The Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) has issued its first electronic vessel certificate.

  • Published: 06/01/2020 by: Marit Nilsen

CLC and CLB certificates are the first certificates to be issued electronically. The purpose of these certificates is to document that the company carries adequate insurance to cover any claim of compensation for damage caused by oil spills.

In the picture you see a woman and two men.
Tor Erling Skare,Toralv Austrheim and Tove Aarekol.
PHOTO: Sjøfartsdirektoratet

Electronic certificates are issued from 29 November 2019 and will be of great value for shipping companies, insurance companies and the NMA. “This is exclusively positive and ensures us an enhanced document control,” says Toralv Austrheim, captain on board the MS Utsira. It is no longer necessary to keep hard copies of documents on board, because the documents will be available in the web portal My Vessels. “In this way, we can avoid the never-ending local storage of copies,” mate Tor Erling adds.

Improved data quality

The automation of certificates will improve the quality of data. Eventually, when the solution is fully automated, this will give us the opportunity to issue CLB and CLC certificates 24/7. “By using this system, the companies will save time on administrative tasks associated with the certificates, and they will also have digital access to the certificates,” says Jorunn Lindøe. She is Senior Adviser at the IT section of the NMA.

The system has raised great interest internationally, and many would like the Norwegian model to become an international standard. The project has already been presented to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), where it was well received.

Professional guidance available

Even though these certificates will be issued electronically, it does not mean that all communication between the NMA and the companies will be digital. “Users may of course contact us in person if they need advice, help or guidance,” Tove Aarekol says with a smile. She is adviser at the Department of Inspection, audit and emergency preparedness. She has been the contact person for people in the NMA and the industry since 2006 and will continue to have this role. “There are always some teething problems when switching to a digital system, and we depend on feedback from our clients,” says Aarekol.

People applying for CLB and CLC certificates should be aware of the following changes:

– The certificate will be sent as a PDF file by e-mail.

– The certificate will be available in the web portal under «My Vessels» as soon as the certificate is valid.

– The certificate will be available on the verification page as soon as the certificate is valid.

– The verification page will be used for port State controls, etc.

– The receiver of the certificate must pass on information or send the certificate to the respective vessel.

– It could be beneficial to have a stored or printed copy of the certificate on board.

– The certificate file (page 3) will include information targeted at port State controls, etc.

– In ports where the verification page is not available due to poor or no Internet connection, the certificates may be verified by calling the NMA, if necessary.

– Certificates for trial runs and for other flag States are not electronically available at present and will be issued manually.



  • CLC (Certificate on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage):

The certificate is valid for all vessels carrying more than 2,000 tonnes of oil as bulk cargo. This also applies to foreign ships calling at or leaving a Norwegian port or other place of loading or discharge in Norway or on the Norwegian continental shelf. The requirement also applies to ships permanently operating in Norwegian territorial waters.

  • CLB (Certificate on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage):

The Bunkers Convention requires compulsory insurance to cover damages caused by bunker oil spills. The requirement applies to all Norwegian ships over 1,000 gross tons (GT) as well as to all foreign ships with the same gross tonnage entering Norwegian ports or other loading or discharging locations in Norway and on the Norwegian continental shelf. The requirement also applies to ships permanently operating in Norwegian territorial waters.

In May, the NMA started a pilot project to develop a system that may replace the current time-consuming manual process, where as many as 1,500 certificates are issued annually.


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