Getting into the Ship Business in Singapore
Singapore is a leading international maritime centre that boasts over 5000 shipping corporations and contributes almost 7% of its GDP. Additionally, it is linked to an excess of 600 ports in over 120 different nations. Over the years, Singapore has gained traction as one of the world’s premier global ports.
With this, Singapore has become a preferred choice for many investors and entrepreneurs looking to open a new company in Singapore. In more cases than not, foreign investors looking to get into the shipping business in Singapore face several challenges. Well, don’t worry, here’s a step by step guide to setting up a shipping corporation including required documents you need to have before starting out.
• Step 1: Incorporate Your Company
Once you have made up your mind to set up a shipping firm, the first order of business is to incorporate your business. This is a legal requirement. Incorporating a private business in Singapore is a natural process although some rules apply.
• Step 2: Find a Business Location
After you are done with incorporating your business, finding a place to set up your office is the next step on the agenda. You will find a variety of office spaces to rent Singapore. Of course, you will have to consider the particulars of your business when looking for an office.
• Step 3: Employees
You will need to hire staff. Some of them will work at the office and others on board your ship. In both instances, there are some legalities you need to follow during hiring. For those who will be working on board your ship, they need to have a valid Port Limit Manning License. On the other hand, for those working at the firm’s office, you will need to stick to the employment guidelines for local and foreign workers in Singapore.
• Step 4: Apply for Permits and Licenses
Finally, you need to apply for the required certificates and licenses depending on your business operations. Below are some of the necessary documents you can expect.
- Harbor Craft License
This is a mandatory license for you to operate commercial ships within Singapore’s port. It is delivered by the Port Authority of Singapore.
- Ship Registration Certificate
It is a requirement to register all vessels. Vessels can be designated as either having a foreign flag or a Singaporean flag. Nonetheless, all ships can be listed under the Singaporean flag with the Singapore Registry of Ships.
- Port Limit Manning License
For the crew working on the ship, they all need to have a Port Manning License. There are different categories of the license with each offered to different types of crew members.
- Ship Sanitation Control Certificate
It is wise to acquire a Ship Sanitation Certificate from the National Environment Agency. This certificate is proof that your ship is in a sanitary condition to transport goods and people.
- Debuting Your Vessel in the Sea
Sailing a ship longer than fifteen meters long in the port requires you to obtain authority from the port master.