Registration procedure and registration assistance for the merchant fleet sailing under the Swiss flag

Directorate of International Law

Key facts

In June 2016, the Swiss fleet comprised 49 ships. This is the largest merchant fleet in the world for a landlocked country. The Swiss Maritime Navigation Office (SMNO), based in Basel, is responsible for registering and monitoring these ships. The Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO) conducted an audit of the SMNO to determine whether ship registration was in line with the legal requirements and whether monitoring measures were being properly applied. The SFAO also reviewed cooperation between the SMNO and the Federal Office for National Economic Supply (FONES), which plays an essential role in granting surety bonds when ships are purchased.