Yacht Registration and Management

Yacht Registration & Management

Without doubt in recent years there has been a great transfer of merchant navy registration from traditional areas like Britain, Norway and Greece to offshore shipping jurisdictions such as Panama, Liberia, the Isle of Man, Cyprus and the British West Indies. Correctly advised an individual can also benefit from such tax free/low tax environments. Apart from the lower registration tees it may also be possible to rent or charter a vessel without any significant, or even any tax repercussions. Such benefits, together with the abilities to maintain a respectable flag — if a vessel is registered in the Channel Islands or a British Colony it is fully entitled to fly the ‘Red’ Ensign as if it was a native British vessel — have meant that few private yachts of any size are today registered in their home territory. In addition, for those using vessels in EU waters, if may also be possible to purchase a yacht through the Isle of Man with a local tax exempt company and then reclaim back any VAT paid by registering for VAT on the Island.

WHERE TO REGISTER A YACHT OR MOTORBOAT?

Jurisdiction The British Virgin Islands Guernsey Jersey Isle of Man
Cost Effectiveness
Star Rating


10/10


7/10


7/10


8/10

Red Ensign Area


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes

Ownership can be with a local or British Company


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes

Is there British Consular & Naval Protection?


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes

Tonnage Surcharge?


No


No


No


No

Within the EU VAT Registration Area?


No


No


No


Yes

Efficiency
Star Rating


10/10


7/10


7/10


9/10

GENERAL REGISTRATION PROCESS

Pre-Name Clearance Information required

  • The name, if applicable, of the Registry where the vessel is currently registered;
  • The name, if applicable, under which the vessel is currently registered;
  • Nationality, if applicable, of the current registry;
  • Current physical location/port of residence;
  • Tonnage (gross or net);
  • Propulsion Method – Sail or Motorised;
  • Intended use of vessel – Pleasure – Charter – Fishing/Commercial;
  • Intended/actual date of sale

Post-Name Clearance Information required

  • Builder’s Certificate and/or a Notarised Bill of Sale;
  • A Notarised Bill of Sale from the current owner to the designated/selected Offshore Company - The future legal owner of the vessel;
  • A completed “Declaration of Eligibility” or equivalent declaration of ownership by the designated corporate body prepared by SCF;
  • The supply of the Original Measurement & Survey Certificate supplied by one of the recognised classification societies or the Yacht Brokers, Designers and Surveyors Association (YBDSA);

Inspection Process

The vessels Carving & Marking Note will be issued upon the receipt of the Original Measurement & Survey Certificate supplied by the Register of Shipping. After this the vessel must be inspected, save for Panama and the Bahamas, by:

  • A Nautical Surveyor;
  • A Department of Trade Official;
  • A UK Customs Officer;
  • British Consular Official

Once inspected, the Original Measurement & Survey Certificate will be signed by the appropriate official ready for lodgement with the Registrar of Shipping or its equivalent by the SCF authorised attorney-in-fact – The only other documents likely to be required would be the Original Bill of Sale, Transcript from the current Port of Registry plus the SCF Power of Attorney.

If you would like further information on Yacht and Motor Boat registration please contact an SCF Consultant.