Many of us may have heard about ship register, ship registration, ship registry, flag state, flags of convenience etc.. While a few are synonyms, the rest are not..
This article discusses the various aspects of ship registration, the types of ship registers, the conditions required to be part of a ship register, what is a flag of convenience and flag state..
In very simple terms, a ship register or ship registry gives a ship a nationality, a flag, an identity..
Ships also have nationality and this nationality or port of registration is shown on the stern of a ship as shown below..
In this example, the marking on the stern tells the world that the ship called CAPE ORCHID has been registered in Port Elizabeth in South Africa (you can see the South African flag) and is identifiable by IMO Number 9238571.