Denmark has launched what it claims is the world’s first entirely digital ship register, removing all paperwork related to ship registration and trading and requiring necessary activities to be carried out online.
The Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) notes that there are currently more than 6,000 ships registered in the Danish shipping register, all of which have been handled manually up to now.
The introduction of the Digital Ship Register (DSRG) is expected to reduce the workload involved by creating more efficient workflows, while also contributing an extra layer of security and control in relation to ship registration by removing the potential for errors during manual recording of information.
“Digitalisation is a focal point for future shipping. The launch of the digital ship register is a significant initiative in this regard,” said DMA Deputy Director, Niels Peter Fredslund.
“The digital ship register will get rid of manual paperwork and has great potential for streamlining and reducing the administrative burdens for shipping companies in ship registration and ship trading.”
The introduction of the DSRG, which went live on 16 January, will affect all users of ship registration in Denmark, with all registration-based reports notified from that date required to be submitted digitally unless they fall under a specific exemption. All reports that occur going forward will be given a notification time, rather than a notification date, down to the minute they are reported.
Denmark has been a pioneer in moving regulatory services to digital platforms, having already introduced digital certificates for seafarers alongside a number of online self-service systems for shipping companies, staffing companies and educational institutions in late 2021.
Those online facilities allow seafarers to manage access to their own digital certificates, applications, qualifications and their seagoing service, giving them the option to select how they share their certificates with their company. DMA also introduced a seafarers’ app to simplify access to the service for crewmembers alongside the new services.
Shipping companies and manning agencies can access the digital certificates that have been shared by seafarers through the online platform and can apply for recognition certificates through the self-service system. Online verification of all STCW, medical and ship certificates is additionally provided.