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ItoRO no. 05 - Permit Article 2bis Ships Act
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No. 5 - Permit art 2bis Ships Act.

( Date Entry Into Force: 01-08-2006, amended 01-10-2009 )

1 Introduction
Articles 2 and 2bis of The Netherlands Shipping Act state which ships are exempted from the requirements of the Shipping Act when undertaking a voyage. The following ships can be exempted if a Permit (Permit art 2bis), issued by the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate (Transport and Water Management Inspectorate) is obtained:

Cat I ships being towed without crew on board;

Cat. II ships only in an exceptional case undertaking a short voyage;

Cat. III ships performing their sea trials;

Cat. IV ships, being built in the Netherlands for foreign flag or sold to a foreign country and which have to sail to their destination abroad.

As stated in the Appendix to Annex I of the Agreement of June 1st 2006 the RO is authorised to perform the inspections on ships applying for a Permit based on article 2bis. The purpose of these inspections is to make certain that the ship is in all respects fit to complete the voyage safely. The Permit itself is issued by the Transport and Water Management Inspectorate
The permit is only valid for a limited period. Depending on the type of ship, the duration of the voyage, the weather conditions and the number of persons on board the requirements for safety equipment and manning will be set.
The permit is issued for only a single voyage from a Netherlands port.

2 Procedure to obtain a Permit article 2bis.
The RO shall, on request of the shipowner who wants to obtain a Permit article 2bis, perform the inspections, approvals and certifications as mentioned underneath for the different categories of ships. The owner will provide the RO with all necessary information about the voyage to be undertaken such as: port and date of departure / port of destination / information of the route / number of people on board.
The RO shall issue a statement to confirm that the relevant inspections, approvals and certifications have been carried out.
With this statement the ship owner can apply for a Permit article 2bis to the Transport and Water Management Inspectorate (see contact details below) under submission of:

  • the statement by the RO
  • the certificates issued by the RO, if any
  • the application for a special Certificate of Registry
  • information about the voyage to be undertaken, such as: port and date of departure / port of destination / information of the route / number of people on board.
  • in case of a manned voyage: a manning proposal for the voyage to be undertaken (Cat II, III and IV).
  • In case of Cat. IV: an application for a Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR)

The Transport and Water Management Inspectorate shall, based on the proposal of the applicant, decide on the minimum required crew for the voyage to be undertaken and state this in the Permit.
If the Permit is granted the Inspectorate will issue at the same time a special Certificate of Registry (NL: buitengewone Zeebrief) and a CSR (if applicable). The Permit is not valid without the Certificate of Registry and the CSR.

3 Inspections, approvals and certifications to be carried out by RO
The following inspections, approvals and certifications have to be conducted by RO:

Cat I) Ships being towed without crew on board:

  1. If a bottom inspection has been carried out by the RO within the past three years, the RO should review the report of this inspection. If no bottom inspection has taken place in this period or the report is not available, a bottom inspection in a dry-dock has to be carried out. In the exceptional case there is no dry-dock available in the present port, a bottom inspection can be carried out by Class approved divers with suitable equipment under direction of a Class Surveyor.
  2. Load line inspection
  3. Marpol inspection to make sure that oil filtering equipment is properly shut off and that the ship is no hazard to the environment due to oil or other substances that might leak out of the ship.
  4. approval of the strength calculations or valid Class certificate
  5. approval of the stability calculations
  6. declaration that the ship is fit to proceed under tow
  7. valid tonnage certificate


Cat II) Ships only in an exceptional case undertaking a voyage:

  1. inspection of safety equipment
  2. approval of the Safety plan
  3. approval of GMDSS installation for the relevant sea area
  4. Marpol Inspection
  5. approval of Load line calculation
  6. approval of the stability calculation for the conditions during the voyage
  7. valid Class certificate
  8. valid (provisional) tonnage certificate


Cat III) Ships performing sea trials:

  1. inspection of safety equipment
  2. approval of the Safety plan
  3. approval of GMDSS installation for the relevant sea area
  4. Marpol Inspection
  5. approval of Load line calculation
  6. approval of the stability calculation for the conditions during the voyage
  7. approval of the strength calculations
  8. valid (provisional) tonnage certificate
  9. approval of the protocol of the inclining test


Cat IV) Ships, being built in the Netherlands for foreign flag or sold to a foreign country and which have to sail to their destination abroad:

  1. all the items mentioned under Cat II or III
  2. approval of SOPEP
  3. ISM interim audit and certificate
  4. ISPS interim audit and certificate

Ships of Category IV are usually provided by RO with short-term international certificates. These short-term certificates should be issued by the RO after the article 2bis certificate has been issued. The short-term certificates cannot have a longer validity than the article 2bis certificate, the tonnage certificate or the certificate of registry.

Annex 1 to this instruction provides a guidance (not limitative) with regard to inspections to be carried out.


4 Contact details
The shipowner has to send his application for a Permit art 2bis, including the abovementioned documents to:

Transport and Water Management Inspectorate
Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate (Marine and Fishery)
P.O.Box 8634
3009 AP Rotterdam
The Netherlands
Telephone +31 88 489 00 00
Fax +31 10 202 23 20
E-mail javascript:fnClickLink(mailto:nsi@ivw);

Annex 1

Items to be inspected for a permit art. 2bis

  • check whether fire- and safetyplan including musterlist has been installed in the appropriate places;
  • visual examination and operational test (if applicable) of WT bulkheads and doors;
  • visual examination and operational test of fixed fire extinguishing system (ask for inspection report if available);
  • check availability of sufficient portable fire extinguishers;
  • visual examination and operational test of firedoors;
  • operational test of fire detection and alarm system (random check);
  • check availability of sufficient fire-fighter’s outfits;
  • visual examination and operational test of fire mains, pumps and hydrants, including emergency firepump;
  • visual examination of structural fire protection;
  • visual examination of insulation of hot surfaces (> 220°C) in accordance with SOLAS II-2/4.2.2.6;
  • visual examination and operational test (fuel/engine) of lifeboats, if installed;
  • visual examination and operational test (fuel/engine) of rescueboat. Visual examination only in case a Marcus lifenet or other alternative has been installed;
  • visual examination of liferafts (special attention to the correct installation of the hydrostatic releases);
  • check availability of sufficient personal life-saving appliances, in accordance with SOLAS III/7.2 and III/32.3, i.e. lifejackets AND immersion suits for every person on board. When the voyage or sea trials are undertaken in warm climates, the ship may be relieved from the requirement to carry immersion suits for every person on board, subject to the Guidelines for assessment of thermal protection (MSC/Circ.1046), in which case NSI has to be consulted;
  • check availability of a line-throwing appliance and sufficient distress flares;
  • operational test of bilge system and pumps (ER/forepeak/alarms);
  • check engine alarms;
  • operational test of emergency source of electrical power;
  • operational test of engine emergency stop;
  • visual examination and operational test of emergency lighting, emergency exits, escape routes/doors/hatches;
  • visual examination and operational test of emergency steering gear;
  • operational test of automatic change over of generator sets;
  • visual examination of anchor gear;
  • operational test of general alarm;
  • operational test of communication between bridge/ER/emergency steering gear/emergency telegraph (tel. lists available);
  • operational test of remote control for SOS valves;
  • check availability of sufficient nautical charts and nautical publications;
  • visual examination and operational test of navigation lights and shapes in accordance with Colreg (special attention to NUC lights).

1 Introduction

Article 2 of the Netherlands Ships Act ('Schepenwet') state which ships are exempted from the requirements of the Ships Act when undertaking a voyage. A voyage being defined by bringing a ship beyond the official line that marks the ending of inland waters, see 'Besluit vaststelling lijn ex artikel 1 Schepenwet'.

Note: for voyages / shifting on inland waters only, an ‘Permit Article 2bis Ships Act’ is not applicable. For those situations, the local authorities (such as ‘Rijkswaterstaat’ and ‘Port Authorities) must be consulted to arrange agreement for the voyage / shifting.

1.1 Application

The following ships can be exempted if a permit Article 2bis (see annex 4 to this Instruction), hereafter permit, issued by the Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate (NSI) is obtained:

  • Cat. I: ships, only in an exceptional case, being towed without crew on board (Art. 2, sub f.);
  • Cat. II: ships, only in an exceptional case, undertaking a short voyage (Art. 2, sub f.);
  • Cat. III: ships performing their sea trials (Art. 2, sub h.);
  • Cat. IV: ships, which either have been built here on foreign expenses, or have been sold to foreign countries, and which should be brought to their destination over sea (Art. 2, sub g.).
    • As this is very rare and since an Article 2bis declaration is not internationally accepted such ships shall be provided by the Recognised Organisation (RO) and Flag with short-term certificates for subject type of vessel. Such short-term certificates shall as far as possible be as if the vessel was flying the Dutch flag. The certificates shall only be issued by the RO when Netherlands’ Certificate of Registry is also available. In situations where issuing certain short-term certificates is impossible, exemptions can be applied for. The regular process for applying for exemptions applies in that situation.

1.2 Authorization of the RO

As stated in the Appendix to Annex I of the Agreement (d.d. 3 April 2014) the RO is authorized to perform the inspections on ships applying for a permit based on Ships Act, Article 2bis. The purpose of these inspections is to make certain that the ship is in all respects fit to complete the voyage safely and without commercial purposes.

1.3 Validity of the permit

The permit shall have a limited validity appropriate to the type of voyage undertaken, but in no case longer than 6 weeks. Depending on the category, the type of ship, the duration of the voyage and the number of persons on board the requirements will be set.

The permit can be issued only for voyages commencing from a port in the Netherlands. For categories I, II and III sailing is limited to the EEZ-waters of the Netherlands (see Annex 3 to this Instruction).

2 Procedure to obtain a Permit Article 2bis

The RO shall, on request of the yard or the shipowner who wants to obtain a permit, perform the inspections, approvals and certifications as mentioned under paragraph 3 of this Instruction, for the different categories of ships. The yard or shipowner will provide the RO with all necessary information about the voyage to be undertaken.
The RO shall issue a statement to confirm that the relevant inspections, approvals and certifications as mentioned under paragraph 3 of this Instruction have been carried out.

With this statement the shipowner can apply for a permit to the NSI (see paragraph 4 of this Instruction). The NSI shall state any details, such as the minimum required crew for the voyage to be undertaken, on the permit Article 2bis.

The following information shall be provided with the application for the Permit Article 2bis:

2.1 For category I

  • the statement by the RO to confirm that the relevant inspections, approvals and certifications as mentioned under paragraph 3 of this Instruction have been carried out;
  • certificates issued by the RO (if any);
  • proof of ownership by either :
    • a Netherlands’ Certificate of Registry; or
    • the application for the Permit is done by the yard, under the condition that the yard is the owner of the ship.
  • information about the voyage to be undertaken, such as but not limited to:
    • Netherlands port of departure
    • date of departure
    • (port of) destination
    • information of the route
    • etc.

2.2 For category II

See paragraph 2.1 and in addition a manning proposal for the voyage to be undertaken shall be submitted and approved.

2.3 For category III

See paragraph 2.1. The Minimum Safe Manning is prescribed from the fixed crew composition table (see Annex 2 to this Instruction).

3 Inspections, approvals and certifications to be carried out by the RO

The following inspections, approvals and certifications have to be conducted by RO:

3.1 Cat I) Ships, only in an exceptional case, being towed without crew on board (Art. 2, sub f.)

  1. A bottom inspection. If no bottom inspection has taken place in the past three years, or the report is not available, a bottom inspection in a dry-dock has to be carried out. If it is not possible to dry-dock in the port of departure, a bottom inspection (in water survey) can be carried out by Class approved service supplier for in-water-survey with suitable equipment under direction of a Class Surveyor;
  2. Load Line inspection;
  3. MARPOL inspection, to make sure that overboard connections are properly shut off and that the ship complies with applicable requirements, as far as possible;
  4. No (dangerous) cargoes/goods allowed to be carried for commercial purposes;
  5. Approval of the strength calculations or valid Class certificate;
  6. Approval of the stability calculations;
  7. A ‘fit for towage certificate’ or similar document issued by the RO;
  8. A towing declaration stating that the towed object complies with MSC/Circ.884 (this declaration may for example be issued by the insurer or a loss adjuster); and
  9. A valid tonnage certificate.

3.2 Cat II) Ships only in an exceptional case undertaking a voyage (Art. 2, sub f.)

  1. Inspection of safety equipment, maximum nuber of persons (to be reported, see Annex 1 to this Instruction);
  2. Approval of the Safety plan;
  3. Approval of GMDSS installation for the relevant sea area (to be reported);
  4. No (dangerous) cargoes/goods allowed to be carried for commercial purposes;
  5. MARPOL Inspections Annex I, and where applicable MARPOL Annex IV en VI (scrubber), SRR, IHM, EEDI, BWMC as such to ensure the ship complies with applicable requirements, as far as possible;
  6. Approval of Load Line calculation and Load Line inspection;
  7. Approval of the stability calculation for the conditions during the voyage;
  8. A valid Class certificate;
  9. A valid (provisional) tonnage certificate; and
  10. Inspection of medical equipment in accordance with Directive 92/29/EEC, as amended 1

3.3 Cat III) Ships performing sea trials (Art. 2, sub h.)

  1. Inspection of safety equipment, maximum number of persons (to be reported, see Annex 1 to this Instruction);
  2. Approval of the Safety plan;
  3. Approval of GMDSS installation for the relevant sea area (to be reported);
  4. MARPOL Inspections Annex I, and where applicable MARPOL Annex IV en VI (scrubber), SRR, IHM, EEDI, BWMC as such to ensure the ship complies with applicable requirements, as far as possible*;
  5. No (dangerous) cargoes/goods allowed to be carried for commercial purposes;
  6. Approval of Load Line calculation and Load Line inspection;
  7. Approval of the stability calculation for the conditions during the voyage;
  8. Approval of the longitudinal strength calculations;
  9. Confirmation that inspections and surveys both for Classification and Statutory certification are close to completion and hull, machinery and electrical installations are in satisfactory condition for performing the Sea trials; Inspections for the Certificates, that shall need to be issued before vessels’ normal Trade commences, shall be close to completion. I.e. the condition of the ship and its equipment is generally in accordance with the particulars of these Certificates, and at least as such that the ship is considered fit for navigation without danger to the ship, those on board, those ashore, those on other ships and/or the marine environment. RO may allow for minor deviations without prior consultation of the NSI. In other cases or when in doubt, the RO shall consult the NSI in accordance with the guidelines as provided by Article 6.8 of the mutual Agreement, which means that RO shall submit and endorse a well-founded proposal for exemption(s)/mitigating measures for duration of the Sea trials by the owner/yard;
  10. A valid (provisional) tonnage certificate;
  11. Approval of the protocol of the inclining test; and
  12. Inspection of medical equipment in accordance with Directive 92/29/EEC, as amended1

* Application Annex VI and Sulphur Directive during sea trials

With regard to MARPOL regulation VI/14.4, the Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate allows the use of fuel oil with a sulphur content of 0,5% m/m during sea trials in the Netherlands Exclusive Economic Zone of ships flying the flag of the Netherlands; but the use of such fuel oil shall be restricted as much as possible and only serve the testing of engines and their associated systems. For example dredging trials, manoeuvring trials etc. shall be performed on low sulphur fuel (0.1% m/m).

In case a scrubber is installed and ship will fly the Netherlands flag, the NSI shall be contacted through / via the ROs Netherlands branch office in order to obtain Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS) commissioning statement for 2 months, in order to finalize the complete certification process.

For ships provided with a scrubber, intended to fly a foreign flag, for sea trials the use and testing of the equipment (verification of flows etc.) shall be performed on low Sulphur fuel oil. Only these tests that cannot be performed with compliant fuel may be carried out with high Sulphur fuel oil. The operation on high Sulphur fuel shall be kept to the minimum time necessary for testing. In order to provide information for enforcement authorities the testing protocol shall include the parameter checks that can be monitored and have been recorded during sea trials, so as to demonstrate that the system has been operated in accordance with the above.

4 Additional information

Preferably all the necessary information (including information to be supplied by the RO) is sent at the same time by the yard/ship owner. However in cases where there is not much time between the final inspection by the RO and the day of sea trials, the RO shall advise the shipowner to send the application for a ‘permit Article 2bis in advance, together with request to prepare the necessary documents beforehand.

For form see our website: Artikel 2bis-verklaring | Aanvragen certificaten zeevaart

Annex 1 - Guidance for items to be inspected for a permit article 2bis

This annex 1 provides a guidance (not limitative) with regard to inspections to be carried out. Please note that for non-Convention vessels that are built for a non-EU Flag in cases where an equivalent standard of requirements is not in place NSI shall be contacted with a well founded proposal.

  • Check that the fire- and safety plan including musterlist are posted in the appropriate locations;
  • Visual examination and operational test (if applicable) of WT bulkheads and doors;
  • Visual examination and operational test of fixed fire extinguishing system (ask for inspection report if available);
  • Check availability of sufficient portable fire extinguishers;
  • Visual examination and operational test of fire doors;
  • Operational test of fire detection and alarm system (random check);
  • Check availability of sufficient fire-fighter’s outfits;
  • Visual examination and operational test of fire mains, pumps and hydrants, including emergency fire pump;
  • Visual examination of structural fire protection;
  • Visual examination of insulation of hot surfaces (> 220°C) in accordance with SOLAS II-2/4.2.2.6;
  • Examination of sufficient capacity of life saving appliances, (total capacity shall be as such that for all persons on board dry-shoed disembarkation is available).
  • Visual examination and operational test (fuel/engine) of lifeboats, if installed;
  • Visual examination and operational test (fuel/engine) of rescue boat or Marcus lifenet or other alternative has been installed;
  • Visual examination of liferafts (special attention to the correct installation of the hydrostatic releases);
  • Check availability of sufficient personal life-saving appliances, in accordance with SOLAS III/7.2 and III/32.3, i.e. lifejackets AND immersion suits for every person on board. When the voyage or sea trials are undertaken in warm climates, the ship may be relieved from the requirement to carry immersion suits for every person on board, subject to the Guidelines for assessment of thermal protection (MSC/Circ.1046), in which case NSI has to be consulted;
  • Check availability of a line-throwing appliance and sufficient distress flares;
  • Operational test of bilge system and pumps (ER/forepeak/alarms);
  • Check engine alarms;
  • Operational test of emergency source of electrical power;
  • Operational test of engine emergency stop;
  • Visual examination and operational test of emergency lighting, emergency exits, escape routes/doors/hatches;
  • Visual examination and operational test of emergency steering gear;
  • Operational test of automatic changeover of generator sets;
  • Visual examination of anchor gear;
  • Operational test of general alarm;
  • Operational test of communication between bridge/ER/emergency steering gear/emergency telegraph (telephone lists available);
  • Operational test of remote control for SOS valves;
  • Check availability of sufficient nautical charts and nautical publications;
  • Visual examination and operational test of navigation lights and shapes in accordance with COLREG (special attention to NUC lights).
  • Medical equipment (except for Cat. I)