Norwegian Ships Brokers ‘ Association

“Sets standards and supports shipping since 1919.”

Norsk Skipsmeglerforbund was established on February 1, 1919, with the purpose of bringing Norwegian shipbroker companies together to safeguard common interests.

The brokerage industry is old and it’s impossible to state exactly when it began. In several of the great cultural communities of ancient times, the brokerage business was very well developed. The classical Romanian jurists and legislation also dealt with broker-law issues. In ancient Rome, brokers seem to have been an extensive but not exclusive position. They not only conveyed merchandise and services, but also office services and marriages. The shipbuilding business first came into play as trade fleets grew and became an independent entity in the economy.

At the beginning of the 13th century, the brokerage institution was fully developed in Roman Commercial Law and the brokers had different names like sensual, courtier and mediator. The latter is probably the origin of the German name “Mäkler”, derived from the verb “machen”, which has then been transferred to Norway. The brokers were once public employees, male men, and they only had the right to act as intermediaries, ie they were not allowed to run another business next door. In Norway, trafficking can be traced back to the Viking era. In England, it is believed that the term “broker” originates from the Viking traditions, and that among them the use was made of intermediaries, primarily as interpreters, but also to the dissemination of other services. These intermediaries were called “usearmarms” or “brocarius”, and from this the English term must be derived.

As the brokerage business became more developed, the authorities and the judiciary came into play also in the Nordic region. Guidelines for the work were drawn up and the brokerage status was given a certain degree of protection by the fact that it was not possible to run a brokerage without authorization. This was continued in the Brokerage Act, which was introduced in 1818, where those who were to undertake brokerage had to have a licence. Before this law was introduced, the brokers operated combined businesses, in that they also acted as commodity and brokers. After the introduction, there was a greater degree of professionalism. The brokerage act was lifted in 1869 and since then ship brokerage has been a free profession in Norway.

It was Christiania Ship Broker Association that invited the Norwegian Ship Brokers Association (as the name was then). On January 14, 1919, the invitation to a constituent meeting was sent through local ship broker associations and to individual companies in places where there was no local association. In advance, a circular was sent around the country from Christiania Ship Broker Association on December 10, 1918. The interest in getting a nationwide organization of ship brokers proved to be very popular. At the founding meeting in Kristiania on February 1, 1919, there were representatives from 93 shiping companies, the meeting was chaired by Christiania Ship broker Association Carl O. Lie, who was elected to the First Presidency of the Association (as the title of top trustees at the time).

Both the industry and the Association’s activities have changed significantly since then. Today, the Association is a multifaceted organisation to promote the interests of our members, a part of what is mentioned on these pages. We solve the small and big problems our members may have.

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