Having been in existence for over 100 years, the Cayman Registry
(formerly known as the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry) is an
ideal choice for those individuals looking to register vessels in
an efficient tax neutral jurisdiction with a Registry staffed by a
worldwide team of Shipping professionals with many years of
experience in the world of international shipping. With a full
range of ownership methods available, it is possible to find a
structure to suit almost every person or entity wishing to register
their vessel in the clear blue waters of the Cayman Islands.
ADVANTAGES OF REGISTERING IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS
Aside from the issues mentioned above, registration in the
Cayman Islands has the following advantages (amongst others):-
An established stable system of democracy with a solid legal and
financial infrastructure in place, including several law firms
specializing in ship registration.
An efficient tax-neutral offshore jurisdiction which offers
major lenders, financial providers and corporate services.
Modern maritime legislation based on UK common law providing
first rate mortgage protection provisions for mortgagees and vessel
A full range of registration options including full, interim,
provisional, under construction and demise charters.
Protection and assistance from the UK Royal Navy regardless of
location and full British Consular services for all Cayman flagged
PROCEDURE TO REGISTER IN CAYMAN
In order to flag a vessel, it is useful to seek the assistance
of a professional on island to help with the application, but as a
brief synopsis, the following steps are required:-
1. Establishing that the vessel qualifies for registration
This involves checking that the name of the vessel is available
and that the safety record of the vessel is such that it can be
registered in the Cayman Islands (the requirements for pleasure
yachts in private use are less onerous than that for commercial
2. Establishing that the owner qualifies for registration
This involves providing evidence that the owner is bona-fide and
qualified to own a vessel flagged in the Cayman Islands. To do this
the individual must be either resident in the Cayman Islands or, if
the vessel is owned by a corporation, the corporation must be
registered in the Cayman Islands. Incorporating a company in Cayman
is relatively quick and simple and can in most cases be done within
As an alternative, if the owner of the vessel in not resident in
the Cayman Islands or is not a Cayman company, then the owner can
appoint a representative person on island who will be the point of
contact for the Cayman Registry.
3. Documents to be provided
Depending on the nature of the vessel and its size and use,
certain documents will need to be provided. Your Cayman Islands
representative will be able to provide a list of the required
paperwork in each specific case.
Once registered, the vessel must be marked within 21 days. Such
marking must include the vessel's port of registry, official
number and net tonnage (if the vessel is 24 metres or over) or
register tonnage (if less than 24 metres).
Fees are largely dependent on the services required and the
tonnage of the vessel, but the fee for a basic registration range
from US$400 for a vessel up to 150 gross tons to US$1200 for a
vessel over 1500 gross tons.
After registration there is an annual tonnage fee payable every
year which is once again based on the tonnage of the vessel, but
starts at US$300 per annum.
If you are looking for a stable, efficient jurisdiction in which
to flag any vessel from a pleasure yacht to a seagoing tanker, the
Cayman Islands offer the infrastructure and services which you
require at competitive rates and with a large professional support
network which can make any registration painless and quick and
which can provide all the support which you and your vessel will
Ian Jamieson is the head of shipping at Solomon Harris and can
be contacted at IJamieson@solomonharris.com. The above is for
illustrative purposes only and is not to be taken as a substitute
for professional advice.
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.
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On 22 September 2016, the General Civil Aviation Authority of the UAE issued the new Civil Aviation Regulations Part IV – Foreign Operators Regulation. The FOR shall apply from 1 October 2016.
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