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Ship and Yacht Registration

We may register a vessel under the British flag either in the name of an individual or via a corporate structure. Individuals interested to own a vessel under the British Flag should fall under the following classifications:

  • British national

  • Citizen of the European Union

  • Company incorporated in Britain or a British territory

For non-EU nationals proposing to own a vessel under the Red Ensign, we could organize the formation of a Gibraltar registered company or recommend a specific jurisdiction, depending on your domicile, residence and tax status. The vessel would be registered in the name of the company and Fiduciary Marine Services Limited would act as their registered agent in Gibraltar and take on the responsibility of renewing the vessel's yearly renewals. Our associated company Fiduciary Management Limited would carry out the company's registration and maintenance. It is not necessary for annual surveys to be carried out for vessels registered in Gibraltar under a company nor does the skipper need to hold any form of Mariner's Certificate in the case of pleasure yachts.

There are several advantages of registering a vessel under a corporate structure such as confidentiality and anonymity as your name would not appear on any yacht or company document. Another advantage is that at the time of selling a vessel, it is just a matter of transferring the ownership of the company and avoids the necessity of the onerous task of changing the ownership of the vessel. A corporate structure may also enable you to avoid costly inheritance tax issues, enjoy inheritance tax benefits, asset protection advantages, as well as providing continuity in accordance with the wishes of the settlor by having the assets of your company under a discretionary trust.

Following is the procedure for a yacht registration in Gibraltar:

  • Registration application completed by the yacht owner

  • Radio License application completed by the yacht owner

  • Declaration of ownership also completed by the yacht owner

  • Proposed name for the vessel for clearance purposes with the Port of Registry

  • Evidence of title. If the vessel is new or has never been registered before, a Builders Certificate would be required carrying the seal or rubber stamp of the Builders and stating for whom the vessel is being built. For older vessels registered in a non-British Flag port, a Bill of Sale indicating the sale of the vessel to the Gibraltar company would be required duly authenticated by a Consul or Notary Public bearing witness to the nationality of the Vendor. However for vessels registered under the British Flag, an ordinary, non authenticated Bill of Sale would be required. For older vessels not previously registered and purchased from a British subject or British Law based company a sequence of Bills of Sale trailing ownership as from the Builder's Certificate onwards or for the past five years would be required.

A tonnage measurement survey carried out by either a Port Surveyor in Gibraltar or by one of the approved classification societies listed below:

For vessels of less than 13.7 metres in length:

  • Lloyds Register of Shipping (Yacht and Small Craft Department)

  • The Royal Yachting Association

  • Yacht Brokers, Designers and Surveyors Association

  • Or one of the classification societies below

  • For vessels more than 13.7 metres in length:

  • American Bureau of Shipping

  • Bureau Veritas

  • Det Norske Veritas

  • Germanisher Lloyd

  • Lloyds Register of Shipping

  • Registrazione Internazionale Navale (RINA)

Once the Registry is satisfied that the yacht may be registered in Gibraltar, it will issue a Carving and Marking Note stating the vessel's name and Official Number. The owner or the authorised officer of the vessel should ensure that these details are clearly marked on the vessel's hull and sign the Carving and Marking Note to that effect. For vessels over 24 metres in length, the Carving and Marking Note must be certified by one of the above mentioned surveyors and sent to the Registry. Upon receipt, the Registrar would issue the Certificate of Registration, also known as 'The Blue Book'.

Below is part of our marine range of services:

  • Yacht registration and renewals

  • Radio, EPIRB and ComSat licenses and registration

  • Crew payroll and pensions

  • Assistance with MCA coding for commercial registration

  • Assistance with surveys and vessel markings

  • Preparation of chartering contracts

  • Preparation and registration of charges

  • Tax and VAT planning and advice

  • Marine Insurance

  • Assisting with corporate vehicle structures

  • Legal services

  • Notarial services