Ship and NIMASA registration Requirements in Nigeria

This covers NIMASA registration requirements as a shipping company, NIMASA registration fees, NIMASA seafarers registration and Ship registration all in Nigeria. You can use Aziza Nigeria service to complete your NIMASA registrations and Ship registration as we are a registered business support firm in Nigeria that majored in Oil & Gas Registration Supports and Maritime Industry Business Registration Support services.

What is NIMASA?

NIMASA is acronym of The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is a federal government body/ office that is in charge of maritime industry and ship registration in Nigerian. NIMASA was established by Section 28(2) of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act 2007.

Persons Qualified to Register Ships in Nigerian

The current act that established ship registration is called “Merchant Shipping Act 2007”. It provides that the following are persons eligible to register ship in Nigerian.

  • A Nigerian Citizen;
  • Joint owners not exceeding five persons
  • Bodies corporate established under and subject to Nigerian Laws, having their place of business in Nigeria
  • Such other persons as the Minister of Transport may prescribe

NIMASA Shipping Company Registration Requirements

In Nigeria, a ship cannot operate commercially in or from the waters of Nigeria unless the ship is a Registered Nigerian Ship, registered by law of another country and is by the law of that country exempted from registering in Nigeria; or unless the ship is a licensed Nigerian ship operating solely within the waters of Nigeria and where the ship is exempted from registration.


Read: Oil & Gas Permit & Licences Registrations


Ships That Are Eligible For Registration

The ships that are eligible for registration in Nigeria are:

  • Fishing vessels,
  • Floating production storage,
  • Merchant ships,
  • Ships licensed weighing under 15 gross tons,
  • Ships licensed to operate in coastal and inland waters of Nigeria
  • Ships under construction
  • Any ships owned by Nigerians citizens or Nigerian registered bodies corporate

However, it is important to know that in line with International Maritime Organization guidelines, only the double hull vessels can be registered with the NIMASA.

NIMASA Procedure and Requirements for Ship Registration

An application for the registration must be made formally in writing to the Registrar at a port of Registry in Nigeria subject to the approval of the Minister. The form for registration is available on the NIMASA’s website.  The owner of the ship or agent will submit a formal letter of application attaching the following documents;

  • A completed NIMASA application form
  • A completed NIMASA approval of name of ship form
  • Copy of Certificate of Incorporation
  • Evidence of registration as a shipping company with NIMASA
  • CTC of Memorandum and Article of Association
  • CTC of Form CAC 7 and CAC 2(Particulars of Directors and Allotment of Share capital). The share capital of the company must not be less than Twenty-Five Million Naira. (N25 Million)
  • Company’s current tax clearance certificate
  • Company’s bank statement or reference letter
  • A declaration of NIMASA ownership form to be issued by the Ship Registry.
  • The applicant is to make an application for survey and issuance of Certificate of Tonnage measurement to facilitate the flag survey of the ship.


Read: Local Content Registration (NCDMB) 


The applicant is also expected to provide details of its particulars when registering a Ship. These details should include the following;

  • Full names, address and occupational operation of the applicant
  • Evidence of ability to operate and maintain a ship
  • The logbook of the ship will also be provided for inspection by the Registrar of Ships.
  • Evidence of sufficient financial resources for the operation and maintenance of the ship.

NIMASA Official Fee for Ship Registration

The official cost for the registration of ship on the initial registry in Nigeria is on items based on gross tonnage of Vessel, which is as follows:

  • For a ship that has 200 tons, the charge is N120, 000.00 (One Twenty Thousand Naira);
  • To register for a Ship that weighs over 200 tons to 1000 tons, the charge N160,000.00 (One Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira Only)
  • For the registration of a ship with a gross tonnage over 1000 tons, the charge to be paid is N160,000.00 and additional N160,000.00/1000 Tons

 Individuals Ship Registration NIMASA Requirement

Joint owners (not exceeding five persons); and Other parties approved by the minister of transport.

Ship Registration Requirement in Nigeria

A shipping company that want to engages in the business of transporting or providing cargoes, ship owning and shipping operations can apply to register a ship if it has duly incorporated in accordance with the Companies and Allied Matters Act with the objectives of doing shipping business or shipping agent. The Corporate Affairs Commission has put the minimum threshold for the registration of Logistic Companies who engage in shipping or who serve as agents to have as a pre-requisite a minimum share capital of N25, 000,000 (TWENTY FIVE MILLION NAIRA). To this extent a company who wishes to carry on shipping activities as part of its businesses must have a minimum share capital of N25, 000,000.

Renewal of Certificate of Ship Registration

The registration of a ship is valid for five years, after which the ship-owner can apply for renewal of the vessel registration and the charges to be paid shall be half of the initial registration cost. The application for renewal is supported by the following documents:

  • A formal letter of application by the applicant or authorized agents
  • Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation
  • CTC of Memorandum and Article of Association
  • CTC of Form CAC 7 (Particulars of Directors) and CAC 2 (Allotment of Shares)
  • Current Tax Clearance Certificate
  • Competed declaration of ownership form with the passport photograph attached
  • Bank statement/Reference
  • Return of expired certificate of registration
  • Condition survey report
  • Annual survey report of the preceding 3 years
  • NIMASA Official Receipt for payment of registration


For help on NIMASA or Ship Registration Service/ Support, Contact us on:


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