Marine Administration forms part of the Isle of Man’s burgeoning finance industry which includes banking, trust and fund management, insurance, assurance and e-commerce. The Isle of Man is one of the most respected offshore jurisdictions and is widely regarded to be the best regulated.

The Isle of Man has a long and distinguished maritime history. The first ships were registered on the Island in 1786 and since then the Shipping Register has grown to be one of the most respected in the world. Ships registered in the Island fly the British Red Ensign, and in no way can the Isle of Man be considered as a "Flag of Convenience".

Many companies now operate from the Island including: Dorchester Maritime, Bibby, Midocean, Celtic Marine, Maersk and Shell to name but a few.

One of the key benefits of the Isle of Man is its low tax status and this is reflected by the fees and taxes charged to the shipping industry.

For example:

  • One-off Low Initial Registration Fee

The only fees charged by the Marine Administration are those relating to registration, survey and certification of ships and are set at levels intended only to recover the administrative costs involved.

  • No Annual Tonnage Fees

There is no additional registration tax or tonnage fee levied on Manx registered shipping.

  • Favourable Taxation Status and "Tax Holidays"

Exempt status, or zero rate taxation, is available for ship ownership and ship management. Recent Isle of Man tax rules allow shipping companies to apply for "tax holidays" of up to five years. During the "holiday period" all or part of their profits or income will be exempt from tax. Existing legislation already provides for temporary tax exemptions. This means that an owner, manager or other shipping operator moving to the Isle of Man can operate tax free while establishing a new operation.

  • A Flexible Approach to Manning

A flexible approach to manning arrangements is in operation whilst high standards are maintained.

  • Government Sponsorship

Isle of Man Government sponsorship is available for trainees to serve on Manx ships.

  • Effective Vehicles for Ownership

There are several corporate entities which are capable of use in tax planning structures including:

Tax Exempt Company
International Company
International Limited Partnership
Resident Company
Tax Exempt Trust

Yacht registration is also a growing industry on the Isle of Man and one in which Ernst & Young plays a significant role. Yachts share many of the benefits of the Shipping Register and in addition the owner has the benefits of:

    • An efficient, effective and fast registration process.
    • Security of mortgages registered on the Island.
    • The prestige attached to the British Red Ensign which all Manx registered vessels are permitted to fly.

Ernst & Young Isle of Man provide a comprehensive financial management and accounting package to suit the needs of shipping clients. Our services include the production of timely management information, financial reporting and budgetary management.

Ernst & Young tailor their package to suit the individual needs of each client in this competitive and demanding field.

The importance that Ernst & Young place on the growing Marine Administration on the Isle of Man is reflected by the fact they have developed ShipMann, a website dedicated to the industry and E&Y services.

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.