Ship registration

The following Banking & Finance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Ship registration
  • Types of registry
  • UK registration

Ship registration

This Practice Note looks at the following topics:

  1. types of registry

  2. bareboat charter registration, and

  3. UK ship registration procedures

Coronavirus (COVID-19): The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has put in place measures to mitigate the ship registration process and has issued guidance on registration services in MIN 614 (M+F) Amendment 4 Coronavirus (COVID-19) – UK Ship Register approach to registration services for UK Vessels, which expires on 30 June 2022. Email is the preferred method of submission of documentation. Postal applications may be submitted but may incur a delay, and just in case documents are delayed or lost it is advisable to keep electronic copies. Contact email addresses are supplied in the MIN.

Types of registry

There are a number of different types of ship registry across the globe which are set out below. Any shipowner will need to consider which type of registry is most suitable and this will usually depend on the levels of restriction imposed by each type of registry, as well as the costs and potential tax or financial advantages to the owner of each.

National registers

These registries are found in countries such as Greece (often the more traditional maritime nations). The typical characteristics of this type of registry include:

  1. strict restrictions as to the nationality of the owner

  2. strict requirements in respect of the nationality of the crew

  3. higher running costs because of

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