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3 Nationality of Vessels

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the concept of nationality of vessels. The nationality of vessels has been, in theory, central to the system of control of activities on the high seas, and to a significant extent in other zones of the oceans as well. Vessel nationality is important in part because of the desirability of applying consistent legal standards to vessels. The chapter introduces the concept of vessel nationality, exploring when states may confer nationality on vessels and the requirement that there be a "genuine link" between a vessel and its flag state. It talks about the Registration of vessels, which is the primary method by which states indicate grants of nationality, and ships' documents. Finally, the chapter explains what is a ship or a vessel, and codifies the meaning that the term "vessel" had acquired in general maritime law.

Keywords: flag state; general maritime law; high seas; vessel nationality; vessel registration



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