Employment Agency authorized by the Basque Employment Service – LANBIDE / License no. 1600000003

Basque Shipowners Association

Established 1900

Cadet Training

We manage the cadet embarkation to comply with their compulsory training.

Enbarkment Agency

To meet seafarers enrolemnent demands with our associated companies job offers

Annual Reports

The latest annual reports published in pdf to be downloaded.


Association activities aimed to the formation of new seafarers.


The Bilbao Shipowners Association, pioneer and predecessor of the Basque Shipowners Association, was founded in Bilbao on 9th March 1900, building up more than a century of existence, and becoming therefore the oldest shipping association in Spain.

Along its century of associative existence it has welcomed into its midst more than one thousand five hundred vessels belonging to almost four hundred shipping companies, not only from the Basque Country but also from the rest of Spain, Portugal, United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Singapore, Bahamas, Bermuda, etc. During a very long time the Basque fleet, and consequently the fleet registered in the Association represented two thirds of the Spanish fleet, as expected from a country with such an extraordinary maritime deeply roots as ours.

In the same way, the Association has taken part in the historic evolution of the sector as it is in the massive education of professionals, firstly on board its training ship “Ama Begoñakoa” and presently on board the vessels of its associated fleet; in the foundation of the International Shipping Federation, in the creation and preservation of a recruitment service since 1915; in the drafting of 1956´s Law on Protection and Renewal of the Merchant Fleet, that meant its whole rejuvenation; in the foundation of the Maritime Administration School, in the creation of the Canary Islands Special Registry, in the vigilance of the performance of the regulations relative to maritime cabotage, in the introduction of the tonnage tax, in the endorsement of Latin-american titles by the European Union and a large etcetera exhaustive to be related here.

Leant on this vast experience and tradition, we face up to the new challenges in the future with the same enthusiasm and confidence of our predecessors.

Welcome to our web site.

Welcome - using nautical flags



We cannot begin this historical review of the shipowners associations established in the Basque Country without a brief reference to the "Consulate, Trade House, Sea and Shore Businessmen Court and University of Bilbao", simply known as "Consulate of Bilbao" ("Consulado de Bilbao"), which certainly was the first institution intended for shipping interests existing in Bilbao, and whose birth dates back to the year 1511. Not in vain, already in the year 1.504, there were 500 merchant vessels registered in Bilbao, being the nerve centre of the exportations of wine and wool coming from the Meseta. It was for more than three centuries the national and international representation of the shipping power in the "Villa".

From that Consulado de Bilbao, in 1737, it will emerge the "Ordinances of the illustrious University and Trade House of the very noble and very loyal Villa of Bilbao", which lasted out until the promulgation of the Commercial Code in the year 1829, that was mostly based on the mentioned Ordinances, and that were and still are, beyond doubt, the most important legal piece in this matter that Bilbao had ever given.

Focusing now on the 20th Century, the historic background that can be found relating to organizations that had the aim of defending and representing the shipping interests goes back exactly to the beginning of the century, that is to the year 1900.

Associated Companies


The Association takes part of different fora and organizations related to the Merchant Marine, among which we highlight the following:

  • INEM/LANBIDE. Through a Collaboration Agreement, the Association established as INEM (Employment National Institute) partner nonprofit company, to provide embarkation to seafarers aboard the associated vessels. In August 2011, it became an Employment Agency authorized by the Basque Employment Service, LANBIDE.

  • I.S.M. The Association is represented in the Executive Commission of the Marine Social Institute in Biskay.

  • EAM. The Association is part of the Advisory Board of the Maritime Administration School, dependent on the Basque Government Department of the Environment and Territorial Policy.

  • ETSNMN. The Association forms part of the University-Business Forum, through the collaboration agreements signed with the High School of Navigation and Naval Engines of Portugalete-Bizcay.

  • The High Council of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Navigation of Bilbao. Member of the Transport Commission.

  • Collaboration Agreement between the Peru Merchant Marine Officer College (COMMPE) and the Basque Shipowners Association to provide education and employment to those seafarers registered in the College.


The Association has made several research works and historic documentary compilation, among which we highlight:

Book: The Nautical Institute of London´s "The Master Rol in Collecting Evidence", translated by the Basque Shipowners Association.

Authorized translation from English into Spanish of the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) policy, code: “SHIPMAN” (contract for a Ship Management), carried out by the Basque Shipowners Association.
(See example 330kb )

Book: The Merchant Marine in the Basque Country (1960-1990), produced by the Basque Shipowners Association, that gathers more that seventy shipping companies and over five hundred vessels that have been registered in the Association in the period of 1960-1990.

Book: “100 years of History in the Basque Shipowners Association: 1900-2000” written by Mr. Pedro Rengel Vidal, former member of the Executive Board and currenty Association´s Old Fellow. This book was presented in the celebrations to commemorate the Association´s centenary.

World Maritime Market report included in the annual reports



+34 94.423.16.79
+34 94.423.45.08



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Calle Uribitarte 8 - 5° Dcha
48001 Bilbao