Gibraltar: Advantages And Procedures For The Registration Of A Yacht In Gibraltar

Last Updated: 24 June 2010
Article by Jonathan Stagnetto

Advantages

  1. Gibraltar's situation at the gateway to the Mediterranean, its British Flag Registry and the facilities provided by all three of its marinas means that it is ideally placed to service all registration, mooring, repair and maintenance needs associated with the yachting world.
  2. All vessels registered in Gibraltar are registered as British flag vessels with documentation being identical to the UK requirements and are required to fly the Red Ensign.
  3. Gibraltar's status within the EU is that it is a full EU member except that it is exempted from levying VAT as it does not form part of the EU's Common Customs Tariff area. For this reason, it is important to differentiate between countries falling within the EU's CCT area and other EU territories such as Gibraltar. For the reasons described above, if you register your yacht in Gibraltar you pay:

    • No VAT in Gibraltar
    • No Import Duty (if your vessel is not based in Gibraltar)
    • No tax on the sale of your vessel

  4. Under the laws applicable to yachts registered in Gibraltar in the name of limited companies it is:

    • Not necessary for shareholders or company directors to be nationals or residents of Gibraltar
    • Not necessary for the vessel to be surveyed annually
    • Not necessary for the skipper to hold any form of mariner's certificate in the case of pleasure yachts under 80 GRT.

Entitlement

  1. The persons entitled to be owners of British Flag vessels are:
    British nationals

    • Citizens of the European Union
    • Companies incorporated in jurisdictions which are subject to UK laws, and have principal places of business in these locations.

  2. Non-British nationals can make use of Gibraltar companies to own their vessels. The vessels can then be registered in the names of their Gibraltar companies, with the owners or their nominees holding all the shares in the Company.
  3. All vessels registered in Gibraltar be they in the name of Gibraltar companies or EU citizens, are required to appoint Registered Agents in Gibraltar who are entrusted with the annual renewal of the registration of the vessels for and on behalf of the Beneficial Owners of the vessels.

VAT (Value Added Tax)

  1. VAT is normally charged on yachts which are used within Common Customs Tariff waters, regardless of whether the yacht is owned by a Gibraltar company. For this reason it is important to note that whether a yacht is registered in Gibraltar or any other British Flag port, it is also subject to the conditions imposed by other countries as to the length of time that it may remain in any port without becoming subject to Import Duty as a foreign registered vessel.
  2. Although VAT-free temporary importation status is still available to yachts which do not spend more that six months in any year in CCT waters, this is conditional upon the yacht not being used by any EU residents during its time in CCT waters.
  3. If a vessel which is seeking a transfer of its Port of Registry from a country within the Common Customs Tariff area to Gibraltar, has already paid VAT on its purchase value, it would be important to show that the "resale" of the vessel to the name of a Gibraltar company is effected within the CCT area in order to preserve its VAT-paid status.
  4. EU citizens seeking to re-register their vessels in Gibraltar in the name of Gibraltar companies should note that any VAT levied by CCT member countries on their vessels would be conditional upon their status as EU citizens and not on their vessel's Port of Registry. For this reason it would certainly be a bonus if those EU citizens seeking to re-register their vessels in Gibraltar and continue to use their vessels within CCT waters, have already paid VAT on their vessels.

Procedures

  1. If the vessel to be registered in new, and has never been registered elsewhere previously, then we would need to be furnished with a Builder's Certificate which should carry the seal or rubber stamp of the Builder(s) and should indicate for whom the vessel was built.
  2. If the vessel is not a new vessel and is currently registered in a Non-British Flag port, then we need to be furnished with a Bill of Sale which indicates the sale of the vessel to the Gibraltar company, and which needs to be authenticated by a Consul or Notary Public who can bear witness to the nationality of the Vendor.
  3. If the vessel is currently sailing under the British Flag, then an ordinary Bill of Sale without any form of certification will suffice.
  4. If the vessel has been purchased from a British subject (or corporation), and it has not be registered previously, then we would require the applicant to provide us with a sequence of Bills of Sales from the initial owner to date.
  5. Every vessel seeking registration in Gibraltar (except for those meeting the criteria described in point f below) is required to produce a Measurement and Tonnage Survey Certificate which should be carried out by representatives of any of the following recognised syndicates:

    • Bureau Veritas
    • Lloyds of London
    • Germanischer Lloyd
    • American Bureau of Shipping
    • Norske Veritas
    • RINA
    • The Royal Yachting Association
    • Yacht Brokers Designers & Surveyors Association.

  6. If a vessel seeking re-registration in Gibraltar can produce certified documentation pertaining to any EU port authority confirming that the vessel is up-to-date in its compliance with their registration requirements, and assuming that this documentation meets with the approval of the Gibraltar Yacht Registry, then the requirements to have a Measurement & Tonnage Survey carried out on the vessel can be simplified via the homologation of the information appearing on these documents to meet British standards.

Cost Of Registering A Yacht In Gibraltar

FORM-A-CO (GIBRALTAR) LIMITED's costs for the services of registering a vessel in Gibraltar (inclusive of all Registry fees, but exclusive of the provision of a Gibraltar company) are as follows:

GBP £ 850 - exclusive of a Measurement and Tonnage Survey

Costs For The Setting Up Of A Gibraltar Company To Own A Yacht

FORM-A-CO (GIBRALTAR) LIMITED's costs for a Gibraltar company (assuming that one is required and that it is strictly a non-trading/holding vehicle) would be as follows:

Start-Up Fees:
Provision of a Gibraltar company GBP £ 300.00

Sub-Total Start-Up Costs GBP £ 300.00

Annual Fees:
Annual Domiciliation GBP £ 300.00, inclusive of:

  • Provision of Company Secretary
  • Registered Office services
  • Filing of Annual Return
  • Filing of Annual Balance Sheet

Provision of Registered Agent GBP £ 100.00
Renewal of Radio Licence GBP £ 100.00

Sub-Total Annual Costs GBP £ 500.00

The costs listed above refer exclusively to FORM-A-CO (GIBRALTAR) LIMITED's "YACHT REGISTRATION PACKAGE" and assume that no additional services such as the provision of Nominee facilities etc., would be required of us. Should it be anticipated that such services may be necessary, please refer to our Introductory Fees List appearing on this Website in order to determine the relevant costs.

Yacht Insurance

FORM-A-CO (GIBRALTAR) LIMITED will be pleased to assist with placing insurance for yachts at competitive rates through major insurance companies.

  • All costs appearing in this package are subject to review on a periodic basis and FORM-A-CO (GIBRALTAR) LIMITED reserves the right to amend fees for this service without prior notice.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.