Continuous synopsis record CSR


If I ask you, who is the registered owner of your ship, will you be able to get this information ? I am sure you will !!

You can get this information from the “Certificate of Registry” of the ship.

Now if I ask about the detail of the ship owner from whom the present ship owner bought the ship, will you know it ?

We as a seafarers may not require this information but it is a necessary information for security purposes.

As with all the security concerns related to shipping, this too was talking point during development of ISPS code.

This information along with few others is now required to be in continuous synopsis record.

Let us discuss this in detail.

What is continuous synopsis record (CSR) ?

In short and plain language, the CSR is a record of ship’s history.  It is a record that remains with the ship for its entire service.

When chapter XI-2 (special measures to enhance maritime security) was introduced in SOLAS, a new regulation (regulation 5) concerning CSR was introduced in chapter XI-1 of the SOLAS.

Continuous synopsis record requirement

The purpose of the CSR was to avoid the annonimity to the ship’s history and thus enhance the security at sea.

Even if the ownership of the vessel has changed many hands over the years, with CSR it will not be difficult to find who was the owner at what time ?

Same goes with flag of the ship, classification societies and ISM company of the ship. Each change need to reflect on the CSR.

CSR information

CSR is issued by the vessel’s flag and it must contain at least these 15 point information.

  1. Name of the flag state
  2. Date on which the ship was registered with the flag
  3. The ship’s identification number
  4. The name of the ship
  5. Port of registry
  6. Name of registered owner and their registered address
  7. Registered owner’s identification number
  8. Name of registered bareboat charterer and their registered address, if applicable
  9. Name of company responsible as per ISM code
  10. Company identification number
  11. Name of vessel’s classification society
  12. Name of the organisation that has issued Document of compliance to the company
  13. Name of the organisation that has issued SMS certificate to the ship
  14. Name of the organisation that has issued ISPS certificate to the ship
  15. Date on which the ship ceased to be registered with that state

Company identification number

IMO vide MSC resolution 160 (78) adopted a resolution that requires each ship owner and ISM companies to have a unique identification number.

This number need to be in the appropriate CSR column for the details of Ship owner and ship management company.

These IMO numbers are issued by IHS fairplay on behalf of IMO.

To apply for IMO number for a company, the company need to register with the email on IHS fairplay website.

Once registered, the company then need to fill the online application form for applying to get IMO number.

IMO Company number

From this website, it is even possible to check the IMO number of any company. For this after login, we can enter initial few words of the company and then press search.

IMO company number search

This will give all the matching results. Click on the company for which you are looking for th information.

This will give the information about that company and their IMO number.

company details with IMO number

Process of changing information in CSR

Now when a ship is newly built and handed over to the ship owner, the ship will have only one CSR document.

This CSR document will have all the 15 point information filled.

Now say, after two years, the ship was bought by a ship owner. This ship owner prefers different classification society than the vessel currently has.

The ship owner need to change the owner’s detail in the ship’s registry certificate. He would then change the classification society of the ship.

I am not going into details of process of changing the classification society of the ship as this would make us divert from our topic.

Now after this has been done, The owner need to apply for these changes to the flag state of the ship to issue a new CSR.

Different flag state can have different procedure of application for correction to the CSR. Some may require the documents to be emailed to them and they will issue a new CSR based upon that.

Others may require physical copy of the application to be sent to them. But most of the flags have moved to the digital way.

These procedure are usually available on the website of the flag states.

These procedures involve sending following to the flag state

  • index page of the Continuous synopsis record and
  • the amendment page highlighting the amendments required

Let us see how the amendments of change of owners and change of classification society need to be entered in the amendment page.

Amendments to CSR

The amendment page contains all the information that CSR has. When applying for the amendment to the current CSR, company need to fill the amendment page.

Only the columns that are changed need to filled with new information. The columns that are not affected need to be marked as N/C (not changed).

CSR amendment page

The document number marked on the amendment page shows to which CSR number these amendments are applied.

Amendment from is sometimes also referred as Form 2 of the CSR.

Index page of the amendments

Whenever amendment page is filled for any CSR, the index page need to be filled as well.

For the sample amendment page that I filled,  this is how index page will look like.

CSR amendment index

It shows the index of the columns that were affected by the amendment of the CSR document.

So now we have CSR document number 1, which was issued by the flag of the ship when the ship was built.

This CSR had some changes. The changes are shown in the amendment page and index page.

On the basis of this application and the “amendment and Index” page attached to the CSR document 1, flag of the vessel will issue a new CSR which will be marked as CSR document no 2.

Now each time there is any change in the information contained in the Current CSR document, a new CSR document will be issued by the flag state of the vessel.

Index page of a CSR document is sometimes also referred as Form 3 of the CSR.

Click here for a sample blank CSR document with Form 2 and form 3

What Master need to check on CSR documents file ?

Upon joining a ship, master need to check the correctness of the CSR document file. Here is what master need to check

Checks on CSR file

1. Information in the current CSR is correct

First thing that master need to check is if all the information in the Current CSR document is correct. For example, if it mentions the owner’s details, classification society, ISM company name and all other information correctly.

Master need to compare the Owner’s details entered in the current CSR with the ship’s certificate of registry. These two details must match.

2. Current CSR document is on board

If any of the information in the latest CSR document is not current, it may be that there is one more CSR document that is not on board.

In this case, master must ask the company about the document number of latest CSR.

If this CSR is actually the latest CSR document and has some wrong information in it, Master much inform this fact to the company.

Company will then apply for the changes in CSR document.

It may also be the case that the latest CSR document is not yet received from the Flag state of the vessel.

As per IMO circular A.959 (23), Flag is required to issue the updated CSR document within 3 months from the application date. If the latest CSR document is not onboard, Master much check if it is still under 3 months window period and Liaise with the company for receiving this onboard.

During a PSC inspections, 3 months issuance time for the CSR document can be highlighted to avoid deficiencies related to CSR.

3. All the previous CSR documents are on board

Now if the latest CSR document is number 8, all the previous 7 CSR document must be on board. All these CSR documents should be arranged in sequence order.

Master must check if the CSR document numbers 1 to 7 are in the file

4. All Previous CSR documents have amendment page and index page attached

We have already discussed about the amendment page and index page. Each CSR document that was amended must have amendment page and Index page attached to it.

So If there are total 8 CSR documents, 8 being the latest. Then

  • Document number 8 will be the latest CSR document with no amendment page (Form 2) and Index page (Form 3) attached to it
  • Document number 7 will have the amendment page (Form 2) and index page (Form 3) attached to it. These amendments will be the difference between information in document number 7 and document number 8.
  • Same will be the case with other 6 CSR documents

5. Changes as per amendment form and Index pages match with actual changes to the CSR

Amendment form attached to a CSR document reflects the changes made to that CSR document. So for example, let us say as per amendment form attached to CSR document no 6, there is only one change which is change of vessel’s classification society.

This change in classification society must reflect in CSR document no 7.

It is rare to have a mistake from the flag in this case but it may be the case that a wrong amendment form is attached to the CSR document.

Master should detect these errors if any and correct these.


The requirement of “continuous synopsis record” was introduced in SOLAS chapter XI-1 because of the security concerns. The core purpose of the CSR was to be able to get the basic information of people and companies involved with the ship through out its service period.

Not having a CSR or a missing old CSR document can be cause of concern during onboard inspection.

We must ensure that all the CSR documents of the ship are available on board.

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Capt Rajeev Jassal

About Capt Rajeev Jassal

Capt. Rajeev Jassal has sailed for over 19 years mainly on crude oil, product and chemical tankers. He holds MBA in shipping & Logistics degree from London. He has done extensive research on quantitatively measuring Safety culture onboard and safety climate ashore which he believes is the most important element for safer shipping.

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abhishek som
abhishek som
Feb 4, 2017

very well explained about CSR. Sir during competancy exam question was asked what thing will not change in CSR throughout,while applying for amendment in CSR. we answered its Ship's IMO number,but he doesn't agree to it.can u please throw some light on it.

Rajeev Jassal
Rajeev Jassal
Feb 6, 2017

I do not think there is anything else in the CSR that cannot change. I think your answer was correct.

Jul 7, 2019

Sir i think it is " Sl no.1 on form 1 - This document applies from(date) ". Iam not sure.

aamir anand
aamir anand
Mar 19, 2017

@rajeev jassal. hello sir, your articles are really a great help to all junior officers like us....... sir, i have a request can u please advice the importance of the DPA, FPC, technical superintendent, fleet manager... how these guys are linked to one or more vessels of the same company.... thanks in advance

Amanjot Sachdeva
Amanjot Sachdeva
May 1, 2017

Perfect and very good info on CSR. Thank you Sir

Aug 17, 2017

Very Good Article Sir.... During competitive Exams, surveyors are asking ''What are the consequences of wrong entry in CSR'?....can u please answer Sir...Thanks in Advance!

John Paul C. Rivera
John Paul C. Rivera
Jun 18, 2018

Thank you so much for the ideas. CSR is very well explained. Anyhow, can you give us examples or circumstances that the form 2 and 3 of CSR need not be issued. What governing rules or authorities that say so.

Ashutosh Maid
Ashutosh Maid
Aug 5, 2018

Absolutely well explained sir. This answer has definitely solved all my doubts. Thank you

Santosh Khadtare
Santosh Khadtare
Sep 13, 2018

Sir, Very helpful article perfectly explained on CSR. Doubt has been cleared. Thank You so much

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma
Oct 1, 2018

Great explanation

Nov 13, 2018

Perfectly explained. Sir Can you please answer for a question which has been asked in MMD exams, what is CSR relation with respect to safety?

Apr 8, 2019

Dear Capt Rajeev, Thank you so much. Its so well explained. Your work is a blessing to us.

Tinku gupta
Tinku gupta
Jun 28, 2019

Sir can u plz explain me ,about on this question. Q. Fire in aft peak store and fire line is rupture. .what action wil take

Jul 7, 2019

Very well explained Sir.

Oct 4, 2019

Hi Captain, Point No. 11 in the CSR, it is about the society that issued the H&M not the statutory issued by the RO, am i right? Ex: if the class H&M is BV and the RO issued the SMC and rest of statutory certs is NK, then 11: is BV and 12: is NK?

Mar 9, 2020

Greetings from Cebu, Philippines. Here's a scenario : A foreign-flag ship that has not been issued any CSR before or no copy of its previous CSR can be found onboard is sold to the Philippines . If the Filipino owner applies for a CSR with the flag state, how do we call that CSR - Document No. 1 or Amendment to Document No. 1 ? If the CSR is to be denoted as Document No. 1, how can we correctly reflect that the Filipino owner is not the original owner of the ship ? For item 1, what is the reckoning date when we say "This applies from" - the date the change/s took effect or the date of issuance of the CSR? Thank you very much,

Mar 23, 2020

First and foremost, why would someone buy a ship with incomplete documents especially with regards to her track history? This should create suspicion to the buyer in the first place. With that, potential buyer should seek this document from the seller in order to spare himself from the trouble of filling up incomplete CSR document which will give him so much trouble in the future especially for inspections and investigations.

mariyam hameeda
mariyam hameeda
Jun 17, 2020

if the ship deleted from the flag do we have to issued new csr document for that ship or do we have to write the deleted date on csr document

Amar Anand
Amar Anand
Oct 28, 2020

Very well explained Sir....

Nov 4, 2020

Kindly throw some light .....When and who will inspect CSR ,and during which survey it is inspected?

Saurabh Gandhi
Saurabh Gandhi
Jan 19, 2021

Beautifully explained in most simple and comprehensive way ????

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