Yacht & Ship Registration

Registration In The British virgin Islands(BVI)

The main reason for registering a ship has always been to prove its nationality. For Merchant/Pleasure ships, identification is essential for overseas voyages. Another reason for registration is to use the ship as security to obtain a marine mortgage which in turn is registered. Ownership details are fully investigated. Purchasers of British registered ships can obtain a Transcript of Registry which shows the registered owners of a ship and whether there are any outstanding Mortgages lodged against the vessel. Finally, always apply for registration well before the date you set sail.

  • Registry is a member of the Red Ensign Group. Ships flying the Flag are entitled to British Diplomatic/Consular support and Royal Navy Protection. BVI has access to the range technical expertise of the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
  • Registered ownership is permitted to citizens of and, companies registered in BVI, UK and all British Territories. Likewise, those of the EU, CARICOM & OECS are eligible for registration as Owners of BVI Ships.
  • Low Initial Registration & Annual Maintenance fees.
  • Registry is specialized in Yacht registration and Certificates are recognized worldwide.
  • Facilitates simple yet secure registration of ship, mortgages, discharge of mortgages, change/ transfer of ownership and other proprietary interests and services.
  • Full corporate, legal, telecommunications and courier services readily available in BVI.
  • Political and social Stability in BVI and British Judicial System.
  • BVI is the Yachting Mecca of the Caribbean, equipped with modern state-of­the ­art facilities, berths, accommodation, supplies and services.
  • Prompt, courteous and efficient service. Fully computerized Fleet Management System and Database.
  • BVI is recognized as worldwide as a reputable offshore financial centre, leading the world in company formation and related corporate services.
  • Original builder’s certificate with descriptive details of the vessel and clearly showing the name of the company on whose account the vessel has been built.
  • Notarized bill of sale from last registered owner to present Owner, if applicable.
  • Notarized bill of sale from present owner to BVI Company.
  • Declaration of Ownership on behalf of Body Corporate (prepared and signed by our representative of the company in the British Virgin Islands).
  • Original ad measurement survey certificate done for British Registration. Qualified organizations for purposes of this survey:
  • Appointment of Authorized Officer(s) for a Body Corporate.
  • Appointment of Representative Person and/or Manager
  • Letter of intended use of the vessel.
Processing Time

Two months, approximately.

Flag to be flown

The Red Ensign bearing the British Virgin Islands coat of arms or, without the coat of arms.

Registration Limits

Designated as a Class 2 Ship Registry, the British Virgin Islands registers cargo vessels up to 150 gross tones and yachts up to 500 gross tones.

During the registration process, we suggest that a representative of our office in the British Virgin Islands be appointed a director or power of attorney holder of a British Virgin Islands company so that the beneficial owner has the legal capacity to inspect and take possession of the vessel on behalf of the company, in the country where it is lying, while our office has the legal capacity to prepare and file all documentation with the Registrar of Shipping in the British Virgin Islands. Once the registration of the vessel is complete, the representative from our offices will resign as a director or power holder. Neither the vessel nor the beneficial owner need ever visit the British Virgin Islands.


If you are interested in more information regarding the registration of your yacht in British Virgin Islands, please contact Mr. Juan Haraguchi at juan.haraguchi@intlca.com

Registration In Mauritius

Ship registration and mortgaging are regulated by the Mauritius Shipping Act 1986 and the Mauritius Shipping (Amendment) Act 1992, which have been largely modeled on the British Merchant Shipping Act.

  • 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.
  • All personnel working on board a mauritian flag ship are exempted from payment of income tax.
  • No capital gains tax is payable upon the sale or transfer of a ship or of the shares in a shipping company.
  • No estate duty is payable on the inheritance of shares in shipping company.
  • The requirement of a work permit for foreigners is waived in the case of personnel working on a mauritian flag ship.
  • No restrictions on the nationality of the crew.
Previous Qualifications

Ship registration in the Global Business (previously known as offshore) sector in the Mauritius requires the setting up of a company holding Category 1 Global Business License (GBL1).

Accordingly, a GBL1 is entitled to own and register its ship under the mauritian flag provided its objects is confined to the registration of the ship under the mauritian flag and that its shipping activities is carried our exclusively outside Mauritius.

  • Every type of sea worthy vessel, lighter, barge structure or launch, however propelled, intended for use in navigation is eligible.
  • It shall not exceed 15 years of age since the date of first construction.
  • It must maintain class with one the classification societies approved by the Director of Shipping who will issue a Mauritius Tonnage Certificate.
  • A third party liability insurance must be produced with certificate evidencing compliance with international maritime conventions tot eh which Mauritius has acceded.
Registration Procedure
  • The formation of a company licensed by the Financial Services Commission as GBL1; and
  • The registration of the vessel itself with the Ministry of Trade and Shipping.

If you are interested in more information regarding the registration of your yacht in Mauritius, Contact Mr. Kamal Hawabhay at kamal.hawabhay@intlca.com

Registration In Panama

The Republic of Panama has the largest Registry of Vessels worldwide. For decades, maritime operators everywhere have chosen to register their vessels of all types, including tankers, fishing boats, cargo vessels or yachts, in the Panamanian Merchant Marine due to its prestige and confidentiality in the international maritime commerce.

  • Reasonable registration fees.
  • No income taxes on maritime commercial activities abroad.
  • No restrictions in relation to the property or the age of the vessels which can be registered by any person, natural or juridical, no matter the nationality or domicile, allows imposition of encumbrances by means of a trustworthy and fast procedure.
  • Our office in Panama has had an intense and permanent activity in services related with registration of vessels in the Panamanian Registry and offers assistance to our clients in the elaboration and execution of naval mortgages as collateral to their credit operations; additionally we carry out procedures for obtaining technical certificates, hiring general maritime services, radio licenses contracts, fishing licenses and other documents required to carry out transactions deemed convenient for them.

If you are interested in more information regarding the registration of your yacht in Panama, Contact Mr. Juan Haraguchi at juan.haraguchi@intlca.com

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