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Launch of the new Danish Digital Ship Register

Today, 16 January 2023, the Danish Ship Register (DAS) and the Danish International Register of Shipping (DIS) launch a new digital register.
16 January 2023

The Danish Ship Register (DAS) and the Danish International Register of Shipping (DIS) (“Danish Ship Registries”) have launched a new online ship registry – the Digital Ship Register (DSRG) – which is a significant step in the Danish Ship Registries’ journey towards full digitization.

The introduction of the Digital Ship Register coincides with the new consolidated Executive Order on Ship Registration, Bareboat Registration etc., entering into force today, 16 January 2023. At Gorrissen Federspiel, we have followed the development relating to the new digital platform, starting with interviews and workshops in 2017 and ending with the formal consultation process in 2022.

For Greenlandic vessels, a similar executive order will enter into force today mirroring the rules on digital registration for Danish vessels.

Key features and summary of changes

The key changes which users can expect with today’s introduction of the Digital Ship Register include:

  1. Users with NemID/MitID will be able to log on to the Digital Ship Register and carry out registrations online.
  2. Going forward all registrations will be recorded online with a digital timestamp evidencing the exact time of the completion of the registration. With this new system, the Danish Ship Registries bid farewell to the daily log system (dagbogen).
  3. Powers of attorney may be filed online via NemID/MitID authorizing attorneys-in-fact to complete registrations on behalf of their principal.
  4. All registration applications will be logged and trigger a notification to the registered owner and other parties with registered interest in the vessel, e.g. mortgagees, charterers etc.
  5. Vessel-related documentation, e.g. transcripts, the certificate of nationality (nationalitetsbevis), may be downloaded directly from the Digital Ship Register.
  6. All users of the Digital Ship Register will have a detailed user interface with and online overview of the vessels pending registrations, and rights to edit existing registrations.

Key advantages

With the Digital Ship Register and the abandonment of the daily logbook system – where original documents had to be received by the Danish Ship Registries prior to 14:00 in order for the registration to take effect on the same day – the Danish Ship Registries have become truly “live”. With the new system, registrations will take effect immediately upon completion of the online registration.

The updates to the system will also allow for certificates or transcripts of registry and deletion certificates to be issued on the same day, something which is customary in sale and purchase transactions, but which has previously not been possible. This will also remove the need to obtain an e-mail confirmation from the Danish Ship Registries on the morning of closing confirming that there have been no changes to the Register since the certificate of registry was issued.

Potential challenges

Some room for further development remains, however, and the Digital Ship Register can only validate electronic signatures signed via MitID/NemID. The digitalization only goes this far, meaning that documents issued by foreign entities will still need to be signed physically, notarized and apostilled and submitted to the Danish Ship Registries in original.

Another practical issue in this regard relates to the issuance of digital Powers of Attorney from Danish entities. A form for digital Powers of Attorney must be filled in on the online platform by the registered owner. The form must subsequently be signed via NemID/MitID by both the registered owner and the attorney-in-fact in order for the Power of Attorney to be valid. However useful the digital Powers of Attorney may be, the practical challenges in relation to the signing of the Power of Attorney may lead to user refraining from using this function.

As a further potential challenge to the new digital system, some registrations, e.g. deletion of a ship by a Danish Owner for the purpose of transferring the ship to a European flag, will still need to be carried out manually, however it is expected that these registrations will – in time – also be conducted digitally.

Dematerialization of mortgage documents

Registration of mortgages and registration of amendments to already registered mortgages will from today be registered solely as a digital registration. Thus, in the long term, there will no longer exist physical mortgage documents registered in DSRG.

Registration of amendments to and deletions of mortgage documents currently existing in physical form must be registered as previous with an addendum attached to the original physical document. When the amendment to (or deletion of) the mortgage is registered, the Danish Ship Register will dematerialize both the addendum and the original mortgage document and register these digitally. Following the dematerialization, the mortgage will only exist in digital form. If a mortgage is neither amended nor deleted within five years, the Danish Ship Register will automatically register the mortgage digitally.

An important note in this regard is that with the new Digital Ship Register it is now possible to register an assignment against a digitally reported owner’s mortgage (underpant). Unlike other types of mortgages, the assignment of an owner’s mortgage must be submitted to the Danish Ship Register for dematerialization no later than five years after the transition to DSGR as it cannot be automatically digitalized.

Please see link to the digital ship registry here.

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