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Ship Transactions: A Guide to Ship Sales with the MoA

In the maritime industry, The Memorandum of Agreement Saleform 2012, also know as the NSF 2012, developed by the Norwegian Shipbrokers’ Association, stands out as the widely recognized standard contract for selling and buying cargo ships and other vessels. Other noteworthy contracts, however used to a lesser extent, include the Nippon Ship Sale form, the Singapore Ship Sale form, and the emerging BIMCO Shipsale 22 form. These agreements serve as invaluable tools for navigating the complex terrain of ship transactions.

Ship Sale and purchase of carg
MoA contract signing

A Guide to Ship Sales Transactions with the MoA

The NSF 2012 Memorandum of Agreement, being the prevailing standard for cargo ship and vessel transactions in the industry, provides a well-structured framework guiding parties through the entire process. Typically, the agreement is adjusted and amended to meet the terms and conditions required by both sellers and buyers, with the final draft prepared by the sale and purchase shipbrokers.


This document serves as the foundation of the sale and purchase transaction, providing a comprehensive structure that delineates the parties' obligations and rights, ensuring a methodical and organized approach throughout the entire process when selling and buying ships.


It is a common practice for buyers to inspect the vessel and class records before signing the MoA, ensuring the vessel is in good condition and meets their requirements. While less commonly practiced, the seller and buyer may agree on and sign a MoA subject to inspection. However, this may introduce uncertainty for both parties. If the buyer discovers defects during the inspection after the MoA has been signed, they may seek to renegotiate the price or even cancel the deal, introducing challenges for both parties.


Closing a sale involves coordinating the exchange of delivery documents, facilitating payment transactions, and ensuring the proper delivery of the vessel in accordance with the MoA. The final step encompasses handing over the Bill of Sale (BoS) and signing the Protocol of Delivery and Acceptance (PoDA).


A successful closing aligned with the MoA requires coordination among various parties, including sellers, buyers, shipbrokers, and escrow account holders. The closing can take place during a physical meeting or through a remote closing via platforms like Teams, which has become increasingly common today.


In conclusion ship sale and purchase of a cargo ship or other vessel is a complex transaction that demands thorough planning and execution. The Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) serves as a structured framework for both buyers and sellers, outlining the transaction's terms and conditions to ensure alignment and a smooth process. When expertly executed with the support of a reputable shipbroker, the transaction can proceed smoothly and conclude in accordance with the terms and condition and spirit of the MoA.


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By Álvur B. Mortensen, Managing Director at MARETEC Shipbrokers

© 2024 MARETEC Shipbrokers.

Share freely with attribution


About the Author:

Álvur B. Mortensen, Managing Director at MARETEC Shipbrokers, brings 31 years of maritime industry experience to the table.


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