OFFICIAL GUIDE TO SHIP & YACHT REGISTRIES

Denmark

Shipowner Eligibility 

Ships must be "Danish owned" or be owned by companies in which Danish nationals or companies within the shipowning business have a significant direct or indirect share and influence and provided that the foreign shipowner has a Danish representative.
"Danish owned" means owned by any of the following:
Danish nationals
Danish government institutions and municipalities
Foundations and associations, the management of which consist solely of Danish nationals domiciled in Denmark
Shipping partnerships, provided that Danish nationals own at least two-thirds of the shipping partnership and provided that the Managing Owner is a Danish national and is domiciled in Denmark
Joint stock companies, and other companies with limited liability, who have elected a board of directors, provided that at least two-thirds of the board consists of Danish nationals domiciled in Denmark
Private limited companies without a board of directors, provided that two-thirds of the management consist of Danish nationals domiciled in Denmark
Other companies, provided that at least two-thirds of the members are Danish nationals domiciled in Denmark

For citizens and companies of EU or EEA, certain exemptions have been made with regard to the ownership requirements set out above which will allow them to be registered as shipowners. If the owner does not conduct its shipping business activities out of Denmark, an agent resident in Denmark must be appointed.

About the Flag

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy situated in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic and North Seas on a peninsula north of Germany. With its capital in Copenhagen, Denmark is ruled by the Prime Minister and unicameral parliament with the Queen as the Head of State. Danish is the chief language, and the legal system is based on civil law. Denmark is a member of the UN, EU, OECD, NATO, and the IMO.

The Danish economy is highly developed with high-tech agriculture, modern small scale, corporate industry, and comfortable living standards. It is self-sufficient in food and energy production and exports meat and dairy products as well as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, industrial machinery and various services (including shipping). The unit of currency is the Danish krone (DKK) and Denmark has not joined the monetary union of EU. Denmark’s major trading partners are the EU, Norway, and the United States.

The nation maintains two registries:

The Royal Danish Register of Shipping is the traditional, national register reserved for ships of Danish ownership which are home-ported in the country.

The second register, the Danish International Ships Register (“DIS”), was created by Act of Parliament No. 408 of July 1, 1988 (currently Executive Order no. 460 of April 11, 1997). Like the traditional registry, the DIS is reserved primarily for Danish owners, but the difference is in the degree to which foreign interests are allowed to participate in management and ownership of the shipping company, the types of eligible vessels, geographical and trade restrictions on activity, cabotage, taxation, and crewing issues. In particular, under the DIS, Danish shipowners may operate ships with a crew not subject to Danish national collective agreements but on international competitive terms.

Company Formation

In Denmark, a variety of limited companies, partnerships, limited partnerships, cooperative societies, etc. can be formed. The following, however, are the most commonly used.

Public Limited Company
A Public Limited Company ("aktieselskab" or "A/S") is a company limited by shares and governed by the Public Limited Companies Act ("aktieselskabsloven"). Such a company may be listed on the stock exchange.

Generally, the types of shares in the company can be ordinary shares and preferred shares. These two categories are often replaced by denominations such as "A" and "B" shares with A shareholders having priority rights to receive dividends and/or to participate in a distribution on a winding up. Each share must carry a vote. Corporate bodies may be shareholders of the company.

The company shall have both a Board of Directors and a management. The Board of Directors is elected at the annual ordinary general meeting by the shareholders. If the company has had an average of more than 35 employees over the previous three years, the employees may elect some of the board members. The Board of Directors employs the management. The Board of Directors must be composed of at least three members. The management must be composed of between one and three members. All members of the management and at least half of the members of the Board of Directors must be resident in Denmark. It is possible to apply to the Commerce and Companies Agency for an exemption in respect thereof. Citizens of EU countries are always exempted without application but are nevertheless counted as nonresidents if they are not actually resident in Denmark.

The company has an obligation to keep accounting records and produce annual accounts in accordance with the Bookkeeping Act and the Annual Accounts Act incorporating relevant EU directives on company law. The company is required to prepare annual accounts showing with sufficient clarity the assets and liabilities of the company and profit or loss for the period the accounts cover. The company is also required to issue an annual report including supplementary information with respect to the important developments which have occurred subsequent to the end of the accounting year, a statement of the prospects of the company, and a statement regarding research and development activities of the company.

A certified copy of the audited annual accounts, possible group accounts, the annual report, and information on where the accounts were approved must be filed with the Commerce and Companies Agency.

Private Limited Company
A Private Limited Company ("anpartsselskab" or "ApS") is also a company limited by shares and is subject to the Private Limited Companies Act which is very similar to the Public Limited Companies Act. Share certificates are not issued and can therefore not serve as negotiable instruments which implies that the company cannot be listed on the stock exchange. It is not required that a share in the company carry a vote. A board of directors is not required, and the company can be headed by one or more directors (management). If the company has no board of directors, the management is appointed directly at the ordinary general meeting.

Branch offices can be opened in Denmark by companies incorporated in the EU, companies incorporated in countries which in the opinion of the Ministry of Commerce grant Danish companies the same right, or companies incorporated in a branch treaty state. There are no capital requirements for the branch of the foreign company. The branch office is subject to Danish law with respect to its business in Denmark.
A branch manager must be appointed and given a power of attorney granting authority to act on behalf of the branch. The foreign company must no later than five months after the expiry of the financial year of the foreign company file with the Commerce and Companies Agency a certified and audited copy of the foreign company's annual accounts.

A shipping partnership is a partnership founded for the purpose of owning a single vessel. Shipping partnerships are subject to the Merchant Shipping Act. The partners can be individuals and/or legal entities and are personally liable for the obligations of the shipping partnership. However, each partner's liability is limited pro rata to the partner's share in the vessel. The shipping partnership shall elect a managing owner. The managing owner must be either an individual resident in Denmark or a limited company provided that the limited company has a board of directors composed of at least two thirds Danish subjects resident in Denmark. The managing owner has authority on behalf of the shipping partnership to conduct the ordinary business of the partnership. It is outside the ordinary business to sell or mortgage the vessel or to charter the vessel for more than one year.

The managing owner shall keep separate accounts in respect of the management of the shipping partnership. The managing owner must present the accounts covering each calendar year within two months after the end of the calendar year. Profits and losses are divided between the partners pro rata.

Limited Partnership
A limited partnership ("kommanditselskab" or "K/S") is a partnership with a number of limited partners personally liable for the obligations of the partnership, however, limited to a specific amount and with a general partner with unlimited liability. The general partner generally has authority on behalf of the partnership. The partners of the partnership can be individuals as well as limited companies.
A public or private limited company, a limited partnership or branch office must be registered at the Commerce and Companies Agency while a shipping partnership is registered at the Ship Registry.

Taxation

Danish tonnage tax regime
In 2002, Denmark introduced a new tonnage tax regime for shipping companies for this line of business that replaced the usual company tax system. The Danish tonnage taxation scheme is based solely on the total tonnage a shipowner operates. This means that taxation is independent of earnings or losses that may be incurred in the given taxation period. The tax system is approved by the EU Commission.
The Danish tonnage tax regime forms a very important part of the overall economic framework conditions that make registration in the Danish International Ship Register (DIS) attractive.

To which companies does the scheme apply?
The tonnage taxation regime can be used by limited shipping companies registered in Denmark, EU shipping companies with a permanent establishment in Denmark and all companies where the management is located in Denmark provided that the company is liable to company taxation in Denmark.
Shipping companies can choose to be taxed on the basis of the total actual tonnage they operate or alternatively, on the basis of ordinary income taxation. The choice will be binding for a period of 10 years.
For all companies, it is a prerequisite that they actively operate shipping business. However, it is not necessary for a company to be engaged exclusively in shipping as a distinction of the taxable income will be made.

What is the level of taxation?
The taxable income for companies is in general subject to corporate income tax at the ordinary rate of 25%.
However, under the tonnage tax regime the taxable income is calculated by multiplying a deemed income per 100 tonnes of net tonnage by the number of days a vessel is controlled by the shipping company, regardless of whether or not the ship is in actual operation. The deemed income per 100 tonnes per day ranges from DKK 2,2 to 7,8, depending on the total tonnage operated. No deductions, including depreciation of the vessels, are permitted.

Taxation of seafarers in the Danish International Ship Register (DIS)
Like other countries, Denmark has chosen tax incentives as a means of reducing manning costs. The seafarer is thus in more general terms exempted from paying income tax of the DIS salary. As a consequence collective agreements or individual contracts of agreement will be able to set wages as net wages.

For more information contact the Danish tax authority: SKAT by phone +45 7222 1818 or through the tax authority website.

Registration and Documentation

Danish ships shall be registered in a port in Denmark with the name and port of registry marked on the ship. Registration may be made either by transfer from one Danish register to the other, by transfer from a foreign registry, or as a first time entry of a new ship. Vessels may not be registered if they are simultaneously registered in any other registry of shipping, and shall receive new signal letters upon registration.

In order to register a vessel, the original, executed registration application form ("S-form") regarding the vessel particulars and shipowner registration form ("R-form") should be submitted. If the owner is already registered as the owner of a Danish ship, reference can be made to the existing registration. The registration forms must be signed by all responsible parties.

The registration forms must be accompanied by the Bill of Sale or the Builder's Certificate as documentation of ownership together with confirmation that the vessel has been built for the owner's expense (newbuildings) and that title to the vessel has passed to the owner. If the vessel has been registered in a foreign register, the Certificate of Ownership and Encumbrances and a Deletion Certificate from the foreign registry must also be submitted. Faxed or photocopied certificates from foreign registries are not acceptable. Whether such documents can be accepted when notarized depends on the specific decision of the relevant ship register.

All registration matters are handled by the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) and all documents should be submitted there directly. Registration cannot be effected through a Danish consulate or other overseas representative. Under a few limited conditions, the DMA may issue a Provisional Certificate of Nationality for one voyage or for a certain period of time. For instance, if a foreign vessel is purchased and taken into possession in a foreign port, it is possible that a local representative of the DMA may issue a Provisional Certificate of Nationality limited to a period of no more than one year or to the first call at a Danish port whichever is sooner.

It is interesting to note that the Danish National Register and DIS have the same documentation requirements and forms in connection with the registration of vessels. When the ship has been registered, the call signs indicate in which register the ship is registered.

For companies who would like to establish activities in Denmark and register a vessel under Danish flag, the Danish Maritime Authority will provide a point of contact (POC) free of charge.

The POC is an experienced and maritime educated employee who will assist in questions like
How to register my vessel under Danish flag?
How to order inspection and approval of my vessel?
Are there any special Danish regulations required for vessels under Danish flag?
What are the training requirements of the crew?
How many crewmembers are required?

The POC will also be the contact person when you are in doubt of the administrative procedures. In addition, the POC can assist you with the necessary applications and give you a status of the progress of your applications. The assistance will mainly be within the non-commercial framework, however, contact to other Danish authorities will be provided.

Please contact the Danish Maritime Authority on phone: +45 39 17 44 00 and ask for a Point of Contact or send an email to the Danish Maritime Authority's Centre for Ships email: cfs@dma.dk with the subject line: "Request for Point of Contact."

Bareboat Charter Registration

The bareboat charter registry permits ships to be bareboat charter registeredinto Denmarkor ships in the Danish shipping registers to be registered under foreign flag on a bareboat charter. No fees are attached.
No license or mortgages or any other rights can be registered in a ship that is bareboat charter registered into Denmark.

Before the right to fly the Danish flag is granted, all Danish inspection and safety provisions - and international obligations - such as compliance with international conventions ratified by Denmark and EU legislation - should be met.

Bareboat charter registration into Denmark is temporary and granted for a term of up to 5 years, which may be extended with one year at a time.


Danish ships can also be bareboat registered in a foreign registry. The requirement is that the foreign bareboat register is subject to certain globally accepted international instruments.

Bareboat charter registration out of Denmark is temporary and granted for a term of up to 5 years, which may be extended with one year at a time.

Vessel and Yacht Eligibility & Survey Requirements

In Denmark a number of Recognised Organisations are authorised to undertake statutory certification services for vessels registered in Denmark.

The Danish Maritime Authority has recognised eight Classification Societies.
Authorised Recognised Organisations (RO)
American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
Bureau Veritas (BV)
Class NK (Nippon Kaiji Kyokai)
Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
Lloyd's Register (LR)
Polish Register of Shipping (PRS)
RINA

Crewing

Ships must have a Safe Manning Document issued by the DMA. The authorities will take into account the technical standard of the ship, the type of ship, the administrative and organizational arrangements, including the use of a multi-purpose crew. There are no restrictions on the nationality of ships' crews except that the master must be a Danish citizen. However, the DMA will under certain circumstances grant a dispensation to a master of another nationality. It is a requirement that the officers have a Certificate of Competency.

Mortgages

It is possible to register three types of mortgages on a vessel. Under the ordinary ship mortgage ("skibspantebrev"), the security interest in the vessel is directly connected to the debt of the loan secured by the mortgage. The ship mortgage ("skadesløsbrev") provides security up to a specified maximum amount and is issued to the mortgagee as security for an underlying obligation. The owner's mortgage ("ejerpantebrev") is the owner's security interest registered on the vessel and can be pledged by the owner to a third party as security for the owner's obligations.

To effect any of the types of mortgages, the original, executed mortgage forms are required. The signatures must be confirmed by two witnesses, a notary public, or a Danish lawyer. If the owner is represented by a legal entity, documentation in respect of the authority to sign must be submitted as well as an original power of attorney. Prior to the actual registration at the DMA, the Registrar must give final approval of the mortgage and the documentation. The mortgage will be entered into the journal of the register on the day when the mortgage is received by the Registrar. Mortgages received on the same day have equal ranking provided that the mortgages have no mutual respect clause.

Mortgages received subsequent by the Registrar are allowed and will have lower priority unless the final mortgage includes a respect clause. However, it is possible to register a clause by which subsequent mortgages can only be registered with the acceptance of the registered mortgagee's acceptance. It should be noted that there are no differences between mortgages registered in the Danish National Register and the DIS.

Fees

Fees for recreational craft
Registration fee for recreational craft in connection with new registrations and transfer of ownership: DKK 6,000
Fee for registering a bill of sale or the like: 0.4% of the purchase price (rounded up to the nearest 100 DKK)
Fee for registering a builder's certificate: DKK 0
Fee for registering a mortgage/owner's mortgage: 1.5% (rounded up to the nearest 100 DKK)
Fees for fishing vessels
Ship Register for ships of or above 5 GT
Fee for registering a bill of sale or the like: 0.4% of the purchase price (rounded up to the nearest 100 DKK)
Fee for registering a builder's certificate: DKK 0
Fee for registering a mortgage/owner's mortgage: 0.1% (rounded up to the nearest 100 DKK)
Boat Register for ships of or above 5 GT
Boat Register for ships of or above 5 GT: 0.4% of the purchase price (rounded up to the nearest 100 DKK)
Ship Register and Boat Register for all ships below 5 GT
Fee for registering a bill of sale or the like: DKK 0
Fee for registering a mortgage/owner's mortgage: In the Ship Register (It is not possible to register mortgages in the Boat Register): 1.5% (rounded up to the nearest 100 DKK)
Fees for commercial vessels, except fishing vessels
Ship Register and Danish International Ship Register
Fee for registering a bill of sale or the like: 0.1% of the purchase price (rounded up to the nearest 100 DKK)
Fee for registering a builder's certificate: DKK 0
Fee for registering a mortgage/owner's mortgage: 0.1% (rounded up to the nearest 100 DKK)
Ship Register for ships below 5 GT
Fee for registering a bill of sale or the like: DKK 0
Fee for registering a mortgage/owner's mortgage: 1.5% (rounded up to the nearest 100 DKK)
Fees for ships registered in the Ship Building Register (irrespective of the type of ship)
Fee for registering a bill of sale: 0.1% of the purchase price (rounded up to the nearest 100 DKK)
Fee for registering a mortgage/owner's mortgage: 0.1% (rounded up to the nearest 100 DKK)
Fees for transcripts from the Ship Register
For each of the transcripts and certificates below, the fee amounts to DKK 175.00:
Confirmed transcript from the ship's sheet in the register
Confirmed transcript of document, such as bill of sale and mortgage
Registration certificates
Non-registration certificates
Deletion certificates
Annual Fees
Up to 20 GT
800 DKK
Over 20 up to 500 GT
1,600 DKK
500 GT or more
2,400 DKK

Contact

Danish Maritime Authority
Danish Maritime Authority
Maritime Regulation and Legal Affairs
Fjordvænget 30
Korsør
DK-4220
Denmark

Phone
+45 72 19 60 00

Email
dma@dma.dk
mrj@dma.dk

Web
http://www.dma.dk
Fax
+45 72 19 60 01

Stockholm Agreement 96
IMO Convention 48
* IMO amendments 91 
* IMO amendments 93
SOLAS Convention 74
SOLAS Protocol 78
SOLAS Protocol 88
LOAD LINES Convention 66
LOAD LINES Protocol 88
TONNAGE Convention 69
COLREG  Convention 72
CSC Convention 72
CSC amendments 93
SFV Protocol 93
STCW  Convention 78
STCW-F Convention 95
SAR  Convention 79
STP Agreement 71
STP Protocol 73
IMSO Convention 76
INMARSAT OA 76
INMARSAT amendments 94
INMARSAT amendments 98
IMSO amendments 2006
IMSO amendments 2008
FACILITATION Convention 65
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex I/II)
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex IV)
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex V)
MARPOL Protocol 97 (Annex VI)
London Convention 72
London Convention Protocol 96
INTERVENTION Convention 69
INTERVENTION Protocol 73
CLC Convention 69
CLC Protocol 76
CLC Protocol 92
FUND Convention 71
FUND Protocol 92
FUND Protocol 2003
NUCLEAR Convention 71
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex III)
PAL Protocol 76
PAL Protocol 90
PAL Protocol 02
LLMC Convention 76
LLMC Protocol 96
SUA Convention 2005
SUA Protocol 2005
SALVAGE Convention 89
OPRC  Convention 90
HNS Convention 96
OPRC/HNS 2000
BUNKERS CONVENTION 01
ANTI FOULING 01
BALLASTWATER 2004
NAIROBI WRC 2007
HONG KONG CONVENTION
HNS PROT 2010
Cape Town Agreement 2012
SUA Convention 88
SUA Protocol 88

IMO Conventions

Status of Conventions Denmark

IMO Convention 48 x
SOLAS Convention 74 x
SOLAS Protocol 78 x
SOLAS Protocol 88 x
SOLAS Agreement 96 x
LOAD LINES Convention 66 x
LOAD LINES Protocol 88 x
TONNAGE Convention 69 x
COLREG Convention 72 x
CSC Convention 72 x
CSC amendments 93
SFV Protocol 93 x
Cape Town Agreement 2012 x
STCW Convention 78 x
STCW-F Convention 95 x
SAR Convention 79 x
STP Agreement 71
Space STP Protocol 73
IMSO Convention 76 x
INMARSAT OA 76 x
IMSO amendments 2006
IMSO amendments 2008 x
FACILITATION Convention 65 x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex I/II) x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex III) x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex IV) x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex V) x
MARPOL Protocol 97 (Annex VI) x
London Convention 72 x
London Convention Protocol 96 x
INTERVENTION Convention 69 x
INTERVENTION Protocol 73 x
CLC Convention 69 d
CLC Protocol 76 x
CLC Protocol 92 x
FUND Protocol 76 x
FUND Protocol 92 x
FUND Protocol 2003 x
NUCLEAR Convention 71 x
PAL Convention 74
PAL Protocol 76
PAL Protocol 90
PAL Protocol 02 x
LLMC Convention 76 d
LLMC Protocol 96 x
SUA Convention 88 x
SUA Protocol 88 x
SUA Convention 2005 x
SUA Protocol 2005 x
SALVAGE Convention 89 x
OPRC Convention 90 x
HNS Convention 96
HNS PROT 2010 x
OPRC/HNS 2000 x
BUNKERS CONVENTION 01 x
ANTI FOULING 2001 x
BALLASTWATER 2004 x
NAIROBI WRC 2007 x
HONG KONG CONVENTION x
Status of Conventions Denmark

IMO Convention 48 x
SOLAS Convention 74 x
SOLAS Protocol 78 x
SOLAS Protocol 88 x
SOLAS Agreement 96 x
LOAD LINES Convention 66 x
LOAD LINES Protocol 88 x
TONNAGE Convention 69 x
COLREG Convention 72 x
CSC Convention 72 x
CSC amendments 93
SFV Protocol 93 x
Cape Town Agreement 2012 x
STCW Convention 78 x
STCW-F Convention 95 x
SAR Convention 79 x
STP Agreement 71
Space STP Protocol 73
IMSO Convention 76 x
INMARSAT OA 76 x
IMSO amendments 2006
IMSO amendments 2008 x
FACILITATION Convention 65 x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex I/II) x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex III) x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex IV) x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex V) x
MARPOL Protocol 97 (Annex VI) x
London Convention 72 x
London Convention Protocol 96 x
INTERVENTION Convention 69 x
INTERVENTION Protocol 73 x
CLC Convention 69 d
CLC Protocol 76 x
CLC Protocol 92 x
FUND Protocol 76 x
FUND Protocol 92 x
FUND Protocol 2003 x
NUCLEAR Convention 71 x
PAL Convention 74
PAL Protocol 76
PAL Protocol 90
PAL Protocol 02 x
LLMC Convention 76 d
LLMC Protocol 96 x
SUA Convention 88 x
SUA Protocol 88 x
SUA Convention 2005 x
SUA Protocol 2005 x
SALVAGE Convention 89 x
OPRC Convention 90 x
HNS Convention 96
HNS PROT 2010 x
OPRC/HNS 2000 x
BUNKERS CONVENTION 01 x
ANTI FOULING 2001 x
BALLASTWATER 2004 x
NAIROBI WRC 2007 x
HONG KONG CONVENTION x

x: Accession/ratification
d: Denunciation

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