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Classification societies

List of Classification Societies recognised by Portugal:

  • Lloyd´s Register of Shipping (LRS);
  • Germanischer Lloyd (GL);
  • Det Norsk Veritas (DNV);
  • Bureau Veritas (BV);
  • American Bureau of Shipping (ABS);
  • Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NKK);
  • Registro Italiano Navale (RINA);
  • Rinave Portuguesa (RINAVE);



The registration of mortgages in MAR allows the parties (borrower and lender) to choose the law that will govern the mortgage.

If the parties mutually select any other jurisdiction to govern the mortgage, they will have to sign a document stating this intent and indicating the chosen jurisdiction. A copy of the respective legislation, translated to Portuguese, must be attached to said document. If said document is not signed, Portuguese law will be applicable.

It should be noted that, under the law currently in force, the party that has acquired the mortgaged ship can only exercise the right to mortgage release if the exercise of that right guarantees the mortgage creditor full payment of all rights and charges ensuing from the mortgage contract (Decree-Law 234/2015, of the 13th October).

To prepare the registration of the mortgage, the following documents should be sent to us:

  1. If the mortgage is based on a loan contract already signed by the two parties and they wish to register the loan contract - a copy of this contract translated to English, French, Spanish or Portuguese;
  2. If such a contract does not exist or the parties do not wish to register it, we must be provided with the following data: the loan value, expiry date, the payment method, interest, the definition of who pays the interest, and other clauses reinforcing the bank guarantee that are deemed essential to the mortgage.

The currency used will be that defined by the parties.



Safety manning proposal

The owner of a ship or its operator must include a proposal for minimum safety manning when submitting a vessel registration application to MAR. This proposal must be duly justified and furnished with the following data so that MAR may be able to correctly assess the submitted proposal and, consequently, define the crew composition:

  • The ship´s intended navigation area;
  • Gross tonnage, net tonnage, length, hull width and draft;
  • Radio communication equipment and navigation aids on board;
  • Hp power of the ship´s machinery and whether it is UMS machinery or not.


STCW 78/95 certificates of competence

A requirement that must be complied with by all owners/operators of vessels is the endorsement of the certificates of competence of officers of the crew in conformity with STCW 78, taking into consideration the subsequent amendments of 1995. This endorsement is provided by the Portuguese authorities, in the capacity of the Maritime Transport and Ports Authority - DGRM, relative to foreign seamen on board vessels registered or to be registered in MAR.

Owners must supply, to this end, the following documents together with applications to DGRM:

  • Correctly completed application form;
  • 2-3 photographs;
  • Copy of the seaman´s book or equivalent;
  • Copy of the passport or national ID card;
  • Copy of the Certificate of Competence;
  • Copy of a medical certificate, duly certified by a notary public or by a maritime authority.

Any application that does not comply with these requirements will be rejected and returned to the applicant.

In relation to the abovementioned endorsement concerning management skills, the seaman must pass an examination on Portuguese maritime legislation during the period of validity of the respective Statement of Receipt of Application. This term of validity is 90 days, and if the examination is not passed during said period, the application will be refused.

DGRM will provide a version of the referred to legislation in English jointly with the Application´s Certificate of Receipt.


Documents to be submitted to MAR´s Technical Commission whenever a crew member boards the vessel:

  1. RIN-MAR Certificate of Service (signed by the captain and bearing the ship´s stamp);
  2. Copy of personal ID document (passport);
  3. Copy of the seaman´s book;
  4. Certificate of Competence (STCW) for Portuguese officers or Endorsements of Certificates of Competence (STCW78/95 for non-Portuguese officers);
  5. Medical inspection report;
  6. Copy of GMDSS/Radio Operator Certificate (whenever applicable);
  7. Copy of employment contract.


Comes ashore:

  1. RIN-MAR shore pass (signed by the captain and bearing the ship´s stamp).


Nationality of crew

30% of the safety manning have to be European nationals* and/or nationals of an official Portuguese-speaking country (Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, East Timor). Vessels owned by Spanish nationals are also authorised to have crew from official Spanish-speaking countries.

*Countries of the European Council, including Russia and Ucrania


Crew of pleasure yachts

Taking into consideration the characteristics of the yacht, in particular the installed power and its navigation area, MAR´s Technical Commission will define the most suitable safety manning, based on the applicant´s proposal.

All crew members must possess documents proving their professional qualifications or those required by law, in accordance with the yacht´s characteristics and respective area of navigation and, if the crew members are not Portuguese nationals, their professional portfolio and licences must be endorsed by Portugal´s maritime and port authority - DGRM.

Pleasure yachts can only sail under the command of those holding documents proving possession of the minimum qualifications to sail or proving that they are a registered crew member. Notwithstanding these provisions, a pleasure yacht for commercial use, with a length no greater than 24m, can be registered with or without crew.


Social Security

Crew members and their respective employers are exempt from social security contributions in Portugal, provided they are covered by another social security system or voluntary insurance policy that covers illness, occupational illness and parenthood.

If the crew members are Portuguese or resident in Portugal, they shall be subject to obligatory registration under the Portuguese general social security system with a contribution rate of 2,7%, 0,7% being paid by the crew member and 2% by the employer. It should be stressed that, according to Portuguese law, crew members onboard ships at the service of entities resident in Portugal, are deemed to be resident in Portugal for tax purposes.


Natural person´s income tax

The crew members of vessels registered in MAR are exempt from paying income tax in Portugal on the income received in this capacity, and while the vessel´s registration is valid.


Renewal of registration

Temporary registration in MAR is valid for an initial period of two years. This can be subsequently renewed, according to the terms of the bareboat charter, and on official application to that end by the vessel´s operator/charterer or its local legal representative, and as long as all parties involved expressly consent to said renewal, namely the vessel’s title deed, the owner of the vessel and its mortgage(s) creditor(s).

Of further note is the fact that if any changes occur regarding the details of the registered vessel, namely change of ownership, MAR must be immediately notified of such alterations. As a result of any alterations, MAR will review the vessel´s MAR registration requirements, in order to ensure full compliance and to renew the registration of the vessel in MAR under the new circumstances.


Cancellation of registration

Permanent Registration

The following steps must be executed to cancel the permanent registration of a vessel in MAR:

  1. Request the cancellation of the vessel´s registration, specifying the reason(s);
  2. Submit the Certificate of the vessel´s new Register at the same time as the cancellation request - even if this is still provisional;
  3. Return all documents issued by MAR, namely the ownership certificate, passport and manning certificate. The ownership certificate is essential, as the cancellation of registration must be recorded on the same;
  4. Finally, the fee of EUR 650.00 is charged by the MAR Technical Commission to effectively cancel the registration. The cost of any declarations and certificates that are or may need to be issued as well as any other pending payments are not included in this fee.


Temporary registration

The following steps must be executed to cancel the temporary registration of a vessel in MAR:

  1. Request the cancellation of the vessel´s registration, specifying the reason(s);
  2. Submit the Certificate of the vessel´s new Register at the same time as the cancellation request - even if this is still provisional;
  3. Return all documents issued by MAR, namely the temporary registration certificate, the provisional passport and the manning certificate;
  4. Finally, the fee of EUR 650.00 is charged by the MAR Technical Commission to effectively cancel the registration. The cost of any declarations and certificates that are or may need to be issued as well as any other pending payments are not included in this fee.


Ship´s logbook

Ship´s logbooks may be requested of MAR´s Technical Commission whenever necessary, using the respective form. The legal representative will agree with MAR the delivery arrangements of the same in the register´s offices and will send them to their destination by mail, according to the instructions received by the vessel´s owner or its operator. 


Radio station licence

The ship´s radio station licence is issued by the Portuguese maritime authority - DGRM. The vessel registration applicant - the respective owner or operator - must complete a form that will be submitted to DGRM through MAR´s Technical Commission. DGRM will then immediately issue a provisional licence, valid for 6 months, on confirmation that the required radio equipment is functioning correctly and in compliance with Portuguese legislation and regulations.

The parties will set a date, in the meantime, for an inspection of the radio equipment on board the vessel. This will be implemented directly by DGRM inspectors or by a recognised like organisation of the country in which the inspection will be carried out.


Radio station licensing entities


DGRM - Direção Geral de Recursos Naturais, Segurança e Serviços Marítimos
Adress: Avenida Brasilia, 1449-030 Lisboa
Tel: (+351) 21 303 57 00
Fax: (+351) 21 303 57 02


Danish Maritime Authority


Bundesamt für post und telekommunikation deutsche telecom a.g.
General Direktion Bonn


Ministerie van verkeer en waterstaat scheep vaartinspectie, rotterdam


Ministero delle comunicazione


Norwegian maritime directorate


Ministerio del fomento - dirección general de la marina mercante
Su-Dirección General de la Inspección Marítima
Área de inspección radio-marítima


Agence nationale de fréquences
Stations Radioélectriques de Navires

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