The nationality of sea-going vessels is regulated by the Kingdom Charter, which simply states in art. 3 that there is one nationality for all seagoing vessels registered in the Kingdom. Hence, Curaçao registered vessels carry the Dutch Kingdom flag and have Dutch nationality. This implies that they are protected by the Kingdom, including the Dutch Embassies and the Royal Dutch Navy in times of war.
The system for registering vessels is regulated by the Kingdom and the ‘Dutch system’ of registration applies to Curaçao vessels also. This system is divided in ‘ownership registration’ at the Ship Registry of the Kadaster office under private law, and ‘flag registration’ at the Flag Registry of the MAC office under public law. Ownership registration entitles the vessel to carry the Kingdom flag, provided it complies with safety and crewing regulations of the Kingdom and the country. This is investigated by MAC’s Shipping Inspection and vessels in compliance are provided with a Certificate of Registration (Zeebrief) and the required safety certificates and crewing documents. Registration and certification of onboard radio and communication systems is handled by the Bureau of Telecommunication.