NSA 2512 Organizing the Shipowning Entity

NSA 2512 Organizing the Shipowning Entity

Course code: 
NSA 2512
Law and Governance
Course coordinator: 
Cathrine Bjune
Course name in Norwegian: 
Organizing the Shipowning Entity
Product category: 
BBA - Specialisation in Shipping
2017 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

The course offers an overview of the various ways of organizing the ownership of commercial vessels. The course provides an insight into company law and organizational forms chosen by owners such as limited companies, partnerships, pools and joint ventures. The management of such companies is covered, as well as the need for and use of third party service providers. The course examines the need for different ship types used in international trade. How to obtain ships through new building and sale and purchase, including contracts used for such purposes is covered, and so is the financing of ships.This includes how to finance the ships with equity, loans and other methods of financing. The need for demolition of vessels, and the markets for demolition as well as practical procedures is covered. The legal framework the companies operate within, ship registration, choice of flag issues and classification is covered. The course also gives a brief overview of the markets in which the ships operate, and the factors determining changes in the markets and freight rates. How owners can hedge risks related to the markets and prices is covered. This includes the use of FFA`s and derivatives.

The course is aimed at giving the students a better insight into and understanding of the shipping industry and practice in connection with owning and managing ships.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

The students will learn about the structure of international shipping companies and the practical and legal challenges facing the shipowners. The course will provide an insight into establishing and operating companies and ships, and methods for acquiring ships and thus the ability to provide transport services in an international market. The course covers rules applicable to limited companies, joint ventures, pooling arrangements, and contracts and procedures used for acquisitions of ships and demolition, as well as crewing contracts and third party ship management. Markets and contracts applicable to sale and the purchase of ships, and how such procedures are carried through from start to conclusion, will be covered. The students will learn how world trade impacts on the decisions to invest in different types of ships. The students will also learn how to finance vessels and risk hedging, and how the rules and regulations of different flag states and port states affect the set up and management of shipping companies and ships. This knowledge gives the students an overview of and understanding of the complexity of acquiring, owning and operating ships.

Learning outcomes - Skills

After completing the course, the students will be able to understand the ownership structure of shipping companies, and how the international aspect of shipping and trade determine the investment in ships and the organisational form of shipping companies. The students will learn how to use and apply common contracts used for outsourcing of shipping functions, and why third- party providers are often used when managing shipping companies operating in a global and highly skilled industry. The students will also be able to use contracts for ship building and sale and purchase of ships, and understand the concepts of ship fiance, registration and classification. The students will recognize the markets for ship sale and purchase, ship building and chartering, and be able to use standard contracts applicable to such transactions. They will also learn how to hedge risks in a volatile shipping market.

Learning Outcome - Reflection

After completing the course, the students will understand the connection between global consumption and the need for shipping services, and be able to reflect on the need for different types ships and the ownership structures used.How to acquire, and finance the ships, as well as how to operate them efficiently is covered. By focusing on future need and environmental aspects of shipping, the students will be able to make informed reflections on the business of owning and operating ships, the competition and volatility of the markets, and the need for and use of third party service providers.

Course content
  • Basic English and Norwegian company law.
  • The shipping market and its different players
  • Different organizational forms of shipping companies
  • Localization and jurisdiction applicable to sips and companies.
  • Types of ships and their role in world trade
  • Acquisition of ships
  • New building, procedures and contracts
  • Sale and Purchase of 2nd. hand vessels, procedures and contracts
  • Ship finance
  • Methods for ship finance and the role of the banks
  • Shipbuilding contracts
  • Demolition of ships, procedures and contracts
  • The functions of the shipping company and the responsibilities of a ship owner
  • Ship management and standard contracts commonly used when outsourcing management functions
  • Crewing contracts
  • Ship registration and choice of flag
Learning process and requirements to students

36 hours of lectures and 12 hours of case work and review in class.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Required prerequisite knowledge


Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Support materials: 
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
3 Hour(s)
Exam code: 
Grading scale: 
Examination every semester
Exam organisation: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
40 Hour(s)
Participation at lectures and excursions
Feedback activities and counselling
5 Hour(s)
Case work and review by lecturer in class
Group work / Assignments
30 Hour(s)
Work on cases handed out by lecturer
Prepare for teaching
75 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
50 Hour(s)
Exam preparation
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 7,5 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 200 hours.