Association and membership



Today, Dutch shipowners are represented by the KVNR, but the history of united Dutch shipowners goes back almost 200 years. The Royal designation was awarded to the KVNR in 1992, and is a recognition that is held with pride.

It represents the importance of the merchant shipping industry in the Dutch society and economy, in addition to symbolising the strength of its united members.

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200 years of history

Het oude logo van de KVNRHet oude logo van de KVNR

Looking back in history, Dutch shipping companies have never been afraid of taking on new challenges. More importantly perhaps, shipowners and shipping companies quickly realized the added value of cooperation. This guiding principle is still valid even in today’s competitive markets. Thanks to a shared commitment to a dynamic shipping policy, the Dutch shipping industry keeps up with international developments while maintaining its competitiveness.

The KVNR has existed in its current form since 1992, the year when the KNRV (Royal Dutch Association of Shipowners) joined forces with the VNRK (Association of Dutch Small Trading Shipowners) to create the Royal Association of Dutch Shipowners (KVNR). The VNRK was also the result of a collaboration between the Royal Seamen's College De Groninger Eendracht and the Association of Small Trading Employers that took place ten years previously. Going back even further, De Groninger Eendracht and the Royal Dutch Association of Shipowners both have a long and eventful heritage dating back to 1830 and 1905 respectively.

Predicate Royal

The Predicate Royal was first bestowed upon the KNVR on its 50th anniversary in 1955. This continued in 1992 when the KVNR was established from the merger of the KNVR and the VNRK. In 2012 the Predicate Royal was renewed for a period of 25 years.

It is notable that the shipping industry’s connection with the Dutch Royal House goes even further. For example, Prince Bernhard was patron of the merchant navy. His daughter, Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet, is therefore the godchild of the merchant navy. She has a close relationship with the merchant navy and regularly visits maritime events, including special members' meetings of the KVNR.

Want to find out more?

The anniversary book ‘Forward full throttle’ was presented to Princess Margriet on 25 June 2017 by the then KVNR president in honour of the 25-year jubilee of the association. The digital version of this anniversary book can be found below (Dutch).