Technical inspection of the ship

Upon a technical inspection of a vessel, the Belgian Maritime Inspectorate delivers a certificate of seaworthiness, without which no ship registration is possible. Said certificate covers all certificates – except two (as shown later in this text) – related to the IMO Conventions (SOLAS, Marpol, etc.). The following procedure has been developed for technical inspection purposes:

Submission of a technical file, including, among others, the documents listed below:

  •   general information on the ship;
  •  copies of all valid certificates, both regarding the articles of association and class;
  •  copies of the main construction drawings, including a general plan and a main frame drawing;
  •  a recent plate thickness measurement report
  •  the stability data;
  •  information on all relevant material damage sustained and repairs carried out;
  •  relevant reports on previous surveys carried out by classification bodies or the ship-owner;
  • information and relevant data on rebuilding or major structural modifications of the ship;
  • reports of recent port state inspections;

Initial inspection

In consultation with the ship owner, a date and a location are set for the initial inspection.

Issuance of certificates

If the initial inspection results in a favorable report, the national and international certificates required will be issued.

The Belgian Shipping Inspectorate issues all international certificates. However approved classification bodies are entitled to issue passenger and cargo ship safety construction certificates, as well as freeboard certificates in the name of the Belgian Shipping Inspectorate. The Belgian Shipping Inspectorate not only issues certificates of seaworthiness, but also tonnage certificates.

From entering the application to receiving the certificates, the following time span should be expected:

Administrative processing and evaluation of the technical file takes     14 days

Travel to the ship (if applicable):                                                                                1 day

Initial inspection:                                                                                                             3 days

Travel from the ship (if applicable):                                                                          1 day

Reports and drawing up certificates:                                                                      3 days

If applicable, the ISM audit is compulsory for companies with ships under the Belgian flag. Approved classification bodies will be entitled to perform such audits in the name of the Belgian Shipping Inspectorate. However the “Document of Compliance” will be issued by the Belgian Shipping Inspectorate upon submission of a favorable audit report. The Inspectorate also reserves the right to attend audits.

The SOPEP and Cargo Securing manuals, as well as the Stability Manual are to be submitted for approval to the Belgian Shipping Inspectorate.

Belgian Maritime Inspectorate
Natiënkaai 5
8400 Ostend – Belgium
+32 59 56 1450