As used in international conventions, the government of the state whose flag the ship is flying.
- Maritime administrations – Governmental organizations, such as the United States Coast Guard (USCG), UK Marine Safety Agency (UK MSA), Norwegian Maritime Directorate (NMD), etc., that provide maritime services such as the issuance of certificates and classification of ships for safety. The flag state administrations are responsible for overseeing the worldwide construction and operation of ships in accordance with international and national laws. However many countries delegate this responsibility to classification societies in order to take advantage of their expertise and worldwide network of surveyors.
- Port administration – The appropriate authority of the country in the port of which the ship is loading or unloading.