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The contract of sale of the vessel: the procedure and registration

By signing the contract of sale of the vessel the seller undertakes to transfer the vessel to the ownership of the buyer, and the buyer undertakes to accept and pay this vessel a certain sum of money (price) for it.  The contract of sale of the vessel is a real estate transaction, since in accordance with part 1 of article 130 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, sea vessels and inland navigation vessels are immovable property because of its considerable value and the need to impart public credibility to transactions with such objects, which are also sources increased danger.

Due to the variety of organizational, financial and legal conditions of contracts for the sale of ships, international and regional maritime organizations have developed a number of standard forms (BIMCO SALEFORM, SINGAPORE SHIP SALE FORM and others), which can be used by the seller and buyer in the transaction and allow the parties to choose either other terms of the memorandum, depending on various actual circumstances of the transaction - the residence of the parties, the price of the transaction, financing conditions, the port of registration and transfer of the vessel and many other factors. Qualified selection of the terms of the transaction in the contract of sale is a factor in the successful execution of the transaction and the security of the parties, and the choice of conditions that do not correspond to the actual circumstances of the transaction may lead to the impossibility of protecting the party to the transaction and the difficulty in realizing its legitimate interests.

Download a sample of the pro forma of the contract of sale of the vessel (.pdf, 104 Kb)

In some cases, the process of buying and selling a vessel may be complicated by conditions that may not be covered by standard pro forma due to the exclusiveness of the vessel or peculiarities of the relations of the parties, financing conditions, other circumstances. In such circumstances, it is recommended that the parties form an individual contract of sale that regulates the process of mutual relations of the parties, the procedure for transferring the vessel being sold, the procedure for preparing documents and registering the right of ownership to it.

Attorneys from Inmarine provide legal assistance in transactions for the purchase and sale of sea and river vessels.

  1. Consultation on the procedure for making and structuring a transaction;
  2. Legal expertise of information and documents on the transaction;
  3. Formation of organizational, legal and financial terms of the transaction;
  4. Drafting and approval of the draft contract of sale of the vessel;
  5. Legal examination of the contract of sale, making changes, additions;
  6. Support of registration of vessels and rights to them.

When making purchase and sale transactions of ships, it is recommended to pay attention to the following terms of the contract (memorandum) on the sale of the vessel:

  1. Evaluation of the legal and financial status of the parties to the contract;
  2. Proper individualization of the vessel and its characteristics;
  3. Determination of the fixed price of the vessel and the procedure for making calculations;
  4. The process of acceptance and transfer of the vessel, including inspections, transfer of ownership and the risk of accidental death, damage, the procedure for issuing documents;
  5. Guarantees of non-fulfillment, inadequate fulfillment of obligations (non-compliance of the court, delay in delivery of the vessel, delay in payment of the price, loss of interest, lack of documents and accessories, etc.);
  6. Ensuring fulfillment of obligations for the transfer of the vessel and the payment of the purchase price;
  7. Applicable law and procedure for resolving disputes;
  8. Release of documents and actions of the parties to commit registration actions.

Timely seeking legal assistance at the planning stage of the purchase or sale of a vessel allows you to prevent a significant number of transaction risks, to develop an optimal transaction structure and significantly reduce the time of paperwork. If you or your partners are planning to purchase or sell a vessel, seek legal assistance from the Law office of St. Petersburg «Inmarine».