Monthly Archives: September 2016

​The Continuous Synopsis Record-A handy guide

Navsregs>Ship Certification>CSR

A permanent record of a ship’s life

What is it?

The Continuous Synopsis Record is intended to provide an on-board record of the history of the ship

Which ships need to carry one?

Ships engaged on international voyages. The CSR shall be kept on board the ship and shall be available for inspection at all times.

Why is it needed?

It is required by SOLAS Chapter XI-1 – Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Safety, Regulation 5 – Continuous Synopsis Record

What does it contain?

Ship identification

Registration details

  • The name of the State whose flag the ship is entitled to fly
  • The date on which the ship was registered with that State
  • The port at which the ship is registered
  • The date on which the ship ceased to be registered with that State.

Ownership information:

  • The name of the registered owner(s) and their registered address(es)
  • The registered owner identification number;
  • The name of the registered bareboat charterer(s) and their registered address(es), if applicable
  • The name of the Company, as defined in regulation IX/1, its registered address and the address(es) from where it carries out the safety-management activities
  • The Company identification number


  • The name of all classification society(ies) with which the ship is classed
  • The name of the Administration or of the Contracting Government or of the recognized organization which has issued the Document of Compliance (or the Interim Document of Compliance)
  • The name of the Administration or of the Contracting Government or of the recognized organization that has issued the Safety Management Certificate (or the Interim Safety Management Certificate)
  • The name of the Administration or of the Contracting Government or of the recognized security organization that has issued the International Ship Security Certificate (or the Interim International Ship Security Certificate).

What form does it take?

It has three parts

  • Form 1 The CSR
  • Form 2 Amendment form
  • Form 3 Index of amendments

How is it amended

On each change a form CSR 2 is completed showing the new details. The original is kept with the CSR 1 on the ship and a copy sent to the flag state administration.

The Flag state issue a revised CSR 1 to the ship, which is given a sequential number, the initial one issued on build being 1

All the CSR1s have to be retained on board.

The CSR3 is a is updated with a summary of the amendments.

The Administration needs to keep a copy (which may be an electroniccopy) of each CSR document issued to the ship.



The CSR is required by SOLAS Chapter XI-1 – S

It contains a history of the ship’s life from build to scrapping

It is made up of three forms.

  • Form 1 The CSR
  • Form 2 Amendment form
  • Form 3 Index of amendments

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What is a ship’s IMO Number and Official Number?

Navsregs>Ship Certification>IMO and Official Numbers

Uniquely identifying ships

This post explores two of the terms used in the last post, two numbers assigned to all foreign going ships.

The IMO Number

A permanent number that remains with the ship throughout its life; a number that identifies a ship regardless of what name, flag, and ownership changes it goes through, from build to scrapping.

What is it?

It is number made up of the three letters ‘IMO’, followed by seven digits. The digits are the numbers used in Lloyds Registe against the ship.
Why is it needed?
It is required by SOLAS Chapter XI, regulation 3- Ship identification number

The number is to be clearly legible on all plans, manuals and other documents required by IMO conventions to be carried on board ships.

Which ships must have the number?

Passenger ships of 100gt  and above and Cargo ships of  300Gt and above.

How is it obtained? 

It is issued by HIS maritime and Trade on behalf of the IMO.

Where can the number be found?

On the Certificate of Registry.

Permanently marked in a visible space on stern, side hull, or superstructure, in an easily accessible pace on a transverse bulkhead of machinery space, end of hatchway, pumproom, or transverse bulkhead in a RO/RO space.

A useful link

IMO number website

The official number

What is it?

A  number issued by a flag state when a ship enters its register.

How is it obtained?

The number is assigned by the Registry with a carving note, and will remain with the ship unless it changes flag.

The number will be stated in the official log book.

SI 1981 No. 0569 – The Merchant Shipping (Official Log Books) Regulations


IMO number = Issued by IMO for life of ship

Official Number = Issued by flag state for period ship is on their registry

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The Ship’s Certificate of Registry-A Handy Guide

Navsregs>Ship Certification>Certificate of Registry

This series of posts will now delve into some of the ship’s certification in a series of posts about the individual documents. The posts are not intended as definitive sources of information, but as handy revision guides for those studying for Master’s, Chief Mates and Officer if the watch examinations.

DSCF3260The Certificate of Registry-The ship’s passport

What is it?-

A certificate that proves a ship’s nationality, It is probably the most important document on a ship.

Why is it needed?

It will be required when obtaining clearance in a foreign port and when boarded by officials in a war zone or embargoed area. It also of use when selling a vessel, arranging finance, or obtaining protection from a warship.

Which ships need it?

Any ship on international voyages, apart from Government owned vessels and very small vessels.

In UK law, commercial vessels under 100 GT and pleasure vessels less than 24 metres are listed on different registers. They need to be registered if sailing on the ‘high seas’ or visiting foreign ports in order to remain under flag state law.

How long is it valid?

5 years, or on change of ownership

What information can be found on the certificate?wp-1456347039822.jpg

Identity details:

Name, Official number, Call sign, IMO number

Ship description:

Port, Type of ship, Method of propulsion, Engine make and model, Total engine power


Gross tonnage, Net tonnage, Registered tonnage


Length, Breadth, Depth

Build details:

Year of build, Name of builder, Country of build


Name and address of owners


Issue and expiry dates, Signature

Some Useful information

  • The certificate of registry does not prove ownership or show mortgages.
  • It cannot be subject to detention and must remain on the vessel unless required to obtain custom clearance.
  • Many countries require the certificate to be produced on entering or leaving a port.

Where are the references?


UNCLOS Article 91 Nationality of ships

” Every State shall fix the conditions for the grant of its nationality to ships, for the registration of ships in its territory, and for the right to fly its flag. Ships have the nationality of the State whose flag they are entitled to fly. There must exist a genuine link between the State and the ship.”

“Every State shall issue to ships to which it has granted the right to fly its flag documents to that effect.”

United Kingdom

Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (Chapter 21)

1993 No. 3138 The Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Regulations 1993

“Certificate of registry” means a certificate of registration which is issued to a ship which is registered under the Act and includes a certificate of bareboat charter unless the context otherwise requires”

Other useful Links

The UK RYAs advice on registration

UK Shipping Register 

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