Tag Archives: Vessel

a freighter

Changes to the Madeira International Shipping Register

The legal regime of the Madeira International Shipping Registry of Madeira (RIN-MAR or MAR)  has just been revised, through Law 56/2020 of 27 August.

The changes to RIN-MAR’s legal regime are so relevant in reinforcing its attractiveness and competitiveness, that  it  will  catapult the Registry to a top position in the context of similar maritime registries  in Europe and the world.

Registry Digitalization

The digitalization of the registry was implemented, providing for the possibility of registration applications being submitted (i) in person, (ii) on line  or even (iii) by mail (which was not permitted so far). The law also establishes the possibility of registrations being submitted to Portuguese consular representations or even, and in duly justified cases, registrations may be requested on weekends and holidays, provided that this intention is communicated to the commercial register 48 hours in advance.

A topic that always raised  legal and practical hitches now sees its resolution enshrined: Should at the moment of definitive registration of a ship,  the deletion certificate of the previous registry, in original form,  is still not available , the final registration can now be carried out on the basis of a written declaration issued by the outgoing registration authority, sent to the  Madeira Commercial Registry, provided that it attests to the cancellation of the previous registration, the name of the last registered owner  and also the inexistence of charges on the vessel.

It should be noted that all documentation, original or certified copy, that certifies the facts subject to registration can be delivered to any post or consular section of Portugal abroad including honorary consulates, which are obliged to send the documentation to the said  Registry within 15 days and  also to notify it that it is  in possession of these documents.

Maritime Mortgages

The most significant changes and improvements of the revised law are related to maritime mortgages

Responding to a longstanding claim of the financing community, the exceptional regime now enshrined allows, in case of non-compliance with the obligations guaranteed by the mortgage,  the mortgagee’s right to dispose of the ship as long as no higher grade mortgage is levied on it  and the express determination of the latter’s obligations in exercising the right of disposal over the ship.

The right of disposal gives the mortgagee the powers to apprehend, navigate and dispose of the ship. The sale, with the consequent transfer of ownership over the ship, can only take place once the ship has been evaluated according to the method and criteria established in the mortgage contract or, failing that, according to the criteria defined by an independent third party based on commercially reasonable criteria.

In the mortgage contract, the parties may agree, that the sale or encumbrance of the ship is dependent on the prior consent of the mortgagee, which is presumed to have been provided after the agreed term for such is expired.

The legislative change also clarified the amounts guaranteed by the mortgage in addition to the principal amount: credit accessories, ordinary and default interest, constitution and registration expenses, as well as penal clauses contractually agreed upon.

It should be noted that pleasure crafts registered or to be registered with MAR are excluded from this regime.

Registration Deadlines

In another context and regarding deadlines, the possibility of provisional registration is also safeguarded with an extended period (maximum period of 90 days)  being given for the delivery of missing documents and promotion of the definitive registration, without which the registration expires. It is also given to the interested party the right to extend the term for an additional 60 days period, provided that proof is offered to MAR of the just impediment of the delivery of the missing documentation.

Bareboat Registration

As for the temporary registration of vessels in MAR (bareboat registration), the requirement for authorization by mortgagees, if any, is now expressly provided for, allowing for  greater legal certainty to interested parties. In this context, it is determined that this registration modality will be titled through a Temporary Registration certificate containing important elements about said registry.

Ship Books

Finally, the rules on the models of the ships’ books and logbooks  have been relaxed. The possibility of using other models of books and logbooks other than those indicated by Portuguese law is enshrined, provided that they include all the elements relevant to their purpose and comply with the applicable international requirements.

The international community of the sector will certainly be attentive to these changes and will see in RIN-MAR a first line maritime registry  in the options to consider, taking into account the prestige, quality and security conferred by the Registry to the various stakeholders.

auctor Rosana Rodrigues & Lília Caldeira

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a freighter

MAR’s Update on Logbooks

The International Shipping Register of Madeira (MAR) has published Circular 04/MAR updating the interpretation of national requirements related to logbooks on MAR registered vessels.


This circular is intended to advise shipowners, companies and Recognised Organisations (RO), when acting on behalf of the Portuguese administration, of the updated interpretation of national requirements in relation to the logbooks used on board MAR registered ships.

The national requirements

Relevant national legislation requires ships to carry logbooks in accordance with national and international legislation, which shall be authenticated by the relevant national authorities (MAR or DGRM) or a RO on their behalf.

In addition, it also establishes templates for those logbooks.

Although MAR registered ships are subject to a specific regime in several matters, in the case of the provisions related with the logbooks templates there is no reference to exclusions from its applicability to those ships.

Therefore, the understanding and practice has been to fully apply those requirements to MAR registered vessels as well and, consequently, MAR has been supplying vessels with complying books.

The updated interpretation

The Ministry of the Sea has now endorsed an interpretation of the legal provision in question where its application to MAR registered ships does not necessarily include the mandatory use of the logbooks national templates.


Following this interpretation, MAR registered ships are no longer required to use logbooks as per the national templates. Obviously, other relevant national and international requirements will continue to be applicable.

In any case, MAR will supply logbooks prepared in accordance with the national templates to companies that choose to continue to use them on board their ships.

Authentication and retention

The national legislation also includes requirements for the authentication and retention of the ships’ logbooks.

The authentication can be done during surveys by the RO, (the cooperation of ROs is kindly requested), by endorsing the masters’ opening and closing statements of the logbooks on board.

The retention of the logbooks on board is two years after the date of the last entry, but subject to international requirements when they impose longer periods of records retention.

Electronic logbooks

The Portuguese administration is also addressing the matter of the use of logbooks in electronic format on board ships in order to adapt the relevant legal and technical framework.

When the national framework changes in that respect, MAR will advise accordingly.

Additional information

If any additional information is required on the subject matter of this circular please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Madeira’s International Shipping Register

Portugal and its national merchant navy have recently been the subject of very positive analyzes by both the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations (UN). The reason: the International Ship Registry of Madeira (MAR)

In the case of the OECD, the country has been highlighted by the steady growth of its fleet since 2013, due to the work done under the MAR. The compliments to the Portuguese flag came from an OECD study in which Portugal is named one of the few flag states in Europe that have had constant success in growing their fleet over the last few years.

As for the United Nations, the most recent data confirm Portugal’s entry in the top 15 of the world records due to MAR.

In regards to the EU, it is confirmed that the International Register of Madeira Ships is the 3rd behind Malta and Cyprus, as the United Kingdom and Greece bring together several registers.

In recent years, in various international forums and agencies, the quality and growth of the Portuguese-flagged merchant navy has been widely recognized, based on analyzes that have the denominator of the International Register of Madeira Ships, and which unquestionably place the country among the most respected and competitive in the world in this sector.

This was the case for the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) reports on the performance of ship registrations, placing Portugal at the level of the best in the world, and for other reports issued by international bodies and entities such as the Memorandum Committee (MOU) of Paris and the American Coast Guard Qualship Index.

It should be noted that the exponential growth of the MAR has provided Portugal with a quality fleet, having contributed decisively to the country and, consequently, also to Europe, having more weight in the large international maritime forums, namely in the International Maritime Organization (IMO), where the major issues related to the sea and maritime transport are discussed and decided.

The most recent data show that the Madeira International Ship Registry continues to show a positive upward trend. Since the end of 2018, over a period of six months, MAR has seen an increase of 27 more commercial vessels. With a total of 653 vessels registered on 30 June, MAR maintains its top position among European international registrations, both in number of vessels and in tonnage.

fons SDM – Sociedade de Desenvolvimento da Madeira

Our team at MCS has more than 20 years of experience in assisting ship owners, chartering companies and yachting companies in registering their vessels and yachts in the Madeira International Shipping Register and in incorporating and managing the respective companies within the Madeira International Business Center. For more information do not hesitate to contact us.

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Madeira International Yacht Registry

Armed Security on Board Made Legal

The Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Portuguese Republic has approved armed private security on board of Portuguese registered ships, including those registered in the International Shipping Registry of Madeira (MAR), through Decree-Law 159/2019 of October 24th.

Private armed security teams on board of Portuguese registered ships is limited to those ships that navigate through high-risk areas for piracy, as defined by the Portuguese Government.

Private armed security providers and their employees must obtain a license and hold a professional card, respectively, to be issued by the Portuguese Public Security Police (PSP) in accordance with the rules set by Decree-Law 159/2019. Furthermore, the use and carrying of weapons is only permitted to the security team members in the areas classified as high-risk areas for piracy.

Portuguese registered ships can hire private armed security companies that are duly registered in accordance with the laws and regulations of a EU Member-State or a country member of the European Economic Area. These companies must have a sole corporate object, private armed security providers, and a minimum share capital of EUR 250 000.

Companies providing private armed security services to Portuguese registered ships must have a Security Director who is responsible for choosing the Security Team Coordinator, for making and proposing the anti-piracy plan (in accordance with the Law and to be approved by DGRM and upon issuance of binding opinion be PSP the National Maritime Authority), for making and proposing the trip plan and for making and proposing the terrestrial transportation plan regarding the arms and ammunitions.

The Security Team Coordinator is responsible for managing the security team, for evaluating the security on board and following the ship’s captain inspection and for coordinating the team’s intervention without jeopardizing the ship’s captain maximum authority on board.

In accordance with the law private armed security on board cannot use a military or a military inspired uniform. When reaching high-risk areas for piracy and overall vestment stating “On Board Security” must be used.

Allowed weapons for security on board include: semi-automatic long firearms with automatic configuration for military use; semi-automatic pistols with calibers 6.5mm Browning; pepper sprays; and electric weapons which shape cannot be mistaken for another class of weapon.

Further to the above, the ship must contain: anti-fire closets to store, separately, arms and ammunitions; CCTV (with audio) system; and voice communications systems.

These new measures greatly benefit the Portuguese merchant navy registered in the International Shipping Registry of Madeira (MAR) and reinforce its position as one of the most competitive shipping registries in Europe.

For more information on this matter please do not hesitate to contact us.

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