Ship registration in Cameroon. Ship registration is the process of documenting a ship’s given nationality. The nationality of a ship allows it to travel internationally wherever citizens of that nation are authorized to travel. The registration is almost like the passport for the ship, itself. Per international agreements, every merchant ship must be registered to a particular country. The country to which a ship is registered is called its “flag state.” A ship is bound by the laws of its flag state, and one commonly says a ship sails “under the flag” of its country of registration.

The Law that governs ship registration process  in Cameroon is the CEMAC Merchant Shipping Community code of 3rd August 2001 as amended on 22nd August 2012.

In Cameroon, a ship cannot operate commercially in or from the waters of Cameroon unless the ship is a Registered Cameroon Ship, registered by law of another country and is by the law of that country exempted from registering in Cameroon; or unless the ship is a licensed Cameroonian  ship operating solely within the waters of Cameroon and where the ship is exempted from registration.

The applicant is also expected to provide details of its particulars when registering a Ship. These details should include the following;

  • Full names, address and occupational operation of the applicant
  • Evidence of ability to operate and maintain a ship
  • The logbook of the ship will also be provided for inspection by the Registrar of Ships.
  • Evidence of sufficient financial resources for the operation and maintenance of the ship.

Eligible ships For Registration in Cameroon

The ships that are eligible for registration in Cameroon are:

  • Fishing vessels
  • Floating production storage
  • Merchant ships
  • Ships licensed weighing under 15 gross tons
  • Ships licensed to operate in coastal and inland waters of Cameroon
  • Ships under construction
  • Any ships owned by Cameroon citizens or Cameroon  registered bodies corporate


Furthermore, the particulars of the ship must be provided for registration and the information to be provided for is as follows:

  • The name of the ship, time, place of purchase and Master of the Ship
  • Particulars in respect of tonnage, build and description of the ship
  • Bill of sale or Builders Certificate, that is the evidence of title
  • Callsign certificate
  • Load line Certificate
  • Report of pre-survey purchase
  • Condition survey report and tonnage measurement certificate
  • Certificate of Carving and marking note of the Ship. The ship for registration must be marked permanently and conspicuously to the satisfaction of the Minister. Inspections will be carried out on ship markings at the cost to the ship’s owner.
  • Payment of Registration Fee
  • Evidence of insurance coverage of the ship
  • Certificate of nationality of the vessel registration
  • Tonnage certificate
  • Certificate of matriculation

All documents that describe the (type of vessel, construction year, dimension of the vessel, holding capacity, accommodation, freezing capacity, aux engine, and main engine. In order for us to assist you in this process we need your power of attorney or procurement.

This article is brought to you by the  Shipping & Maritime Law  Team at PRIME TIME  LAW OFFICES . 


We refer you to our disclaimer notice. For any further information, legal & advisory services relating to this article , please contact the PRIME TIME  LAW OFFICES at

Phone/WhatsApp: +237 654-071-252



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