Yacht Registries

Advantages:

  • Seychelles is a tropical island group with a stable democracy, located in the Indian Ocean.
  • It is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the group of non-aligned countries, the Indian Ocean Commission, and the International Maritime Organization. Vessels flying the Seychelles flag benefit from friendly treatment worldwide.
  • There are no capital gains or sales taxes levied on the sale of a Seychelles registered vessel (provided it is berthed permanently in Seychelles at the time of sale).
  • There is no income tax on crew employed.

Eligibility:

  • To register under the Seychelles flag, the yacht must be owned by a Seychelles citizen or a company registered in Seychelles.
  • The company may be a domestic company or an International Business Company (IBC), which may be owned by non-residents.
  • An IBC is an inexpensive corporate vehicle and is ideal for registering a yacht in Seychelles.
  • An IBC may not conduct business in Seychelles, but may own assets such as a yacht.
  • The vessel may not be older than 15 years.

Requirements:

  • Reservation of name
  • Application documentation
  • Declaration of ownership
  • Certificate of Incorporation (IBC)
  • Certificate of Incorporation (IBC)
  • Builders Certificate or if registered before, Deletion Certificate from previous registry
  • Bill of Sale
  • Mortgage, if any
  • Seaworthiness survey certificate
  • Colour photo of vessel
  • Insurance certificate
  • Application documents for Call Sign / MMSI
  • Radio license application documents

Advantages:

  • The Isle of Man is a self-governing British Crown dependency located in the Irish Sea situated between England and Ireland.
  • The Isle of Man Ship Registry is a Category 1 British Red Ensign Group member and registers all types and sizes of vessels. It is the flag of choice for many large shipping corporations operating internationally.
  • An Isle of Man registration allows the yacht to fly the Red Ensign, with access to the support of British consular services world-wide and British Royal Navy protection.
  • Isle of Man offers the choice of four ports of registry:
    • Castletown
    • Douglas
    • Peel
    • Ramsey
  • The Isle of Man Register of Ships is an international register and is not restricted to Isle of Man citizens or Isle of Man registered companies.

Eligibility:

  • Pleasure yachts of any size and commercial yachts in excess of 24m may be registered in Isle of Man.
  • Eligible individuals are British Citizens, British Overseas Territory Citizens, British Subjects, British Nationals (Overseas) or citizens of any of the following countries:

  • Companies incorporated in Isle of Man, the UK, Channel Islands or any of the countries listed above, are eligible owners for registration of a vessel in Isle of Man.

Requirements:

  • Reservation of name
  • Application documentation
  • Declaration of ownership
  • Declaration of appointed officer in case of a company
  • Certificate of Incorporation in case of a company
  • Builders Certificate or if registered before, Deletion Certificate from previous registry
  • Bill of Sale
  • Passport in the case of an individual
  • Mortgage if any
  • Colour photo of the vessel
  • Certificate of Survey and Tonnage Measurement issued by one of the following Approved Classification Societies:
  • American Bureau of Shipping
  • Bureau of Veritas
  • Det Norske Veritas
  • Germanischer Lloyds
  • Lloyds Register of Shipping
  • Rina UK
  • Royal Yachting Association
  • Yacht Brokers, Designers & Surveyors Association
  • International Institute of Marine Surveying
  • Mecal Limited

Advantages:

  • The BVI is a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands.
  • It enjoys political stability and is known as a reputable offshore financial centre with tax neutrality.
  • The BVI falls outside the scope of EU VAT laws.
  • BVI is a Red Ensign flag state. The Red Ensign allows for British Consular services and British Naval Protection worldwide.
  • BVI is a signatory to all International Maritime Organisation (IMO) conventions.
  • Jurisdiction under English Common Law.
  • Mortgages enforceable worldwide.
  • Internationally recognised Large Yacht Code (LYC) as standard for construction and equipping large yachts.

Eligibility:

  • Citizens and/or Bodies corporate registered in BVI and any of the following:
    • United Kingdom and its Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories.
    • Nationals of and bodies corporate incorporated in a member state of the European Community (EC) or European Economic Area (EEA) or an Overseas Territory of a Member of the EC or EEA. (Bodies corporate must have a place of business in such Member State or Overseas Territory.)
    • Bodies corporate incorporated in a Member State of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) or the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) (and registered in the BVI).

Requirements for pleasure yachts:

  • Reservation of name
  • Application documentation
  • Declaration of eligibility
  • Certificate of Incorporation in the case of a body corporate
  • Builders Certificate or if registered before, Deletion Certificate from previous registry
  • Bill of Sale
  • Passport in the case of an individual
  • Mortgage if any
  • Certificate of Survey and Tonnage Measurement issued by one of the following Approved Classification Societies:
    • American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
    • Bureau of Veritas (BV)
    • Det Norske Veritas / Germanischer Lloyds ((DNVGL)
    • Lloyds Register of Shipping (LR)
    • ClassNK (NK)
    • Registro Italiano Navale (RINA)
  • If the vessel is over 24 metres an International Tonnage Certificate (ITC69) is required
  • Colour photo of the vessel

Different requirements apply to Commercial Yachts

Advantages:

  • Guernsey is an island in the English Channel, off the coast of Normandy. It is a Crown Dependency but importantly does not form part of the UK or the British Overseas Territories.
  • Guernsey is not part of the European Union (EU), although it is a member of the European Union Customs Union (EUCU). Therefor it falls outside of the EU VAT regulations.
  • Guernsey is a Red Ensign flag state. The Red Ensign allows for British Consular services and British Naval Protection worldwide.
  • The Registry is administered under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2002. New regulations were introduced governing registration and tonnage were introduced in 2009.
  • The Guernsey flag is respected internationally and receives friendly treatment worldwide.

Eligibility:

  • Pleasure yachts up to 150 gross tons and commercial yachts up to a maximum of 24m may be registered in Guernsey in Part 1 of the Register.
  • Eligible individuals are British Citizens, or a company registered in and having its principal place of business in a British Crown Dependency or British Overseas Territory.

Requirements:

  • Reservation of name
  • Application documentation
  • Declaration of ownership
  • Declaration of appointed officer in case of a company
  • Certificate of Incorporation in case of a company
  • Builders Certificate or if registered before, Deletion Certificate from previous registry
  • Bill of Sale
  • Passport in the case of an individual
  • Mortgage if any
  • Colour photo of the vessel
  • Certificate of Survey and Tonnage Measurement issued by one of the following Approved Classification Societies:
    • American Bureau of Shipping
    • Bureau of Veritas
    • Det Norske Veritas
    • Germanischer Lloyds
    • Lloyds Register of Shipping
    • Rina UK
    • Royal Yachting Association
    • Yacht Brokers, Designers & Surveyors Association
    • International Institute of Marine Surveying
    • Mecal Limited

Advantages:

  • Mauritius is a tropical island in the Indian Ocean east of South Africa. It is an internationally recognised tax friendly financial centre and has a stable government.
  • Mauritius is a member of most of the international conventions on maritime safety and certification.
  • Mauritian registered vessels are exempt from tax on freight earnings, resultant net revenue or dividends received from the Mauritius shipping company.
  • Ship’s stores, consumables, spare parts, and bunkers are exempt from customs and excise duties.
  • Crewmembers are exempted from payment of income tax in Mauritius.
  • There is no capital gains tax on the sale or transfer of a ship or of the shares in a shipping company.
  • There is no death duty payable on the inheritance of shares in shipping company.
  • There are no restrictions on the nationality of the crew.

Eligibility:

To register a ship in Mauritius:

  • The vessel must not be older than 15 years.
  • The owner must be a Mauritian citizen, or a Mauritius company that holds a Category 1 Global Business Licence. 


Requirements:

  • Reservation of name
  • Application documentation
  • Declaration of ownership
  • Declaration of appointed officer in case of a company
  • Certificate of Incorporation in case of a company
  • Builders Certificate or if registered before, Deletion Certificate from previous registry
  • Bill of Sale
  • Passport in the case of an individual
  • Mortgage if any
  • Colour photo of the vessel
  • Certificate of Survey and Tonnage Measurement issued by an Approved Classification Society

Advantages:

  • Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea some 30 km off the mainland coast of north-western Malaysia.
  • Yacht registrations are regulated by the Langkawi International Yacht Registry Act of 2003.
  • Langkawi is a convenient and Internationally recognised yacht registry in the Far East and registration is open to foreigners.
  • The Malaysian Civil Ensign ensures friendly treatment in all Muslim and Far Eastern countries. It is recognized internationally and is valid in all oceans of the world.

Eligibility:

  • Registration of a yacht by a non-Malaysian citizen requires the prior registration of a ‘Yachting Entity’ in the Langkawi Yachting Entities Register before proceeding to register the yacht in the Langkawi International Yacht Register.
  • A ‘Yachting Entity’ may be a person or a corporate entity. It is a special status which allows a yacht to be registered in Langkawi.

Requirements:

  • Reservation of name
  • Registration as a Yachting Entity
  • Application documentation
  • Declaration of ownership
  • Certificate of Incorporation in case of a company
  • Builders Certificate or if registered before, Deletion Certificate from previous registry
  • Bill of Sale
  • Passport in the case of an individual
  • Colour photo of the vessel
  • Tonnage certificate

Advantages:

  • Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, is an island state in the Mediterranean Sea south of Italy. English is an official language.
  • Low company formation, ship registration and tonnage tax costs.
  • Attractive tax incentives for commercial yacht owners.
  • Well-developed superyacht industry and excellent berthing facilities.
  • Local technical, legal, corporate and tax administration expertise.
  • English language.
  • A large and expanding double tax treaty network.
  • Low operating costs.

Eligibility:

Registration of ships in Malta are regulated by the Merchant Shipping Act of 1973 (as amended).
Virtually all kinds of ships and yachts may be registered under the Maltese flag.
To be eligible for registration, the owner of the vessel must be one of the following:

  • A Maltese citizen.
  • A citizen of an EU member state who resides in Malta.
  • A body corporate established in Malta, having its principal place of business in Malta, or having a place of business in Malta and satisfying the Minister that it can and will ensure due observance of the laws of Malta relating to merchant shipping.
  • A foreign body corporate which has satisfied the Registrar-General that it can and will ensure due observance of the laws of Malta relating to merchant shipping. A resident agent will be required.
  • A citizen of an EU member state who does not reside in Malta. A resident agent will be required.

Requirements:

VAT is payable in respect of the yacht.
An approved leasing scheme allows for reduced VAT to be paid (between 5.4% – 9% depending on certain criteria)

  • Reservation of name
  • Application documentation
  • Declaration of eligibility
  • Certificate of Incorporation in the case of a body corporate
  • Appointment of resident agent if appropriate
  • Builders Certificate or if registered before, Deletion Certificate from previous registry
  • Bill of Sale
  • Passport in the case of an individual
  • Mortgage if any
  • Certificate of Survey and Tonnage Measurement issued by one of the following Approved Classification Societies:
    • American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
    • Bureau of Veritas (BV)
    • Det Norske Veritas / Germanischer Lloyds ((DNVGL)
    • Lloyds Register of Shipping (LR)
    • ClassNK (NK)
    • Registro Italiano Navale (RINA)
  • VAT certificate
  • Colour photo of the vessel

Different requirements apply to Commercial Yachts

Advantages:

  • Gibraltar has an internationally recognised and respected ship registry and is particularly popular for the registration of superyachts.
  • Although Gibraltar is a member of the European Union, by virtue of being an Overseas Territory of Great Britain, it is in accordance with the terms of Accession outside the Customs Union.  Gibraltar is out of the VAT zone and has no VAT system.
  • Gibraltar is a Red Ensign flag state. The Red Ensign allows for British Consular services and British Naval Protection worldwide.
  • Gibraltar is a signatory to all International Maritime Organisation (IMO) conventions.
  • Jurisdiction under English Common Law.
  • Mortgages enforceable worldwide.

Eligibility:

  • Citizens and/or Bodies corporate registered in Gibraltar and any of the following:
    • United Kingdom and its Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories.
    • Nationals of and bodies corporate incorporated in a member state of the European Community (EC) or European Economic Area (EEA) or an Overseas Territory of a Member of the EC or EEA. (Bodies corporate must have a place of business in such Member State or Overseas Territory.)

Requirements:

  • Reservation of name
  • Application documentation
  • Declaration of ownership
  • Declaration of appointed officer in case of a company
  • Certificate of Incorporation in case of a company
  • Appointment of Registered Agent
  • Builders Certificate or if registered before, Deletion Certificate from previous registry
  • Bill of Sale
  • Passport in the case of an individual
  • Mortgage if any
  • Colour photo of the vessel
  • Certificate of Survey and Tonnage Measurement issued by one of the following Approved Classification Societies:
    • American Bureau of Shipping
    • Bureau of Veritas
    • Det Norske Veritas
    • Germanischer Lloyds
    • Lloyds Register of Shipping
    • Rina UK
    • Royal Yachting Association
    • Yacht Brokers, Designers & Surveyors Association
    • International Institute of Marine Surveying
    • Mecal Limited