OFFICIAL GUIDE TO SHIP & YACHT REGISTRIES

Venezuela

Shipowner Eligibility 

According to article 129 of the Law of Merchant Marine, national ships are deemed to be all those registered in the Venezuelan Shipping Registry (RENAVE). On the other hand, Venezuelan registry is fully opened to foreign investors, since article 130 of the said law states that for a ship to be registered in RENAVE, it must be:

1. Property of Venezuelan citizens;
2. Property of Venezuelan legal entities duly incorporated and domiciled in the country;
3. Property of foreign investors that comply with the regulations applicable to the participation of foreign capital, duly incorporated and domiciled in this country;
4. Foreign registry bareboat chartered for periods of time equal or over one (1) year for any of the persons mentioned in points 1, 2 and 3;
5. Ships of foreign registry given under leasing agreement to any of the persons mentioned in points 1, 2 and 3;
6. Ships built in national drydocks, irrespective of the nationality of the owner.

Therefore, in the light of the current maritime legislation a ship may be wholly owned by foreign interest, the only requirement is the incorporation of a domestic company, but once again 100% of the shares may be wholly owned by foreign interest.

About the Flag

Venezuela is located in northern South America bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean between Colombia and Guyana. It is a member of the OAS, OPEC, CARICOM, the UN, and the IMO. Formerly a Spanish colony and briefly a German colony, in 1811 the country gained independence under the leadership of Simon Boli­var. The capital is Caracas. The legal system is based on the Napoleonic Code. The President is the Chief of State and Head of Government, and there is a bicameral Congress of the Republic. Spanish is the official language but there are many native dialects. Despite efforts to broaden the base of the economy, petroleum plays a dominant role. Major trading partners include the United States, the Netherlands, and Japan. The unit of currency is the bolivar.

Vessel registration in Venezuela is governed by the rules enacted in the Organic Law on Aquatic Spaces (Ley Organica de los Espacios Acuaticos) published in the Official Gazette Extraordinary No. 5,890 dated 31st July 2008 as well as the General Law of Merchant Marine and Related Activities (Decreto con Fuerza de Ley General de Marinas y Actividades Conexas) published in Official Gazette No. 37,570 dated 14th November 2002.

Resulting from this legislation, the Venezuelan Shipping Registry, or "RENAVE" office, is located within the National Institute of Aquatic Spaces ascribed to Ministry of the Popular Power for Aquatic and Air Transportation, with branches in the different port captaincies throughout the country.

This listing has been prepared with the kind assistance of Jose Sabatino of Sabatino Pizzolante Maritime and Commercial Attorneys | Centro Comercial Inversiones Pareca, Piso 2, Ofic. 2-08 / 2-09, Av. Salom, Urb. Cumboto Sur. Puerto Cabello 2050. Estado Carabobo | Venezuela | Tel. [58] (242) 3641801 / 3641026 | Fax [58] (242) 3640998 | www.sabatinop.com.

Company Formation

Information is unavailable at this time. In the interim, please contact the law offices of Sabatino Pizzolante.

Taxation

Information is unavailable at this time. In the interim, please contact the Registry

Registration and Documentation

From the administrative point of view the shipping registration process has improved, since the dual registration procedure (requiring inscription of documentation before the maritime authority as well as the public registry) was repealed by the now enacted legislation. Thus,
the Venezuelan Shipping Registry, the so-called RENAVE office, is located within the National Institute of Aquatic Spaces ascribed to Ministry of the Popular Power for Aquatic and Air Transportation, with branches in the different port captaincies throughout the country.

Ships built or under construction of tonnage equal or over 500 gross tonnage will be registered before the RENAVE office located in Caracas (Art. 100 of the Law of Merchant Marine); vessels under 500 gross tonnage will be registered in the particular branch of RENAVE located in respective port captaincy where the ship will be registered (Art. 101 of the Law of Merchant Marine).

Article 132 of the Law of Merchant Marine states that the President of the National Institute of Aquatic Spaces (INEA) shall issue the Temporary Patent of Navigation for ships whose gross tonnage are equal or over 500 gross tonnage. In the case of ships between 150 gross tonnage and 500 gross tonnage, the said Patent shall be issued by the Port Captain where the registry takes place. The owner or charterer will have 60 continues days period to submit the whole documentation required by law. Once the said documentation is submitted and found in order by RENAVE, elapsed 90 days from the day of registry, the President of INEA or the Port Captain as the case might be, shall issue the definitive Patent of Navigation valid for 5 years.

As per Art. 133 of the same legislation, the Patent of Navigation is the document proving the Venezuelan nationality of the ship, authorizing it to sail under Venezuelan flag. This document states the name of the ship and the registry number, the name of the natural person or legal entity in whose favor the ship is registered, the tonnages and the main characteristic of the ship. Article 135 of the Law of Merchant Marine, states that ships of gross tonnage less than 150 gross tonnage registered in RENAVE shall need a Navigation License issued by the Port Captain, valid for 2 years.

According to Art. 104 of the Law of Merchant Marine, when the inscription of a ship in RENAVE is requested, documentation or titles to prove rights on the ship, tonnage certificate if required, technical specifications and the plans of it must be submitted. It has to be also proven that legal requirements and regulations related to construction and safety have been complied with. When the inscription is related to a foreign ship, a document issued by the maritime administration of the country of registry is needed, stating that the ship has been deleted of the said registry or temporarily suspended, or that this will take place the day the new registry takes place. The basic documentation to submit to RENAVE is:

a) The Application made before the maritime administration for inscription of the vessel at the Venezuelan Naval Registry must be submitted through the INEA website;
b) Copy of the articles of incorporation of the company acting as owner/charterer;
c) Presentation of the deletion, suspension of the previous registration or equivalent document; and,
d) Vessel’s document of ownership or bareboat/leasing agreement as the case might be, duly translated into Spanish and ç
e) Plans and technical characteristics of the ships, including former gross tonnage certificate.

Note that ship registration also implies customs tasks related to the ordinary importation or temporal admission (if bareboat charter is chosen) as the case might be.

Bareboat Charter Registration

Bareboat charter in and out of the registry is permitted.

Vessel and Yacht Eligibility & Survey Requirements

An important aspect in connection with flag registration is also the inspection and certification. In general terms, once flagging process has advanced, then the inspection and certification of the ship by an appointed flag surveyor is needed; note that maritime administration allows the homologation of the original certificated up to three months, at which time the national ones should be issued. Also homologation is needed for the IMS Code subject to three months.

Crewing

Work on board is regulated by the Organic Employment Law. Besides, Art. 112 of the Organic Law of Aquatic Spaces requires that the Master, 50% of the officials as well as 50% of the rest of the crew members must be Venezuelan. In any case, and taking into account the fact that even in the case of foreign crew they are subject to employment benefits as prescribed by domestic law, it is advisable to use a domestic crewing company for that purpose.

Mortgages

Venezuela is signatory to the Convention for the Recognition and Execution of Foreign Arbitration Awards (New York Convention); also it has enacted the Law for Commercial Arbitration which incorporates the UNCITRAL model. Therefore, any foreign judgment or arbitration awards related to a maritime mortgage would be executable in this country without delay. Besides, the Law on Maritime Commerce which came into force in 2001 (with last amendment in January 2006) has introduced significant changes in respect of maritime mortgages as well as ship arrest to enforce it if necessary, incorporating mainly the provisions of the 1993 Convention on Mortgages and Maritime Liens and 1999 Arrest Convention. In any case, all matters related to a maritime mortgage will be dealt with by the First Instance Maritime Court, a specialized court created few years ago.

Art. 130 of the Law on Maritime Commerce states that a ship can be subject to a maritime mortgage provided it is registered in the Venezuelan Ship Registry. The maritime mortgage is constituted by means of its inscription in RENAVE, and it will not be valid nor opposable to a third party until such inscription is not effected, being necessary to make the inscription of any act or contract, modifying its terms, or extinguishing it. On the other hand, Art. 131 of the same Law on Maritime Commerce requires that when the maritime mortgage is constituted overseas, the form of the act will be ruled by the law of the place where it is constituted, by the law ruling the mortgage, by the law of the domicile of the grantor or that of the common domicile of its grantors. Nevertheless, for this maritime mortgage to have effect in Venezuela, it will be necessary to make the inscription of the mortgage document in RENAVE, containing the information needed as per the domestic legislation, the signatures of the grantors and Notary Public official, all this duly legalized before the Venezuelan Consulate or with the Apostille on it.

Fees

Registration is subject to the payment of the below registration fees to RENAVE:
ITEM
T.U.
Registration Certificate
Less than 5 Tons
5 Tributary Units*
Over 5 Tons & Up to 50 Tons
10 up to 20 Tributary Units
Over 51 Tons & up to 100 Tons
21 up to 40 Tributary Units
Over 101 Tons & up to 300 Tons
41 up to 60 Tributary Units
Over 301 Tons & up to 600 Tons
61 up to 80 Tributary Units
Over 601 Tons & up to 800 Tons
81 up to 99 Tributary Units
Over 801 Tons & up to 5,000 Tons
100 Tributary Units
Over 5,001 Tons & up to 10,000 Tons
150 Tributary Units
Over 10,000 Tons
200 Tributary Units
Navigation Patent
0.0001 Tributary Units per Net Tonnage
Navigation License
0.0001 Tributary Units per Net Tonnage
Special Permits
6 Tributary Unites
* T.U. is a fiscal unit periodically adjusted, currently equivalent to US$20.93
Above fees do not include tasks related to the registration process in itself as well as customs tasks, the former to be provided under a case to case basis.

Contact

Instituto Nacional de los Espacios Acuáticos (INEA)
Almirante ELADIO JOSE JIMENEZ RATTIA
Presidente del INEA

Avenida Rio Orinoco
Urbanizacion Las Mercedes
Edificio INEA, Caracas
Caracas, Distrito Capital
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
Phone +589093214
Email INEA1@INEA.GOB.VE
Web http://www.inea.gob.ve

Instituto Nacional de los Espacios Acuáticos (INEA)
Mr Jose Luis Lara Borges
Maritime Security Manager
Venezuelan Maritime Administration
Avenida Rio Orinoco
Urbanizacion Las Mercedes, Caracas Zona Postal 1050
Caracas, Distrito Capital
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
Phone
+58 4244031688
+58 4120379345
Email
jlarab@inea.gob.ve
jlaraborges@gmail.com
Web http://www.inea.gob.ve
Fax 00582129091468
Telex 00582129091437



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 Venezuela

IMO Convention 48 x
SOLAS Convention 74 x
SOLAS Protocol 78
SOLAS Protocol 88 x
SOLAS Agreement 96
LOAD LINES Convention 66 x
LOAD LINES Protocol 88 x
TONNAGE Convention 69 x
COLREG Convention 72 x
CSC Convention 72
CSC amendments 93
SFV Protocol 93
Cape Town Agreement 2012
STCW Convention 78 x
STCW-F Convention 95
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
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)
London Convention 72
London Convention Protocol 96
INTERVENTION Convention 69
INTERVENTION Protocol 73
CLC Convention 69 d
CLC Protocol 76 x
CLC Protocol 92 x
FUND Protocol 76 x
FUND Protocol 92 x
FUND Protocol 2003
NUCLEAR Convention 71
PAL Convention 74
PAL Protocol 76
PAL Protocol 90
PAL Protocol 02
LLMC Convention 76
LLMC Protocol 96
SUA Convention 88
SUA Protocol 88
SUA Convention 2005
SUA Protocol 2005
SALVAGE Convention 89
OPRC Convention 90 x
HNS Convention 96
HNS PROT 2010
OPRC/HNS 2000
BUNKERS CONVENTION 01
ANTI FOULING 2001
BALLASTWATER 2004
NAIROBI WRC 2007
HONG KONG CONVENTION

x= ratification
d=denunciation

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