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American Bureau of Shipping


A tanker of the largest size in the AFRA Freight Rate Assessment Scale Large One Category which includes vessels in the order of 80,000 - 100,000 DWT with typical load capacities of 600,000 barrels of crude oil


Automatic Identification System

Authorised Person

Under section 4 of the Merchant Shipping Law (2005 Revision), the individual authorised is required to sign and make a declaration of eligibility, whether for himself or on behalf of a body corporate, that he or the body corporate is in fact qualified to be registered as owner of a Cayman Islands ship. The Authorised Person may also sign other forms and provide supporting documentation on behalf of the owner, as may be required from time to time. See also Representative Person

Ballast Voyage

A voyage that takes place between ports of discharge and loading ports where the vessel is carrying no cargo and hence takes on ballast (usually water) to make the vessel more manageable at sea

Bareboat Charter

A private agreement between two parties, individual or body corporate whereby the ship-owner leases an entire ship to the charterer for a particular reason (e.g. conveyance of goods). The ship-owner effectively gives the whole possession, operation and control of the ship over to the charterer. The charterer then becomes for the time the owner of the vessel allowing him to register with a flag state of his choice. Also see Demise Charter

Bill of Sale

A contract for the sale of a vessel which includes the vessel’s description, sales price, buyer's name, original signature of seller, and date.


The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) is a private organisation representing members’ interests in maritime affairs and free trade. Membership consists of ship-owners, shipbrokers and P&I Clubs representing more than 65% of the world’s ocean-going dry-cargo and tanker fleet.

Builder's Certificate

A certificate signed by the builder of a ship and containing a true account of the particulars of the ship, as estimated by him, and of the date and place where it was built, and of the name of the person, if any, for whom the ship was built, or the name of the person to whom it was delivered.

Bulk Carrier

A vessel with no tween-deck used for bulk transport of everything stowed in bulk without packaging such as grain, coal, ore, sugar, cement, etc.


Bureau Veritas


A parameter used to determine popular bulk carrier sizes and that governs the design of very large ships built to serve deepwater terminals handling raw materials, such as iron ore, particularly from Brazil. These vessels are too big for the Panama or Suez canals and, as an alternative, voyage via Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope.

Certificate of Good Standing

A certificate issued by a Companies Registry attesting to the fact that a company is in good standing and that it has filed all the necessary returns and fees.

Certificate of Survey

This Certificate is not strictly speaking a “survey” document but it contains the tonnage and other particulars of the vessel which will be entered in the Register therefore registration cannot normally proceed without it.


A person or firm who enters into a contract with a ship-owner for the transportation of cargo or passengers for a stipulated period of time. Also includes a bareboat or demise charterer. See also Demise Charter and Bareboat Charter.


A contract or agreement by which a ship-owner agrees to lease, and a charterer agrees to hire, an entire ship, or all or part of the cargo space to carry cargo for an agreed sum under certain conditions.


Cayman Islands Shipping Registry 


A subscriber utilised web-based client service system that allows the subscriber to access survey and audit, crew compliance, registration and financial information for his vessels from a remote location. Also allows the purchase of items such as logs, flags, and Merchant Shipping Laws, and to conduct other business online. The CISR VOE is being implemented in 3 phases, the first of which will go online on June 5, 2006 with the remaining 2 phases due for implementation before December 31, 2006.


Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage


Convention on International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.


Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea


Continuous Synopsis Record 

Demise Charter

Also called a bareboat charter in which the bare ship is chartered without crew with the charterer, for a stipulated sum, taking over the vessel with a minimum of restrictions. See also Bareboat Charter.


Det Norske Veritas 


Document of Compliance 

Documentation Agency

A firm that provides assistance to an owner or an owner’s representative in respect to the gathering and submission of all supporting documentation and necessary forms to register a vessel and to maintain its registration.


Deadweight tonnes (DWT) is a measure of the total weight that a vessel can carry when loaded down to its marks, including the weight of cargo, fuel, stores, water ballast, fresh water, crew, passengers and baggage. See also GT.


A claim or liability attached to a vessel that might lessen its value, such as a mortgageor a tax lien. Once registered, encumbrances stay with a vessel even after it has transferred to another unless these have been discharged by the party that attached it in the first instance or by a Court Order.


Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), Through the use of satellites, is meant to help rescuers locate marine vessels in an emergency situation. These satellite-linked EPIRBs broadcast a unique, repeating distress signal that can be detected from virtually any point on earth. When properly registered, the signal includes a description of the vessel as well as its location. An activated EPIRB will send critical information via satellite that is routed directly to rescue units thereby reducing search time dramatically. See also MMSI.


A web-based information system that collates existing safety-related information on ships from both public and private sources, jointly developed by the European Commission and the French Maritime Administration.


Fire Fighting Appliances 

Flag State

The common legal understanding of ‘flag state’ is the administration or the government of the State whose flag a ship is entitled to fly.


Floating Production Storage (FPSO) Offshore Loading vessel.


Germanischer Lloyd


Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) developed by the IMO and comprising a number of key elements including: Call Sign (a unique identifier of a radio station);Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) (a nine digit which is transmitted over the radio path in order to uniquely identify ship stations, ship earth stations, coast stations, coast earth stations and group calls); Selective Call Number (a unique numeric identifier of a ship or coast station in the maritime mobile service for simplex teletype over radio);Mobile Earth Station Identification Number (MESIN) (a unique numeric identifier of an INMARSAT-C, INMARSAT-M, INMARSAT-B and all new INMARSAT ship earth station);Ship Earth Station Identity Number (a unique numeric identifier of an INMARSAT-A ship earth station); Ship Station Identity (a unique numeric identifier of an INMARSAT-E EPIRB); and 406 MHZ EPIRB Unique Identifier Number (a unique alphanumeric identifier of a 406 MHZ satellite EPIRB).


Gross tonnage is the total volume of all enclosed spaces of a ship usable for carrying cargo or passengers measured in cubic metres using a standard formula under the International Tonnage Convention for vessels 24 metres and above or under national regulations for ships under 24 metres in length. See also DWT.