Shipowners

The shipowner, ship’s manager or owner-charterer, owns, operates or charters a vessel. He concludes contracts of carriage or charter-parties and takes responsibility for the commercial operation of the vessel at sea and in port.

He has to supply the vessel with fuel and other provisions, effect any repairs to the vessel, arrange for the vessel to be inspected by a specialist classification society, recruit the crew and more particularly the ship’s master.

The equivalent French term "armement" (literally "armament") has 4 different meanings:
- in the narrow sense, the term designates the operation which consists in fitting out a vessel for the proper carriage of shipments;
- in a broad sense, it corresponds to the profession practised by the shipowner, ship’s manager or owner-charterer, namely the commercial operation of the vessel;
- the term can designate a shipping company;
- lastly, it can represent shipowners as a group: the term is employed to characterize all the vessels flying the French flag, for example.