favourably).
Parallel Registration Not permitted.
Flag of Convenience No, although the status of the NIS is currently under review.
Mortgage Registration Fee NKr 1,310.
Useful Addresses

The Norwegian International Ship Register
PO Box 1013 Sentrum
5808, Bergen
Tel:  +47 55 541250
(NIS direct after hours number)
Fax: +47 541275
Mobile: 93084263/ 97717642/ 909 81440
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.