Why fly the Dutch flag?

Flying the Dutch flag; a rich heritage, a thriving present and a sustainable future

Fly the Dutch flag and be part of a completely comprehensive ship registration solution. Why settle for less? Here are the main reasons why going Dutch is the smart way forward.

Best for business

Known as the gateway to Europe, famed for the linguistic abilities of its population, the Netherlands is a truly world-class business destination. Recently ranked number 4 in Forbes’ Best Countries for Business assessment, Holland has a strategic location that provides the perfect springboard into the European market. With 95% of Europe’s most lucrative consumer markets accessible within 24 hours of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the Netherlands fully understands the importance of doing business in a thorough, efficient and entrepreneurial way. It stands to reason that it has created a ship registration system prepared for every possibility.

A register to respect

As a sovereign flag member of the European Union, the Netherlands is home to one of the most prestigious ship registers in the world. Ranked in the top of the Paris MoU white list, the Dutch flag assures you of a warm welcome in ports around the world. Officials instantly know that everything is in order, and the reliability and security enjoyed by the vessel’s owners extends to all those with whom the crew come into contact. 

Clean sailing

Cleaner oceans will require less plastic pollution and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners has established a triple-A climate principle and the Dutch flag aims to make the most of this principle and contribute to the future of the planet. The development of efficient and eco-friendly shipping is a key priority and the Dutch shipping register is associated with a strong reputation with regards to sustainability. Being part of the Dutch maritime community will support you on the road to IMO 2030 and IMO 2050.

Taking responsibility

The Dutch ensign is officially governed by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. The sound reputation of the Dutch government in terms of safety and security means the flag is recognized globally as a sign that the bearers have proven themselves to be reliable. Moreover, because the authorities in the Netherlands take seriously their responsibility as a good seafaring nation, vessels which fly the country’s flag are assumed to do the same.  

Competitive pricing, financially secure

Dutch law provides special advantages to owners and managers. The Netherlands was one of the first countries to introduce the tonnage tax regime, and attractive fiscal arrangements are in place for seafarers. Bareboat arrangements provide the flexibility you need. The financial sector in the Netherlands is strong and well capitalised, with a solid understanding of maritime matters and capital available to support the sector.

Crew and legal issues

Flying the Dutch flag offers all kinds of efficiencies for vessel owners. A highly automated system of crew certification is in place, with flexibility in manning dedicated to your business and fiscal options that reduce the cost of employing experienced Dutch crew. Leading class societies take care of flag state inspections and the Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate will support the Dutch flagged vessels experiencing problems in ports abroad. These and other maritime institutions ensure you the highest possible level of service.

Strength in numbers

A fleet of over 1,220 ships currently flies the Dutch flag, with cruise ships, commercial superyachts, heavy lift and special cargo vessels, dredgers and other industrial ships forming the backbone of the register. In the area of short sea shipping, the Netherlands has one of the largest fleets in multi-purpose/general cargo, including a strong network of specialised service providers.

Commercial yacht standards

With a 30% market share and a recognised status as the world’s leading country for commercial yacht yards and equipment suppliers, it makes good sense for the Dutch to also offer a premium registration solution for commercial yacht owners. The Dutch flag offers a one-stop shop for construction, registration and crewing of commercial yachts. A clear operating model is in place and owners (and their reps) can rest assured that their yacht is in the safe hands of professionals. 

Maritime support infrastructure

Flying the Dutch flag also opens the door to a phenomenal array of services available to shipowners from the versatile maritime cluster in the Netherlands. The value of the Dutch-owned fleet is over USD 20 billion. Fleet owners profit from first-class shipbuilders, maritime services and research, the largest port community in Europe, dredging and offshore companies and much more besides. A business worth €55 billion a year and employing some 259,000 people has many synergies you can tap into.

Thinking ahead

The Dutch economy scores high in global innovation rankings – a position that is certainly reflected in the maritime sector. Registering your vessel in the Netherlands brings you in contact with leading research institutions, maritime educational centres and an active community of maritime start-ups.