Norwegian International Ship Register
Norwegian International Ship Register or NIS is a separate Norwegian ship register for Norwegian vessels aimed at competing with flags of convenience registers like Panama, Liberia etc. Originally proposed by Erling Dekke Næss in 1984 it was established in Bergen in 1987 and is managed by the Norwegian Ship Registers. In 2010, it was the 12th ship register by gross weight representing 1% of the global shipping weight.
In the years before the register had been established the Norwegian register lost out as it could not compete with lower paid seamen. The main objectives of establishing the register were:
- Maintain the shipping industry under the Norwegian flag.
- Provide better competitive conditions for the Norwegian merchant fleet in worldwide trade.
- Initiate registration requirements in accordance with Norway's obligations under international agreements, (especially United Nations (UN), International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Labour Organization (ILO)).
- Maintain a Norwegian fleet that could give greater employment opportunities to Norwegian seaman than a foreign flagged fleet.
- Restrict the types of vessels that may be registered.
- Limit the trading areas allowed. (NIS vessels cannot trade cargo between Norwegian ports or carry passengers on a regular basis to or from Norwegian ports.)
The register has been highly successful and in 2002 there were 880 vessels in the register with a total of ca. 21.2 million GRT (39 million metric tons deadweight (DWT)).
There has been some criticism during the years on countries that have opened second registers like Norway, Germany (GIS) and Denmark (DIS). The fact that under the second register there are no restrictions on the nationality of the crew and the lower safety standards compared to the first register are the main reasons.
- "Review of Maritime Transport 2010". United Nations Conference on Trade and Development secretariat. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- Flags of Convenience