Registration under the flag is one of the most important issues facing the owner of the yacht or vessel. Our company offers all range of legal and consulting services in this sphere. We will provide you with professional legal assistance on yacht and vessel registration both under Ukrainian and any other convenient flag of a foreign state.
Yacht (vessel) registration under the flag of Ukraine
Registration of vessels in the Shipping Register of Ukraine depends on the type of ship, main engine power and gross tonnage.
For those who value their time and nerves, we offer our services:
- registration term up to 2 weeks;
- authentication of the registration history;
- deregistration of the vessel in the Shipping Register of Ukraine;
- passage of the annual technical inspection of the vessel;
- resolution of disputes.
Registration under the flag of convenience
Benefits of registration under the flag of certain states:
1. Marshall Islands
The advantage of the Marshall Islands for the registration of yachts and ships is that the islands have UN membership and partnership with all the major maritime powers. Vessels, registered in Marshal Islands benefit from preferential treatment when entering the territorial waters of the EU and the United States. This jurisdiction provides its customers with a high level of service and privacy, extremely favorable tax environment, quick preparation and legalization of documents, required for maintenance of ship owning companies, as well as a list of allowed for the registration of ships: yachts, passenger ships, sea tugs, fishing boats, tankers and freight containers.
The vessels under the age of 20 are accepted to be registered in the Marshall Islands, except in cases when the evaluation has proved their workability and satisfactory condition. The owner of a vessel registered in that jurisdiction, may become a resident of the islands or a company incorporated in accordance with local legislation (ideally - an offshore company such as the IBC, which does not pay income taxes and dividends).
International Registries, Inc. and its affiliates (IRI) provide administrative and technical support to the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Maritime and Corporate Registries and have been administering maritime and corporate programs and been involved in State flag administration since 1948. IRI, which is headquartered in Washington, DC/Reston, has a network of 27 offices located in major financial and maritime centers throughout the world.
The RMI allows, through its national legislation and the RMI Yacht Code, the registration of private yachts, private yachts limited charter, commercial yachts, and passenger yachts. It also allows for RMI flagged private yachts to charter in French and Monegasque waters without the need for commercial registration by requesting a Temporary Certificate of Registry (CoR) for Yacht Engaged in Trade (YET).
Yacht owners can choose the home port of either Bikini or Jaluit. Two yachts may share a common name as long as they are registered in different home ports.
2. Cook Islands
This state is considered to be a preferred country for the registration of yachts (vessels), because it applies the "open" registry, which registers the boat (the court) regardless of the nationality of their owner. The benefits of this registry are known for:
- their moderate registration fees;
- no taxes when selling yachts (ships);
- absence of taxes on profits from foreign commercial maritime operations;
- no restrictions in respect of ownership or age of the boats (vessels) which can be registered by any person regardless of nationality or place of residence;
- confidentiality of private information about the ship owner;
- the yacht is registered within 24 hours;
- a registration program for three-year and five-year periods is developed.
Another significant advantage in registering yachts (vessels) under the jurisdiction of the Cook Islands is the lack of the need to provide the Certificate of Survey about the technical condition of the yacht.
Registration under the flag in this region counts a number of advantages. Firstly, the membership of the Red Ensign Group – the marine Group of British registries which includes a registry of Great Britain, registers of the British crown lands, and British overseas territories. The ship registered under the flag of the island of Jersey, acquires the status of "the British ship" and the right to fly the British merchant flag.
Unlike member countries of the British Commonwealth that offer "the British flag" solely as a historical and cultural heritage, the island of Jersey gives a ship registered in the registry, the right to the protection of the British flag. For example, while abroad, the owner of the boat has the right at any time to contact the Consulate of Great Britain for support and assistance if you experience certain difficulties.
Secondly, Jersey is included in the white list of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as a transparent and well-regulated offshore center.
Thirdly, if the owner of the yacht will be a non-resident of the European Union, then when entering the EU customs territory and executing of temporary import regime there is no obligation for VAT, rate of which in the EU is 25%.
Fourthly, the Jersey Registry offers both a temporary registration (valid for 3 months) and a permanent one, the validity of which is 10 years. With permanent registration it is not necessary to pay any annual fees and charges for the status maintenance of the yacht in the Jersey Registry. The next payment equal to the cost price of the initial registration will need to be made to the Registry only after a 10-year period.
The convenience of registering in Jersey is the opportunity of temporary registration. But keep in mind that it`s just the "opportunity". In contrast to Panama, for instance, where registration is subdivided into two obligatory steps of temporary and only then of permanent one, in Jersey "temporary registration" is an additional service. In practice, in order to obtain a temporary registration certificate a minimum of information must be submitted to the Registry and quite a reasonable price must be paid. Within 1 week you will be able to get a temporary and the most "convenient" flag. Temporary registration can be extended for the same 3-month period or to initiate the registration of permanent documents.
The Panamanian Republic has the world's largest registry of vessels. Panama is one of the most active participants of the International Maritime Organization (IMO, International Maritime organisation). This country boasts of a free trade area of the Colon, which is known worldwide as a centre for tax-free wholesale deals. Here in Panama, is the Panama canal, an important commercial and transport artery of the entire planet. Panama's economy is oriented to support international navigation. Panama is one of the leading offshore jurisdictions in the world and a major financial center. The laws of the country guarantee the strictest banking and financial secrecy.
- Panama is in a "white list" according to the international Maritime organization Paris MOU and Tokyo MOU;
- Open registry, which means any natural or legal person may be the owner of the boat (ship);
- There are no restrictions on age and tonnage of the registered boat (ship);
- No requirements for the classification and certification of recreational craft, i.e. providing a certificate from one of the classification societies and conducting survey inspections are not required;
- Zero taxation in case of profit from the use of a boat (ship);
- Zero taxation in case of sale of a boat (ship);
- A high degree of confidentiality is guaranteed when using the nominee service in the company;
- Political and economic stability;
Radio license and the navigation licence is issued for a period of 2 years.
Since Gibraltar is an overseas territory of Great Britain, yachts (ships), registered on the peninsula, may sail under the flag of this country. Using various schemes a yacht (ship) may be registered by citizens of any country, and either on a private person or a company. Upon registration on the Gibraltar company the owners have a number of advantages:
- The possibility of registration under the flag of the United Kingdom or Gibraltar
- Compared to other European countries – liberal tax legislation
- When you register the boat (ship) its owner can legally avoid paying VAT
- No import duties upon registration
- No tax on the profit when you sell the boat (ship)
- No property tax
- Upon taking yacht (boat) charter – the absence of income tax
-Shareholders and Directors need not to be the residents of Gibraltar
- It is not necessary for a boat (a ship) to pass the annual register
- If the displacement of the yacht (vessel) is not more than 80 tons, the captain does not need to have any certificate of his qualifications
- Privacy for the real owners of the yacht (ship)
- Sale of yacht (ship) can be carried out through the sale of shares of the company
- The port of registry can be any port of Great Britain
- Gibraltar is one of the cheapest marinas in Europe
- Established mechanism of incorporation of the company and boats (vessels)
In Gibraltar you can register vessels of any size and type, with the exception of fishing vessels and ships running on nuclear fuel. Membership in the European Union and special tax regime make the country attractive for shipowners. The ship, registered in Gibraltar, will go under the UK flag and enjoy cabotage privileges of the EEC.
Registration of vessels under the flag of Belize allows you to enjoy the following benefits:
- no restrictions on class, type and size of the registered vessel;
- the availability of double registration, temporary and permanent;
- no requirement on the local crew;
- no requirement for the granting of Tonnage certificate in registration of the yacht;
- simplified registration process;
- relatively low registration cost and annual fees;
- high standards on Maritime security (Belize has a number of international agreements).
Both a resident and a non-resident company may act as the owner of the vessel in Belize.
7. Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands are considered one of the world leaders not only in the number of offshore companies registrations, but also by the number of yachts and ships flying the BVI flag. Every year the number of yachts and ships flying the Red English flag, courtesy of the British Virgin Islands, has consistently increased. This is due to the following factors:
- British Virgin Islands are under the sovereignty of the UK, which provides British Virgin Islands economic and political stability;
- Yachts (vessels) registered under the flag of the British Virgin Islands belong to the British merchant Navy. This means that they automatically receive diplomatic and consular protection of UK and also support of naval forces of Great Britain (Royal Navy);
- Zero taxation in case of profit from the use of a boat (ship);
- Zero taxation in case of sale of boat (ship);
- When using the nominee service the company guarantees a high level of confidentiality.
8. Cayman Islands
By registering the ship in the Cayman Islands, you gain the following advantages:
- Membership of the Red Ensign Group – the Group of British marine registries which includes a registry of Great Britain, registers of the British crown lands, and British overseas territories. The ship registered under the flag of the Cayman Islands, acquires the status of "British ship" and the right to fly the British merchant flag.
- The possibility of registration of a vessel of any size and characteristics.
- A convenient and relatively low cost services of the Maritime register, as its offices are located in the UK, USA, Greece, Monaco, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
More than 1,600 vessels travel across the World ocean under the flag of Liberia - more than under the flag of any other country.
This is due to the following:
- low cost fees for the use of the flag entered in this African country;
- registration of a ship chartered by the Charter contract of a vessel without crew (bareboat Charter).
10. Canary Islands
The shipping registry of the Canary Islands, the 2nd register of Spain, operating under the flag of the European Union, has the following advantages:
- no restrictions regarding the ownership and maintenance of the vessel,
- exemption from the 90% tax on the income of the company
- registration of all commercial vessels, passenger with a displacement of more than 100 tons.
Please contact us for detailed information and proposal. The company "Marine voyage", having great experience in this field, will help You not only to make the right choice, but also to execute all documents promptly and professionally!