Administrative Documents

Ship Documents


The following documents are required by the FAL Convention: Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic, 1965.

The FAL Convention was adopted by the International Conference on Facilitation of Maritime Travel and Transport on 9 April 1965. It entered into force on 5 March 1967. The FAL Convention was amended several times. The latest edition of the FAL Convention is the 1998 edition.

The purpose of this Convention is to facilitated maritime transport by simplifying and minimizing the formalities, documentary requirements and procedures associated with arrival, stay and departure of ships engaged on international voyages.

In principle the FAL Convention reduces to eight the number of declarations which can be required by public authorities. Only for six oh these documents, IMO has developed standardized forms. The other two documents are required under the Universal Postal Convention and the International Health Regulations.

Notwithstanding the requirements recommended by IMO's FAL Convention it is of good practice, before entering a harbour to check which administrative formalities are required for this relevant harbour in the guides such as Guide to Port Entry and Ports of the World.

The following six documents are IMO FAL Forms:

General Declaration (5 Copies)

This document gives particulars about:

  • the ship and the voyage;<:
  • the crew members and passengers if any on board;<:
  • a short description of the cargo;
  • the next port of call and where the remaining goods will be discharged;
  • the name and address of the ship's agent, and
  • the name of the berth where the ship is moored.

It must be signed by the master and the ship's agent in presence of the officer who presented the document. He will then in turn also sign the General Declaration attesting thereby that he has seen all the documents and/or certificates that had to be produced to him.

IMO Cargo Declaration (4 copies)

IMO Ship's Stores Declaration (4 copies)

IMO Crew's Effects Declaration (2 copies)

IMO Crew List (2 copies)

IMO Passenger List (2 copies)


  • At the back of the IMO FAL Form the names of the countries are given where the form is acceptable.
  • Some countries use their own national form based on the same layout, but in some cases subject to minor modifications or conditions to be observed by the declarant.
  • Some countries use a form completely different to the IMO FAL Form. See for instance : Declaration of Goods by Ship's Crew. (See also back of document)

Maritime Declaration of Health (International Form) (see also back of document) (1 copy). The master has to answer to 6 questions. Generally this document is presented to the master by the pilot.

International Certificates of Vaccination

Seaman's Book

Chief Officer's Log Book or Deck Log Book  (See also page 2page 3page 4page 5page 6page 7page 8 and page 9.)

Engine Log Book (See also page 2 and page 3)

Master's Passage Report (See also back of document)

Master's Port Log (See also back of document)