HISTORICAL: For the Norwegian ship registers NIS/NOR, the summer of 2022 was different. Traditionally, the summer months have been characterised by new registrations and transfers of ownership for recreational craft.

"This year, the NIS fleet has generated the most work at the ship registers. There has been a significant increase in both tonnage and number of ships, and we have not seen numbers this high for years. Since January alone, the increase in gross tonnage has been more than 500,000," explains Elisabeth Hvaal Lingaas, Head of Department at the Ship Registers.


Elisabeth Hvaal Lingaas.
Elisabeth Hvaal Lingaas. Foto: Sjøfartsdirektoratet / NMA

A story of success

When NIS was established 1 July 1987, it was the fastest growing ship register in the world. Professor of Economic History at NHH Norwegian School of Economics, Stig Tenold, told the story of incredible growth.

Click here to see the presentation (Vimeo).

During the first four and a half years, the total gross tonnage quickly increased from 0 to 23,197,560. This is exceptional, and numbers like this have not been seen since the end of 1991.



Following the peak in 1991, the tonnage decreased gradually and hit bottom in 2014. By the end of the year, the register had lost nearly 10,000,000 gross tonnage. The industry depends on steady and competetive terms and conditions. A number of unforeseen incidents have occurred which have had a negative impact. Now we are back on track.

"The trend is positive and we will do our best to make sure it continues," says Knut Arild Hareide, Director General of Shipping and Navigation.

Sjøfartsdirektør Knut Arild Hareide
Sjøfartsdirektør Knut Arild Hareide Foto: Sjøfartsdirektoratet


Where are the ships located?

Ever since the establishment of NIS, Bergen has had the highest number of ships, followed by Oslo. This is still the case. Naturally, the same applies to tonnage. It is only when we get to the fifth place that we can see that port of registry and tonnage are not proportional any more.


Top 10 port of registry by tonnage

Top 10 port of registry by number of ships


The NMA is working closely with the industry and has noticed that many companies are happy with the level of service that they receive when choosing the Norwegian flag.

"The trend for NIS is positive, and the NMA will continue the work to remain the preferred maritime administration," Lingaas concludes.