In order to trade and, more importantly, to get Customs’ clearance at each of its ports of call, the vessel will have to maintain and carry on board at all times a complete set of Certificates including those previously mentioned. Certificate of Registry. Issued by the Government of the country whose flag the vessel flies. It is valid until the vessel is sold and states the Name of the vessel, its official number, its call sign and its principal dimensions and the name of the owners. International Tonnage Certificate. Issued by the Government of the country whose flag the vessel flies, usually from measurements made by an authorised Classification Society. It is valid until the vessel is sold and it states the Vessel’s Gross Tonnage (GT) and Net Tonnage (NT). Certificate of Class – issued by the Classification Society confirming that the vessel is classed by them. If the vessel is equipped for the carriage of refrigerated cargo, the Refrigeration Installation is certificated separately. In addition to the foregoing, there are other Certificates that are always needed to show compliance with international regulations and conventions: Load Line Certificate. Valid for four years, subject to an annual inspection, giving details of the vessel’s freeboard measurements. Safety Construction Certificate. Valid for four years, subject to an annual inspection, confirming the good condition of the vessel’s hull. Safety Equipment Certificate. Valid for two years, subject to an annual inspection, confirming that the vessel’s life saving equipment such as: Lifeboats and life rafts, Pyrotechnics, Fire-fighting Equipment and Emergency radios are in good working order and meet international regulations. The surveyor will also want to examine the vessel’s charts and nautical publications such as Pilot Books, Lists of Lights and Nautical Almanacs. Safety Radio Certificate The first page is the Certificate confirming that the vessel’s radio and radar equipment meet international regulations. The other pages give the details of the equipment required and available.