The preferred maritime administration

Our mission

The NMA aims to be an attractive maritime administration with high standards of safety of life, health, environment and material assets.

Main objective 1: High level of security and cleaner environment

Vessels must be good, serious and safe workplaces with competent seafarers. We help make that happen through surveys, development of regulations and preventive work, for both Norwegian vessels and foreign vessels in Norwegian waters.

The maritime future will be greatly affected by stricter environmental requirements and the major changes taking place within digitalisation and automation, as well as the vision of an increasingly greener shipping industry. The NMA is committed to Norway remaining a leading maritime nation, with particular focus on sustainability and digitalisation in the maritime industry. One of the NMA's tasks is to contribute to the Government's ambition to reduce the emissions from domestic shipping by 50% by 2030.

Together with others, we will promote transport by sea as a safe and sustainable alternative.

Regulations are a key tool in the environmental and safety work. Rules must be developed and administered in a way that ensures continued safety as new technology and environmentally friendly solutions are introduced. This is done in close cooperation with the industry and relevant authorities.

Our supervision is based on the fact that the company has responsibility for the safety of the crew, environment and vessel. A significant part of the current supervision is governed by regulations, irrespective of the risk scenario. Over several years, we have developed methods and processes for risk-based supervision. An increasing number of sources of information provide us with information on vessels and operation. Our process work aims to reduce the need for traditional certificates and mandatory supervision. Our supervision activity will not be reduced; however we will conduct them where the risk is the greatest. The level of supervision will be determined by an automated risk assessment, including the company's verification of compliance with the requirements.

1.1 Ensuring safety and contributing to a cleaner environment   

Objectives for the strategy period:

  • to establish procedures and guidelines for the approval of alternative designs and equivalent solutions and make them well-known within and outside of our organisation, and incorporate them in our processes and digital products;
  • to introduce legislation for established new technology end environmentally friendly solutions;
  • to have a general overview of the information security in maritime value chains;
  • to achieve our chosen sustainable development goals in our work and priorities;
  • to contribute to cooperation in climate and environmental issues in and between the maritime industry and Norwegian authorities;
  • to reduce the numbers of serious accidents by 5% annually;
  • less than 1% detention of controlled Norwegian vessels abroad;
  • less than 1% detention of controlled Norwegian vesseles in Norway;
  • to reduce the number of fatalities involving recreational craft in accordance with the action plan; 
  • to reduce emissions from vessels in the domestic fleet by 50% by 2030;
  • to keep the average risk score for vessels below 6.5 (the scale goes from 1 to 20);
  • no vessels should sail with an 'A' order or overdue order with a deadline;
  • to establish a sustainability indicator for vessels; and
  • to ensure satisfactory working and living conditions on Norwegian ships and foreign ships calling at Norwegian ports.

1.2 Making sure that all parties take their share of the responsibility through risk-based supervision

Objectives for the strategy period:

  • to make all legislation ready for input into the simulator, i.e. make it digital and user-friendly;
  • to replace mandatory supervisions for national certificates with a verification by the company followed by risk-based supervision;
  • to replace certificates for domestic vessels with digital permits to operate;
  • to develop risk models for all known risk factors;
  • to make sure that supervision is risk-based and aimed at safety-critical issues;
  • to facilitates a continous exchange of information between companies/vessels and the supervisory authority and arrange for companies to be able to seamlessly document that they meet the requirements;
  • to introduce verification of ownership of recreational craft as a voluntary arrangement; and
  • to follow up our plan for preventing recreational craft accidents.

1.3 Being a visible and clear initiator in the international safety and environmental work

Objectives in the strategy period:

  • to actively participate in the work of the IMO and EU to reduce air pollution and climate impacts related to Norwegian and international shipping;
  • to participate in international fora to maintain safety and Norwegian interests;
  • to contribute to an international standard through safe and sustainable Norwegian innovation;
  • to get internationally accepted and standardised digital solutions; and
  • to be represented in all sub-committees and main committees in the IMO in which we have delegated authority.

Main objective 2: Professional approach and customer focus

We are professional, respond quickly with good answers and collaborate with the customer to find the best solutions. We rely on quality, our high ethical standard and significant expertise.

We have well-functioning work procedures protecting the requirements and expectations of both the organisations and our customers. When improving our procedures, we choose digital solutions where this enhances the customer experience.

Relevant expertise is a prerequisite in our work.

We keep developing our existing expertise to meet future needs. Quality management and improved processes are key to achieve the desired development. Good management, flow of information and involvement are necessary to succeed.

We are an adaptable organisation with a culture to help us reach our strategic goals.


2.1 Providing efficient services

Objectives for the strategy period:

  • to maintain customer focus in all improvement work;
  • to score at least 4.5 out of 6 in the survey for customer experience;
  • to score at least 65 out of 100 in the survey for service experience/quality;
  • to have an average case processing time of 1 day for Norwegian personnel certificates;
  • to make legislation and current practice more accessible;
  • to facilitate the digitalisation process in the industry through our regulatory work;
  • to inform the customer of applicable requirements through a legislative simulator;
  • to digitalise certificates and permits;
  • to establish processes that provide more effective services, increased safety and more sustainability;
  • to make use of automated processes where appropriate;
  • to identify and achieve benefits; and
  • to achieve an operating time of 99.7% for critical services.

2.2 Having future-oriented expertise

Objectives for the strategy period:

  • to have systematic expertise managment;
  • to make our employees confirdent and conscious about their roles;
  • to ensure future-oriented professional expertise through development an recruitment of employees;
  • to establish the expertise to ensure successful implementation of projects and reorganisations;
  • to establish arenas for expertise building and knowledge exchange; and
  • to gain expertise in safety, the environment and new technology.

2.3 Creating a positive effect on customer experience

Objectives for the strategy period:

  • to have a culture defined by trust, initiative and team efforts;
  • to understand our own culture;
  • to systematically evaluate our interaction and implementation to learn and improve;
  • not to be hindered by the fear of making mistakes in our improvement work; and
  • to have an adaptable organisation.

Main objective 3: World-class attractive business partner

We will help strengthen Norway's position as a leading maritime nation. The Norwegian Maritime Authority and the Norwegian flag are strong brands with good reputations. We will defend and strengthen this position.

The NMA will be a key partner and source of expert advice and information. We will strenghten our role in the Norwegian maritime cluster and international forums through active participation and involvement. 

In a market characterised by increasing competition, technological development and change, the Norwegian flag will be visible and desired. Our services will be known for high quality, and our services will be competitive, professional and recognised. 


3.1 Increasing our NIS/NOR fleet

Objectives for the strategy period:

  • to achieve a desired market position as the preferred maritime administration, particularly within sustainability, new technology and green shipping;
  • to make NIS/NOR attractive and competitive ship registers;
  • to help strengthen Norway's position as a leading maritime nation and the Norwegian flag as a quality flag through targeted marketing;
  • to have 2,2000 registered vessels in NOR within 2023 (including recreational craft); and
  • to have 750 registered vessels in NIS within 2023

3.2 Securing the Norwegian maritime expertise

Objectives for the strategy period:

  • to be a recognised initiator for future-oriented maritime expertise;
  • to have the administration of the grant scheme for the employment of Norwegian seafarers considered to be efficient; and
  • to have no major non-conformities in the particulat control of the grant scheme.

3.3 Being the main source of information within Norwegian shipping

Objectives for the strategy period:

  • to establish an information portal for the maritime Norway;
  • to make sure that the NMA provides good data quality and is the main source of statistics naturally connected to the NMA's operations; and
  • to have established measurement parameters for green vessels.

Functions of the NMA

Supervisory authority

The NMA is an administrative and authoritative body in the field of safety at sea and has been delegated authority by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. For issues concerning pollution and protection of the marine environment, the NMA has been delegated authority by the Ministry of Climate and Environment.

The Norwegian Maritime Authority is the supervisory authority for Norwegian vessels and foreign vessels operating in Norway, including Svalbard.

The supervisory role is set out in the Ship Safety and Security Act, the Ship Labour Act and the NIS Act and appertuant regulations and involves document control and inspection of newbuildings and sailing ships.

The NMA supervises training, evaluation and documentation of competence when it comes to the qualifications of seafarers. Moreover, we make sure that Norwegian training and education institutions are approved and monitored at all times. In addition, we supervise doctors who issue medical certificates to seafarers.



The NMA has a key role in the development of national and international legislation. Decisions in the EU and other international organisations, such as the IMO and the ILO, are becoming increasingly important to the Norwegian maritime legislation. It is the NMA's job to ensure compliance and national adjustments when international rules are implemented in Norwegian legislation. The NMA aims to help translate secure Norwegian innovation into international standards.

The NMA identifies legislative weaknesses for example through reports on marine accidents. The information is structured in a database used for analyses within and outside the organisation.

Measures to improve attitudes and motivate change are at the core of our work, and we will promote the preventive safety work.


Through professional expertise and integrity, the Norwegian Maritime Authority will advise the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Climate and Environment on matters regarding safety of life at sea, health, vessels and the environment. The advise will be clear and consistent. Within our field, we have an obligation to provide information to our customers.


The NMA will continue to be an attractive and competitive real property register.

Market player

The NMA competes with other flag States. The NMA is promoting Norway as a flag State and has a key role in the development of the Norwegian maritime industry.