Ship registration in the Netherlands

The authorities involved with the ship registration in the Netherlands, distinguishes different types of seagoing vessels, being :

  • Merchant Vessels
  • Commercial Cruising Vessels
  • Pleasure Crafts


We will disregard merchant vessels as we do not offer services for this specific sector.


Commercial Cruising Vessels

These are any type of seagoing vessels, such as sailing- or motor boats, which are used for commercial purposes like charters. Be aware that using a boat to accommodate paying guests for hotel purposes, is also considered a commercial service, even if it is only a few times a year on an Airbnb scale.


Pleasure Crafts

Pleasure crafts are seagoing or inland water way vessels which are used for private use only and do not carry passengers who pay any type of monetary compensation.


The purpose for which the boat is used, determines the registration procedure. As you can imagine that the registration procedure for commercial cruising vessels is of a different proportion than that of a pleasure craft.



Which authorities are involved?

When registering your yacht in the Dutch ships register, there are two official and one unofficial body involved.


The Kadaster

The Kadaster is the Land Registry in the Netherlands and they are the ones that manage the ships register in the Netherlands. Once registered with the Kadaster, the boat is legally secured as a property.


Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate

This agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, issues the so called Certificate of Registry. The Certificate of Registry entitles vessels to fly the Dutch flag, it is proof of the nationality of a seagoing vessel and comparable to a passport for a seagoing vessel.


Ship manager

Yachts owned by non-Dutch passport holder, not residing in the Netherlands, have to appoint a ship manager, which is our business. Amongst other, the ship manager acts as the contact point between the authorities in the Netherlands and the yacht owner.




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