Definition: Merchant ship

Category: Transport

Ship designed for the carriage of goods, transport of passengers or specially fitted out for a specific commercial duty.

Note: Naval ships and ships used by public administration and public services are excluded. Merchant ships are divided into cargo and passenger carrying ships and ships of miscellaneous activities, specially fitted out for a specific duty. Ships of miscellaneous activities include fish catching and processing ships, tugs, dredgers, research/survey ships, and ships used in offshore production and support.
While the following specific types are identified, based on the Eurostat classification (ICST-COM) which is harmonised with the UNCTAD International Classification of Ship Types, barges are treated separately and not included in the definition of a Merchant ship:

i) 	Liquid bulk carrier
This category includes oil tankers, chemical tankers, LG tanker, tanker barge and other tankers. Liquid bulk carriers should be further subdivided into
	(a) Single hulled liquid bulk carriers
	(b) Double hulled liquid bulk carriers

ii) 	Dry bulk carrier
	This category includes bulk/oil carriers and bulk carriers.

iii 	Container ship
Ship fitted throughout with fixed or portable cell guides for the exclusive carriage of containers. 

iv) 	Specialised carrier
	Ship specially designed for the carriage of particular cargoes.
This category includes vehicle carrier, livestock carrier, irradiated fuel carrier, barge carrier and chemical carrier.

v) 	General cargo non-specialised
	Ships designed to carry a wide range of goods
This category includes reefer, ro-ro passenger, ro-ro container, other ro-ro cargo, combination carrier general cargo/passenger and combination carrier general cargo/container.
	This category should be subdivided into
(a) High speed general cargo non-specialised meeting the requirements set out in the IMO HSC Code paragraph 1.4.30
	(b) Other general cargo non-specialised

vi) 	Dry cargo barge
This category includes deck barges, hopper barges, lash-seabee barges, open dry cargo barges, covered dry cargo barges and other dry cargo barges.

vii) Passenger ship
Ship designed specifically to carry more than 12 fare-paying passengers whether berthed or unberthed.
	This category should be subdivided into 
(c) High speed passenger ship specialised meeting the requirements set out in the IMO HSS Code paragraph 1.4.30
	(d) Other passenger ships
A ship designed with one or more decks specifically for the carriage of passengers, and where there is either no cabin accommodation for the passengers (un-berthed) or not all of the passengers are accommodated in cabins where cabins are provided, is sometimes referred to as a "ferry".
	Ro-Ro passenger ships are excluded. 

viii) Fishing
	This category includes fish catching and fish processing vessels.

ix) Offshore activities
	This category includes drilling and exploration vessels and offshore support vessels.

x) Tugs
	Ship designed for the towing and/or pushing of ships or other floating structures.
	Port tugs are included.

xi) 	Miscellaneous
	This category includes dredgers, research/survey vessels and other vessels.
For the purposes of reporting to the Directive on Maritime Statistics number 95/64/EC, the ship types included are liquid bulk carriers, dry bulk carriers, container ships, specialised carriers, general cargo non-specialised and passenger ships.
Glossary For Transport Statistics, Eurostat, ECMT, UN/ECE, Third edition