Based on questions received from the tourist industry relating to which rules apply to so-called ‘tender operations’ and other passenger transport in smaller vessels in Svalbard, the Governor of Svalbard specifies the following:

The carrying of passengers in smaller vessels from a ship on trips that subsequently return to the ship are regulated in regulation of operation of vessels carrying 12 or fewer passengers, etc. If there are more than 12 passengers on board a vessel, that vessel must be certified. If a vessel carries 12 or fewer passengers, it must comply with the requirements stipulated in the aforementioned regulation.

Carrying passengers in smaller vessels between a ship and the shore and back to the ship again is considered to be a so-called ‘tender operation’. The purpose in this instance is not connected to tourism activities using the smaller vessel in itself, but is instead intended to carry people ashore. This type of traffic is exempt from the requirements of the regulation of operation of vessels carrying 12 or fewer passengers, etc., cf. Section 2, sub-section i.

Further information on passenger ships in Svalbard may be obtained here.

Other questions in relation to this issue may be directed to the Norwegian Maritime Authority by email:

Inspectors from the Norwegian Maritime Authority will once again be present in Longyearbyen this summer. They have an office in Longyearbyen Harbour.