Every flag state has their own registration procedures. Some are fairly simple and straightforward registrations based on documents alone and others are slightly more complicated with surveys and inspections.


One of the more time consuming yacht registration processes is that of the Netherlands. First the application and accompanying documents have to be submitted with the ships registrar. Then an agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management has to issue a Declaration of Nationality and the Tonnage certificate, before the vessel is registered administrative. The final two steps are the physical inspection of the vessel by the ships registrar, followed by the issuing of the Certificate of Registry.


What is a Declaration of Nationality?

The Declaration of Nationality is the actual document which gives the yacht her nationality, at least in the procedures they follow in the Netherlands. The document is valid or just 30 days, before it expires. It is before the expire date that the ships registrar has to actually process the administrative registration. The vessel is given a unique registration number, which is recorded in the ships registrar and formalises both the registration of the vessel, as well as her nationality.


If the ships registrar does not process the administrative registration within 30 days after the Declaration of Nationality is issued, because essential documents are missing or documents to do not meet criteria, the Declaration of Nationality will expire. A new Declaration of Nationality will have to be requested once all documents are in order. Making sure all document requirements are met, is therefore of essential importance to avoid any delays and unnecessary costs.



What does the Declaration of Nationality mention?

The Declaration of Nationality sates the obvious basic details of a vessel such as her name, type, brand, mark, measurements, etc. but no HIN number strangely enough. Details of the engine and the engine numbers, together with the name and address of the owner of the yacht.

Last….. but not least, the date of issue and expire date are the final variables you will find on the Declaration of Nationality.


Why a Declaration of Nationality?

Well that is plain and simply because the Declaration of Nationality is part of the registration process as described in Civil- and Commercial Code of the Netherlands.