[550] *No. 7.—Law relating to the registration of Danish ships.


We, Christian the Ninth, by the grace of God King of Denmark, the Vandals, and Goths, Duke of Slesvig-Holstein, Storman, Ditmarsh, Lauenborg, and Oldenborg, make known:

The rigsdag have passed and we have sanctioned the following law:

§ 1. To entitle a ship to carry the Danish flag its owner or owners must, either by right of birth have the right of Danish nationality, and must not, in this case, be domiciliated abroad, or, on the other band, the owner or owners must have acquired the same right by having become a Danish citizen in virtue of a fixed domicile in Denmark. If the ship is owned by a share company the latter shall be subject to Danish law, and its board of directors have domicile in Denmark, and be composed of shareholders who fulfill the above-required conditions.

§ 2. [551] A register shall be kept of all ships which are entitled to carry the Danish flag and which *have been measured according to the law of measurement. After entry on the registry a document shall be delivered (certificate of registry and nationality) which, as long as it remains in force, shall in conjunction with the marks (§ 3) affixed to the ship serve for and be sufficient to identify it in all cases where the question of its nationality and identity may arise.

Besides the above-mentioned document, every registered ship shall, both in time of peace and war, be provided with a list of the crew, a customs clearance, besides the necessary papers relating to the cargo.

Ships of twenty tons burden and thereunder, engaged in the home coasting trade, are exempt from carrying the certificate of registry and nationality; they shall be entered on a separate register and only receive a certificate of measurement, the form of which shall be decided by the commissioners of customs. Such vessels, however, may on application be entered on the principal register and, upon conforming to the provisions of the present law, obtain a certificate of registry and nationality.

Danish trading-vessels shall hereafter only be entitled to carry the ordinary Danish trading-flag, as specified in the ordinance of the 11th July, 1748, § 4.

*§ 3. [552] All ships registered according to § 2 shall have the mark of nationality, “D. E.,” (Dansk Eiendom, viz: Danish property,) [Page 128] the tonnage and registered letters, permanently and legibly marked on the main-beam in the after-part of the main hatchway; or, if this cannot be effected, in another conspicuous and suitable spot. When these marks no longer exist, the ship cannot be recognized as a Danish registered vessel.

§ 4. The registration of ships shall be under the control and superintendence of the commissioners of customs, and shall be effected in specified registration districts, the extent of which the commissioners shall limit: in Copenhagen, by a special registrar, out of Copenhagen, by the local customs authorities, whose jurisdiction shall be fixed by the central commissioners, and at the Feroe Islands by the district sheriff.

The Copenhagen registrar shall keep a general register of all ships registered in the kingdom, and issue the certificates of registry and nationality required by § 2.

§ 5. [553] The ships belonging to each district shall be entered on the district register in consecutive series and running numbers. *Ship-owners may have their ships registered in whichever district they please; the ship shall then be considered as belonging to this district. The registers shall be kept in authorized books, which always shall remain by the respective offices.

§ 6. All registered ships in the kingdom shall be entered in the central register in consecutive order and with running letters.

The letters a ship thus obtains in the central or head register, and which are unchangeable as long as the registration remains valid, shall be the registration letters of the vessel, and shall be marked on it.

§ 7. The register books, the central as well as the district registers, shall contain the following particulars under separate headings, viz:

The ship’s registration letters, name, port of registry, and place where built.
Description of ship, mode of construction with details, and its principal dimensions.
The ship’s tonnage, with a statement of the method followed in calculating it.
[554] The name of the registered owner or owners, their rank or profession, and title. When there are several registered owners, a statement of their relative part shares in the ship shall *be given.

If the ship belongs to a company, its name, place of business, and managing owner’s name, shall be inscribed. The day and the year of the registration of each ship shall be inscribed in the register-book.

§ 8. When a registered ship is taken off or erased from the register-book, the reason for it must be entered in the same, together with date and place of issue of such vouchers as might prove that it had ceased to exist, has lost its right of nationality, or has been transferred to another registry district. (§§16, 17, and 19.)

§ 9. The owner of every ship that is to be registered must personally, or through an authorized agent, give written notice thereof to the registrar of the district to which the vessel belongs; or, if at the time when the registration is to take place the said vessel is in another district, to the registrar of such district. This notification must be accompanied by the following proofs:

[555] The builder’s certificate, and, in as far as the ship is foreign-built, the bill of sale, or other document in proof of the transaction, whereby it became Danish property, as well as a receipt *forthe payment of the import-dues. These documents must be produced in the original aud in copies, which latter will be retained in the archives of the register-office.
One of the ship’s owners, or owner, shall make a written declaration upon honor, supported by the necessary proofs, to the effect that they, or he, are persons (as described by§ 1) entitled to own a Danish ship. If the ship is owned by a share company, then one of its directors must give the like declaration and proofs that they have complied with the requirements of § 1. Those declarations shall further contain an assurance that the certificate of registry and nationality thus obi tained shall not be misused to procure for any other ship, or the same ship in possession of foreigners, the privileges of Danish nationality. This declaration shall be signed by the party concerned, either in the presence of the registrar, or before a public notary.

Should doubts arise as to whether the party concerned is entitled to own a Danish ship, he must prove his title by an attestation from the authorities at his place of residence.

[556] In special cases, the board of customs may make exceptions with respect to proofs required, if *satisfactory explanations through other channels are given.

§ 10. When the local registrar has drawn up the necessary statement with respect to registration and measurement, he shall send it in (with vouchers) without delay to the central registrar in Copenhagen. The latter shall check the measurements and examine the accompanying vouchers in proof thereof, and he may, if considered necessary, cause the ship to be wholly or partially remeasured and fresh documents and proofs to be procured. In virtue of the proofs thus collected the ship shall be entered in the central register-book.

§ 11. When the registration is effected, the registrar-general shall issue a certificate of registry and nationality, which shall include the certificate of measurement and other details required by § 7.

[557] The certificate shall be made out in accordance with the subjoined formulary. It shall (together with the documentary proofs sent in) be sent, without delay, to the local registrar, who thereupon shall make the necessary entry in the local register-book, §5.) After having caused the mark of nationality, “D. E.,”the tonnage and registry letters to be marked on the vessel, and the stamp having duly been paid, *he shall deliver the certificate to the owner. Before the ship clears, the registrar shall make an indorsement on the certificate of the master’s name and compéténcy to command a vessel.

If, at the time of registration, the ship is not in the district where she is wished to be registered, the registrar, who has delivered up the certificate, shall transmit to the registrar of the district where she belongs the documents and information required by § 9, to enable the latter to enter her on the register-book of his district.

With respect to the Feroe Islands, the county or district sheriff shall issue a provisional certificate of nationality in the form to be hereafter specified by the authorities, and which shall be valid until such time as the Copenhagen registrar-general issues a permanent document.

§ 12. The certificate shall always remain with the ship, and be produced at the custom-house, as well as wherever required by the Danish civil, military, or consular authorities. Every change or indorsement of the certificate by others than the registrator consuls is prohibited, and may expose the holder to punishment; in some cases (according to circumstances) as for forgery.

§ 13. A ship, built or purchased abroad for Danish account, cannot be registered until she arrives in a Danish registry district.

[558] *Danish consuls, however, upon, receiving the documentary proofs required by § 9, (1 and 2,) may issue provisional certificates [Page 130] of nationality, which shall remain in force until the final registration of the ship is effected.

Such provisional certificates of nationality shall contain the following particulars:

Name and description of the ship.
Time and place of purchase, together with name of the Danish owner or owners, according to the bill of sale or other title-deed.
Captain’s name.
The most accurate information as to her tonnage, build, and description, which can be obtained.
Duration of the certificate’s validity.

A duplicate of such provisional certificate shall, immediately after the issue, be sent through the proper government department to the registrar-general in Copenhagen.

[559] Such provisional certificate of nationality shall, however, only be valid until the arrival of the ship at a Danish port, when it shall be delivered up to the registrar, and, provided no special permission has been granted to the contrary by the commissioners of customs, shall in no case remain in force longer than two years from the date of its issue. The master of a Danish registered ship which is rebuilt abroad may require the nearest consular office to give him authority to retain his certificate of registry until he shall arrive at a Danish port, where his ship can undergo examination as to whether the alteration made in her shall render the issue of a new certificate necessary. Such authorization, however, *cannot, without special permission granted by the commissioners of customs, remain in force longer than two years from its date of issue.

§ 14. Every registered ship shall carry her own name and port of registry marked in light-colored, legible letters on a dark ground (or vice versa) on a conspicuous part of her stern. Concealing or obliterating those names shall only be permitted in time of war to escape capture by the enemy.

No ship shall be designated by any other than its registered name. A registered ship’s name can only be altered through change of ownership, and then only with the consent of the commissioners of custom, in which case a new certificate shall be made out, but in the registration letters shall remain unchanged.

§ 15. On application to the commissioners of customs a new certificate of registry, exactly corresponding with the former, may be given, in which case the old one must be returned.

[560] In the event of a certificate of registry having been lost, a fresh one can be obtained, likewise on *application to the customs authorities.

In all cases where a new certificate is given without remeasurement at the same time having taken place, the applicant is only required to pay the stamp duty.

If the loss of the certificate takes place abroad the nearest consular officer may give a provisional certificate, (§ 15,) accompanied with special remarks explanatory of its issue. In this case the applicant shall make a declaration, enumerating the particulars of the loss.

§ 16. If a registered ship is lost, broken up, or otherwise destroyed, the owner shall immediately give written notice thereof to the registrar of the port of registry of such ship and deliver up to him the certificate of registry in order to have it canceledj or, when lost, explain why it cannot be returned.

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If the ship is lost abroad the above notice shall be given to a Danish consul and the certificate delivered to him.

The consul shall then transmit these documents with the particulars of the loss to the proper government department.

§ 17. [561] Whenever any registered ship or share in a ship becomes vested in a person not qualified to be owner, (§ 1,) *and she in this manner loses her right to be considered as Danish property and carry the Danish flag, the registered owner shall immediately give written notice of the transfer to registrar of the port where the ship is lying, in order that the mark “D. E.” may be obliterated. He (the registered owner) shall likewise, within four weeks from the receipt of notification of the transfer, give written notice of the transaction and deliver up the certificate of registry to the registrar of the ship’s port of registry.

If the transfer has taken place abroad, the notification, with the certificate and other ship’s documents, shall immediately be sent to the Danish consul, who shall cause the mark “D. E.” to be erased, and send the documents in question to his government. At places where there is no Danish consul, the owner or master shall obtain a notarial certificate to the effect that the mark “D. E.” has been obliterated,, and transmit the documents and certificate as above mentioned to the registrar-general in Copenhagen.

If a registered ship, or a share thereof, either by public sale or by inheritance, becomes the property of another, the authorities who have effected the sale, or administered the estate, or, if abroad, the consul, shall comply with the provisions of the law in these respects.

[562] *The above provisions likewise apply to the case of a Danish ship being condemned abroad as unseaworthy.

§ 18. Change of ownership, not touching on the ship’s right of carrying the Danish flag, together with other alterations regarding the particulars registered in pursuance of § 7, shall, within four weeks after the change or alteration has taken place, be notified to the registrar concerned by the owner, or, in case of change of ownership, by the new owner; and, as far as any proofs in this respect are required, pursuant to § 9, the above transactions must be substantiated before the registrar aforesaid, in order that any necessary rectification may be made in the register-book.

Change of owner or master does not necessitate the issue of a new certificate of nationality, unless this might be requested; an indorsement of the circumstance on the original will only be required.

When such changes take place abroad, the nearest consular office shall make these indorsements, and, in case of change of ownership, report the circumstance.

[563] *When, on the other hand, a registered ship is so altered with respect to kind, burden, or otherwise, that she no longer answers to the description embodied in the certificate of registry, the registrar of the district she belongs to shall either indorse on the certificate the nature of the alteration that has taken place, or, according to circumstances, cause a new registration to be made, and issue a fresh certificate. If the alteration takes place abroad, the nearest consular officer shall make the indorsement and report the case, (§ 13.)

Every registrar in the kingdom shall, without delay, report to the registrar-general in Copenhagen all such changes that may have taken place in the ships of his district.

§ 19. When it is wished to transfer a registered ship from one district [Page 132] to another, a written demand to this effect must be addressed by the owner or owners to the actual registrar.

The original certificate shall, in this case, be sent in as soon as possible either to the registrar of the district where the ship hitherto has belonged to, or of that to which she is going to be transferred, in order that a fresh one may be issued.

*§ 20. [564] Copies of entries on the registers may be obtained on application, for the charge of one rixdollar for each ship inquired about. On the same condition legally certified copies of older, or canceled certificates, may likewise be obtained from the registrar-general in Copenhagen, as well as a statement of the reasons for giving the copy.

§ 21. In case an owner, on account of special circumstances, desires permission for an unregistered Danish ship to sail from one home-port to another, the commissioners of customs may, on application, give a pass or permit, which shall have the validity of a certificate of registry within the above-mentioned limits.

§ 22. Every act tending to procure the registration of a ship without complying with the provisions of the present law shall, provided the nature of the act does not entail heavier punishment, be liable to a fine of not exceeding 2 rixdollars for every ton of the ship’s burden.

*§ 23. [565] If, after the drawing up and delivery of a certificate of registry, it is proved that such document has been fraudulently obtained for an authorized ship, a fine of not exceeding 5 rixdollars for each ton of the ship’s burden shall be inflicted, and the offender shall still be liable to such further punishment as the nature of the offense might entail at ordinary criminal law.

Such certificate shall, by public notice, be called in and canceled as soon as possible.

§ 24. A penalty of not exceeding 50 rixdollars shall be paid for the neglect to notify alterations which have deprived a ship of her right to carry the Danish colors.

If such neglect is intentional, with a view to use the certificate for lucrative purposes, as a proof of nationality for an unauthorized ship, a fine of not exceeding 5 rixdollars per ton of the ship’s burden shall be paid.

§ 25. [566] Neglect to return certificate of registry as prescribed by §§ 16 and 17, and to cause the erasure there enjoined of the letters “D. E.” to be effected, *shall be punishable by a fine of not exceeding 2 rixdollars for each ton of the ship’s burden, unless sufficient reason for the neglect may be given. Such certificate, if the ship still exists, shall be declared canceled by public advertisement.

§ 26. The commissioners of customs shall fix the amount of fines inflicted according to §§ 22–25, and have also power to inflict penalties not exceeding 20 rixdollars for breaches of the present law not otherwise punishable, as well as for infractions of any later supplementary enactments.

§ 27. The registered owner, or, in case of joint property, the owners, all and each of them, are liable for the payment of the above fines.

With respect to share companies, the members of the board of directors, one and all, shall be liable for the said fines.

§ 28. [567] Persons not customs officials or in the service of customs, called upon to pay fines pursuant to this law, may appeal to the ordinary courts, in which case the commissioners of customs shall cause *the matter to be tried as an ordinary police case, and the court is then to decide whether the party concerned is guilty, and in this case what pénalty he shall be liable to.

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Appeal on behalf of the Crown shall, moreover, be decided on by the said commissioners. The fines fall to the treasury.

§ 29. The commissioners of customs shall draw up the necessary instructions for the proper carrying out of this law.

§ 30. This law, a copy of which shall accompany the delivery of every certificate, comes into force on the 1st of October, 1867, after which date all previous enactments in contradiction to its provisions shall be annulled.

The provisions of the present law may, with such modifications as local circumstances may render necessary, and after the necessary negotiations with their legislatures, be made applicable to Iceland and the Danish West Indian possessions.

provisional regulation.

§ 31.
[568] Vessels which, at the date of this law coming *into force, already are Danish property, and as such provided with the hitherto-used mark of nationality and entered in the hitherto-used shipping-register, but whose certificate of measurement is out of date, shall be registered according to, and comply with the provisions of, the present law.

Vessels whose certificate of measurement has not yet run out may, on application to the registrar, be remeasured and registered according to the regulations of the present law, in which case the old certificate must be delivered up.

All parties concerned shall comply with the preceding enactment.

[l. s.]

C. A. Fonnesbech.