23.B.1. Use of ships registers in Norway. InNorway, the external trade of ships, aircrafts and movable drilling rigs is not properly covered by data from customs. Concerning ships, estimates based on change of ownership are used as an alternative. StatisticsNorway regularly receives information fromNorway’s shipping registers (NIS and NOR) about new registrations, cancellations and other changes in the registers. Based on this information, a letter and a form are sent to the registered owner, asking for additional information. For exports (sale of ships), identification of the former owner, name of new owner, home country and new flag State, date of change of ownership, type of ship, gross tons and actual price are requested. For imports (purchase of ships), the name of previous owner, home country, previous flag State, date of change of ownership, type of ship, gross tons and, last, actual price are requested. Frequently, ships and aircrafts are leased, requiring clarification on whether a change of ownership took place.
23.B.2. Leasing: approach of Statistics Norway. It is difficult to secure information on when a leasing agreement was established. Consequently, Statistics Norway is, to a large extent, dependent on occasional information. However, in regard to the handling of financial and operational leasing, Statistics Norway makes a pragmatic judgement based on (a) who has the equipment registered in his balance sheet (and pays for all maintenance and repairs) and (b) the length of the period of the contract (one year or more). If the length of the period is more than one year and it is not the lessor who pays all expenses, the transaction is considered to be export or import of goods. Otherwise, it is registered not as trade in goods but as trade in services.
23.B.3. Data compilation. The data on trade of ships, including transport and procedure codes, are manually registered in the Statistics Norway general trade database. It will normally take about two months to collect data, sometimes even longer. However, the data are registered in the month of the change of ownership. This exercise does not cover trade of ships ofNorway registered in foreign registers if the trade ends up registered in another country’s register. However, it is assumed that such activity is very limited, and at the moment it is ignored.
23.B.4. Ships of Norway under foreign flag. Regarding the issue ships of Norway under foreign flag, Statistics Norway used to depend on information (electronic data) from Lloyd’s Fairplay Register. However, this has been discontinued based on the consideration of the costs and benefits of subscribing to the monthly updates, which means that new effective sources are sought after. Equasis, a free source, might be used. StatisticsNorway is also considering establishing a small annual survey of large shipping companies in order to obtain an alternative estimate of the magnitude of this activity. This work has not been yet concluded.