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Maritime Law in Netherlands

Maritime Law in Netherlands

The rules and regulations containing the requirements for Maritime access and usage are contained by the Book 8 of the Dutch Civil Code -“Transport law and means of transport”. The main regulations stated in the Maritime Law are referring to the ship-owner societies and seagoing ships in Netherlands.

Ship-owners Society in Netherlands is a type of business where one or more individuals or corporate bodies own a seagoing ship. The members of the Ship-owners Society have a limited liability in extend of their contribution to the ship.

The Ship-owner Society in Netherlands is usually ruled by an administrator appointed by the members. It can be and individual or a corporate body. This administrator of the Dutch Ship-owner Society has limited powers, for example if he/she wants to replace the captain or perform certain repairs, it must ask for all the members’ permission.

All the company’s financial documents can be inspected at any time. These documents may be letters, books or balance sheets.

An administrator may be replaced by another one in various situations such as when he/she is declared bankrupt, when a new provisional legal administrator has been appointed on his behalf, when he has mental problems and it is placed in a specific institution, when he is placed under adult guardianship, or when the Debt Repayment Scheme for Natural Persons has decided so.

The administrator must, within six months from the end of his administration give details regarding his administration to the members of the Ship-owners Society by delivering all proof regarding that administration.

All the decisions related to the Ship-owner Society must be voted by the majority of the members especially those related to the dissolution of the Dutch Ship-owner Company, the extension of the administrator’s powers.

In the event of a decision to dissolve the Ship-owners Society, the ship has to be sold. If two months passes after the decision, the court may order to proceed to such sale and can determine the way in which the ship has to be sold.

After the dissolution, the Ship-owners Society continues to exist until the liquidation of the property involved. In charge with the operations related to this is the administrator (if available).

Registration of the Dutch seagoing ships. Just like in other country, and even distant ones such as Hong-Kong, all the seagoing ships must be registered before performing any activity. For this action are responsible the owners. In order to register a ship, the owner must submit a signed statement, stating clearly that the seagoing ship is suitable to be registered.

When the ship is under construction, the request is accompanied by a proof that the ship is made and under construction in the Netherlands.

Each ship has a captain, which has the right to perform juridical acts regarding taking the ship into operation or to keeping it in operation. He has also the right to issue bills for carrying goods which have been received and accepted for carriage and to issue tickets for passengers to be transported on the ship or even conclude contracts for salvage and to collect the reward on behalf of the ship-owner.

A seagoing ship can be deleted from the public register only if its owner is requesting this or ex officio for various reasons such as the destructions, losing, when no news have been received from the ship for six months after its last departure or in many other cases. Also the deletion may be requested by a Court.

Investors who are interested in engaging in maritime shipping, import and export should comply with the VAT registration in Netherlands as well as with the other types of requirements for these activities, such as EORI registration for trade purposes. One of our lawyers can provide more details.

Contact our law firm in the Netherlands for more information.