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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.