Registration of Ships/Yachts

Yachts and various naval vessels are movable assets, hence they should be registered. The requirements for ships and yachts registration in various legal systems are not very complicated; however still often require legal assistance and advisory services. Since the registration of a maritime vessel is rather an important process, you have to determine a clear plan of actions. First of all, you need to decide on the future use of your naval transport (commercial or private use), jurisdiction for vessel’s registration or flag of convenience (FOC).

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that has been joined by 167 countries and the European Union as of June 2016, provides the rules of international law governing the registration of marine craft.

Article 91 of the Law of the Sea Convention stipulates that each state defines the conditions for granting its nationality to ships, registering watercrafts in its territory and for the right to fly its flag. Article 92 states that marine crafts have the nationality of the state whose flag they have the right to raise. The ship and the state also need to have a genuine connection. The sea vehicle is not allowed to change its flag while sailing or docking when entering the port, except in cases of actual transfer of ownership or change of registration of nautical vessel.

Article 94 of the Convention stipulates the liabilities of the flag state to register vessels and exercise its jurisdiction and oversight in administrative, technical and social matters over vehicles flying its flag.

Thus, the Convention imposes certain duties on the state and requires the establishment of a clear mechanism for registering high water vessels.

YB Case specialists with years of experience in dealing with marine vessels registration procedures in various jurisdictions will be able to assist you in filing an appropriate application for the following services:

  • Commercial and merchant vessel registration;
  • Leisure vessel registration;
  • Fishing vessel registration;
  • Yacht registration;
  • Registration renewal;
  • Change of vessel ownership;
  • Change of name or port;
  • Change of vessel tonnage or dimension;
  • Provisional registration;
  • Special purpose registration

Our specialists have been successfully providing registration services for different types of marine vessels with state authorities of different countries such as:

  • The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA);
  • U.S. National Vessel Documentation Center;
  • French Flag Register (RIF);
  • German International Shipping Register (GIS);
  • Panama’s Maritime Authority (AMP);
  • St. Kitts & Nevis Department of Maritime Affairs (SKANReg)

If you are planning to register your ship or yacht, the selection of flags is one of the most essential and vital decisions to be made as it might directly affect your privacy, taxes and exposure to liability. YB Case specialists have a practical experience in registering naval vessels in the countries with most favorable registration policies, such as The Red Ensign Group (REG), The Cayman Islands, The Netherlands (Light & Global registration), The Marshall Islands, Cyprus, Malta and Panama.

St. Kitts & Nevis Registration Procedures

To register a maritime vessel in St. Kitts & Nevis you should find out first whether the future name of your boat is unique. The planned name of your vessel is checked against existing registers to avoid duplicate names.

Registering a vessel in an offshore jurisdiction naturally provides their owners with the opportunity to optimize taxation. A well-thought-out tax planning scheme will help increase company profits, for example, when renting a yacht to a charter company somewhere in the Mediterranean. Nowadays, there are many opportunities offered to register sea transport in areas where taxes are significantly lower than in the country where the owner of the vessel resides.

The advantages of the flag of St. Kitts and Nevis:

  • The Department of Maritime Transport Registration of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis allows the registration of yachts and ships to non-residents of the country;
  • Special preferential conditions are provided for the registration of marine transport and annual re-registration, as well as for the maintenance of a ship with the flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis;
  • The legislation of St. Kitts and Nevis provides strict confidentiality that result in the fact that it is impossible to establish a connection between an owner and a vessel that has been registered with an offshore company in St. Kitts & Nevis;
  • Low cost of customs clearance and related formalities;
  • The process of transferring ownership of the vessel is greatly facilitated. It is not the ship or the yacht itself that is being sold, but the company's shares with which the vessel is registered;
  • The possibility of commercial registration of a yacht for renting it out (for 84 days a year);
  • Reasonable registration costs;
  • A well-functioning registration system within the competent authorities and a convenient law make the vessel registration process in St. Kitts & Nevis much faster and more convenient for its owner.

Contact us now to register your maritime vessel worldwide. YB Case knowledgeable maritime specialists with dispute resolution experience at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) offer:

  • Access to worldwide network of maritime registrars;
  • Overall control of registration and document issuance process;
  • Rapid turnaround of applications and inquiries.
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