The Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) invites you to experience quality shipping with a special focus on safe ships, health and the environment.

Ships in DIS must comply with international regulations, requirements and standards. In this folder you will find information on the few Danish requirements and interpretations which are above the international level.

This is a guide for ship owners, consultants and managers responsible for the building or transfer of passenger ships to the Danish International Ship Register (DIS). The guide describes the regulations, requirements and procedures applicable when a ship is built or transferred to DIS.


Point of Contact

The DMA has established a Point of Contact Scheme for shipping companies considering registration of ships under the Danish flag. The first time a shipping company contacts the DMA, a ship surveyor from the DMA is appointed as the company’s Point of Contact – the direct link between the shipping company and the DMA.

Send an e-mail to cfs@dma.dk to request a Point of Contact and we will contact you.

The Point of Contact can assist the company in identifying the persons – both within the DMA and in other relevant public authorities or private organizations in Denmark – needed by the company throughout the approval process. Communication will be direct, informal and precise.

The Point of Contact will assist and guide you during the whole process.



Detailed information on registration may be obtained from our colleagues in Register of Shipping either by e-mail srg@dma.dk or by telephone +45 72 19 60 00.


General overview of the process newbuildings


The approval procedure

The actual approval process begins as soon as the owner has signed and submitted the official notification forms (one for each vessel) to the DMA. The owner will then receive detailed information about the approval and certification process.

New ships built to the Danish International Ship Register

  • During a meeting, normally held together with the owner and the ship yard at the initial phase of design, approval, survey and certification will be divided between the DMA and classification societies recognized by the DMA (ABS, BV, DNV, KR, LR, NK, PRS, CCS, IRS and RINA). Please see the Class Agreement from 4 May 2015.
  • When the approval and sea trial process has been completed and the ship is ready for delivery, the DMA will finish the initial survey on construction and equipment followed by an operational survey when the ship is ready before commencement of trade with passengers.

Ships transferred to the Danish International Ship Register

  • Generally, ships transferred to the Danish flag must comply with the relevant rules and regulations in force when the ship was built and, in addition, regulations that have been introduced for existing ships since the building
  • The DMA requires non-asbestos documentation for ships built before 1 July 2002.
  • For ships built after 1 July 2002 and before 1 July 2011 a non-asbestos declaration must be signed and forwarded by owners.
  • DMA offers consultant survey where our surveyors will perform a general tour of the ship and give the shipping company an idea of what has to be done before a change of flag.
  • The DMA offers to meet with the owners to review the documentation and plan the forthcoming approval During this meeting, the DMA will, as far as possible, identify the areas where the ship potentially needs modification or upgrading.
  • Approval, survey and certification are performed in close cooperation between the classification society and the DMA before any certificates can be issued. The DMA and classification society will each issue certificates as agreed upon at the initial meeting.
  • Ships transferred to the Danish flag must, as far as possible, be upgraded to comply with national regulations.
  • The DMA will charge an hourly rate of approximately 235 EUR (current rate) for time spent on case processing, travel and survey. The DMA may require an amount to be deposited prior to initiating the approval process.
  • The actual change of flag must normally be carried out while the ship is in port and must be coordinated with DMA’s Register of Shipping and the relevant Classification Society(ies).
  • The owners must request the classification society to carry out a Change of Flag Survey in accordance with IMO Resolution 1140(31).

General overview of the process when changing to Danish flag



The ship must be constructed and certified in compliance with the relevant international conventions, including the SOLAS, MARPOL, LOAD LINE and MLC Conventions.

The  ship  must  be  constructed  and  certified  in  compliance  with  the  rules  of  a  recognized classification society and the Danish Maritime Authority.

Ships registered in an EU country must comply with the “EU Directive on Marine Equipment” (the “Wheel Mark Directive”) regarding certain equipment. Equipment that is not wheel-marked is acceptable if the DMA finds that the equipment has a standard equivalent to that of wheel-marked equipment.

If the ship is transferred from a non-EU flag, the ship must not contain ozone-depleting substances as it is prohibited to import ozone-depleting substances into the EU (Regulation (EC) no. 1005/2009, 16 September 2009.)

Stockholm Agreement

The Stockholm agreement concerning specific stability requirements for Ro-Ro Passenger Ships undertaking regular scheduled international voyages between or to or from designated ports in North West Europe and the Baltic Sea and has to be fulfilled if required.

Safety rules and standards for passenger ships

(Directive 2009/45/EC of 6 May 2009)

This applies when the ship is engaged on domestic voyages, see Order no. 1821 of 2021.

Maritime Labour Convention

Danish ships must comply with the provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC). The MLC’s international requirements have been implemented in Danish legislation via national regulation on occupational health and accommodation.

The operational national regulations on occupational health in ships are found in Notice A, which is available from the DMA webpage.

Technical regulation on occupational health and accommodation is found in Order No.172 of 2022. 

Danish regulation and interpretations which are above international regulations, requirements and standards – e.g. IACS standards – are listed below.

National regulations, requirements and interpretations

  • Galley:
    • Galley equipment must be of the same standard as CE certified equipment.
    • It must be possible to lock tilting pans in all the positions used during cooking and cleaning.
    • Point extraction must be fitted above the galley range.
    • Floors must be fitted with non-skid material.
    • Rotating/cutting equipment and large mixers must be shielded/safeguarded.

  • Passengers Accommodation: Order No. 1818 of 2021
    • Accommodation shall not be placed fore of the collision bulkhead nor on the deck beneath the one that lies immediately below the waterline at the maximum permissible draught.  In new ro-ro passenger ships, passenger cabins shall not be placed below the ro-ro deck (the bulkhead deck). Furthermore, reference is made to the requirements on escape routes.
    • Requirements regarding determination of the number of passengers in individual rooms.
    • One toilet and one washbasin shall be provided for every 50 passengers or part thereof.

  • Vertical ladders of more than 5 meters must be fitted with wire or rails for fixing the fall arrest harness.

  • Local point extraction systems must be installed at permanent workstations where dust, fumes, gases, aerosols or similar unhealthy substances or matter are produced – e.g. welding benches, cleaning tubs, chemical mixing areas, mixing tables in paint shops and test benches for fuel injectors. The air outlet must be led to the open deck.

  • The mouth of the suction pipe shall preferably be placed in bilge wells with the placement of filters close to the end of suction pipes for accessible cleaning. (DMA Order No. 1154, Ch. II-1 C, R.

  • Required spare charges for breathing apparatus shall contain at least 3,600 l of air and at least one air compressor, if carrying more than 36 passengers at least two spare charges for each breathing apparatus in addition to the air compressor. (DMA Order No. 1154, Ch. II-2, R. 10.2.5-6.)

  • Ships the keels of which are laid or which are at a similar stage of construction on or after 1 April 1976 shall, regardless of their length, comply with the relevant provisions in the Code of Intact Stability, Res. A.749 (18), as amended by Res. MSC.75 (69). The same shall apply to ships that are being altered if the alteration has considerable effect on the conditions of stability and to ships bought abroad if they are registered with the Ships Register or Danish International Ship Register.

  • The guard rail, on the decks to which passengers are given access, shall be constructed with vertical bars, which are connected only to one upper and one lower horizontal bar or stringer. (DMA Order No. 1818 of 2021, §7)

  • It may not be possible to keep doors to ro/ro spaces permanently secured in the open position. (DMA Order No. 1154, Ch. II-2 C, R.

  • Technical Regulation on Special Requirements on the Placing, Strength and Securing of Shell-doors and Weather Tight Ramps on RO/RO ships. (Order No. 17858 of 12 October 1995)

  • Noise regulation: If the ship is not covered by SOLAS, regulation I/3-12 on noise, a noise measurement report shall be submitted to DMA for evaluation. A noise measurement from the time of the building of the ship will be sufficient.

The DMA is prepared to consider equivalent solutions, as long as the intentions behind the provisions are complied with.

Hospital accommodation

In case where the ship is equipped with cabins for each individual seafarer and each cabin is equipped with toilet and bath, a hospital need not be installed. In its stead a treatment room which is suitably equipped including washbasin and emergency treatment area to be provided. Only one bed need be installed in the treatment room. 

Ships' medicine chests

Danish national regulations stipulate rules on the contents of the medicine chest and the training of the person in charge of medical care (Notice A, chapter IX). The master and the person in charge of medical care (it can the same person) must have medical training according to EU regulation. Officers in charge of medical care from outside EU/EEA must have a 4-days supplementary course. The course can be obtained in Denmark, Manila and Mumbai.

More about it on our website

Danish Recognition Certificate (DRC)

In general, masters and officers must hold an appropriate Danish Recognition Certificate (DRC).

Officers other than the master can serve on Danish vessels with a Certificate of Receipt of Application (CRA) without holding a DRC for a period of three months if so requested by the ship owner after the application is submitted and validated by the DMA.

Nationality of master, other officers and crewmembers

As a general rule, a master can acquire a DRC if s/he is a citizen of an EU/EEA country. It is also possible to get permission to engage non-EU/EEA citizens as masters of specific vessels. For other officers and crewmembers they must be from the Danish list of countries with an agreement on recognition. If the institute from which the crew member holds certification is not approved s/he must go through an operational interview.

Courses in Danish shipping legislation

Management-level officers must pass relevant courses in Danish shipping legislation. Masters are required to pass Danish Maritime Legislation course for Foreign Masters, whereas other senior officers are required to pass Danish Maritime Legislation course for Senior Officers.

Courses in Danish shipping legislation are arranged by Danish Shipping’s Danish Shipping Academy in Manila, Mumbai, Gdynia and Copenhagen and by the maritime academies in Denmark.

This course is offered as an online/e-learning course by Danish Shipping.

For more information, please visit:

Further information on training and course providers

Medical examination

Seafarers serving on Danish vessels must hold a Health Certificate for Seafarers. The certificate can be obtained from authorized medical staff abroad.

Please consult our website for further information

Safety and Health Course

In cargo ships where the safe manning, including the master, numbers five persons or more, a safety organization must be established. One officer and one ship's assistant must have successfully completed a §16 course (Notice A Ch. XI). The courses are offered by approved training providers in Denmark as well as abroad. For example, the maritime academies in Denmark offers §16 course. Abroad Danish Shipping’ Danish Shipping Academy in Manila, Mumbai, Gdynia offers §16 courses. This course is also available as an online e-learning course by Danish Shipping or by Sea, Health and Welfare.

Ship’s cook

Persons may serve as ship's cooks without holding a Danish certificate of competency if they hold a valid certificate of endorsement pursuant to Order No. 1305 of 05/12/2019.

Further information on our website

Minimum safe manning

Information about the safe manning document is also available on our DMA website

Please note that the DMA will have to make an individual assessment of the safe manning requirements.


Remember – your Point of Contact will help you with all the information and assistance you need.