The Cayman Islands flag, the prestigious British red ensign,
continues to be the flag of choice for superyacht owners globally
– and is quickly becoming the preferred choice for
commercial vessel owners as well. There are many reasons for this
The Cayman Islands Shipping Registry (CISR), established in
1903, enjoys the prestige of being a Category One British registry,
a status granted to it in 1991 by the United Kingdom. This is the
highest category awarded and it indicates that the CISR is equipped
and qualified to register and maintain international safety
convention status for vessels of all sizes and classes, ranging
from pleasure yachts to supertankers. That red ensign fluttering in
the breeze is no mere decoration; as British ships, all
Cayman-flagged vessels are entitled to protection and assistance
from the British Royal Navy.
Importantly, the CISR and the Maritime Authority of the Cayman
Islands (MACI) have ensured that the register has a reputation for
having the highest quality tonnage afloat. They have done so by
ensuring that Cayman-registered vessels comply with applicable
international maritime conventions that have been extended to
Cayman through legislation. They include the International
Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea, the International
Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), and
the International Convention on Standards of Training,
Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers.
By so doing, the CISR has attained "White List" status
under the Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding and the Paris
Memorandum of Understanding currently in place under their
respective regional Port State Control organisations. This
recognises the confidence placed in the registry by the
international shipping community.
CISR surveyors are well respected in the shipping Industry
worldwide and are extremely knowledgeable and service oriented.
They maintain an active survey and audit programme for commercial
vessels and will refuse to register vessels that do not comply with
international standards. The CISR's affiliation with several
global classification societies such as American Bureau of
Shipping, Bureau Veritas, Det Norske Veritas, Germanisher Lloyd,
Lloyds Register, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai and Registro Italiano Navale
adds to their survey capabilities in various jurisdictions.
The well-earned reputation of the Cayman register makes it
popular with institutions around the world involved in financing
the acquisition of vessels. The mortgage registration process is
efficient and the registry will allow the registration of a
mortgage on a vessel under construction. In order to accommodate
lenders and owners in different time zones and on different
continents, the CISR has nine offices – George Town (head
office), Southampton, London, Ft. Lauderdale, Monaco, Athens, Hong
Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. The CISR also offers express
over-the-counter service as well as service out of regular hours,
which prove to be very useful in situations where transactions are
In addition to the role played by the CISR, other factors make
the Cayman Islands an attractive jurisdiction.
The Cayman legal system is based on the English system and with
Cayman's final court of appeal being the Privy Council. This
provides an added degree of comfort to banks and vessel owners.
Cayman has a stable economic and political environment and as a
result of its tax neutral position, owners and lenders are not
subject to income, capital gains or any other taxes.
The jurisdiction is one of the world's largest financial
service centres. As a result, owners and lenders can take advantage
of some of the most advanced services and sophisticated legal
structures available for the ownership and financing of vessels
such as orphan structures or Shariah compliant structures.
New legislative changes contained in the Companies (Amendment)
Law 2007 and the Companies Winding-Up Rules reinforce Cayman's
reputation as a creditor-friendly jurisdiction and provide further
evidence of the Government's commitment to a modern and
effective legislative regime.
In conclusion, the excellent and efficient service from the
Cayman Islands Shipping Registry and its surveyors, the sound
international reputation of the flag and everything that is
associated with the British red ensign, the quality of the legal,
administration and banking services available in the Cayman Islands
and the political and legal framework of the Cayman Islands all
come together to make the Cayman Islands a very attractive
jurisdiction for registration of a vessel whether for pleasure or
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.
Many people are baffled by trusts, the purpose of which they don't fully comprehend. Some even regard them with suspicion, as tools of of opaque tax evasion strategies of a type favoured by wealthy individuals.
We were recently instructed by a Bank in relation to a regulatory matter. The Bank had made a suspicious activity report to the Financial Investigation Unit ("FIU") due to their concerns about the potential source of funds in an account.
Many of us will have heard the recent claim by Donald Trump in the US presidential election that, if elected, he will ensure that a 1,000 mile border wall is constructed between the US and Mexico...
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”
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).