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Register a Vessel under Cayman Flag

Register a Vessel under Cayman Flag

A vessel’s maritime flag indicates the country in which that ship is registered. The nautical frag etiquette has a longstanding history and the national ensign is important for ships that engage in touristic or commercial activities.

The Cayman Islands is, for the purpose of vessel registration, part of the Red Ensign Group, a group of British Shipping Registers.

Registering a vessel under the Cayman flag offers advantages not only in terms of reputation but also in terms of facile registration, simplified procedures and quality maritime administration services for a wide array of vessels. 

In this article, our team of  Cayman Islands incorporation specialists outlines the reasons why investors should register their vessels under this flag.

The advantages of registering a vessel under the Cayman 

These are the following:

  1. Simplified vessel registration: vessel registration under the Cayman flag is a simple and quick procedure.
  2. Various types of registration: individuals and companies can register vessels in full, under an interim registration or vessels under construction. 
  3. Stable operating environment: the Cayman Islands offer quality services for merchant vessels and yachts and the maritime law is based on the English Common Law.
  4. The Red Ensign Group reputation: the Red Ensign Group has a large and diverse fleet from the United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies; a vessel registered in the Cayman is considered a “British ship”.

Individuals and joint owners, as well as companies and partnerships, are allowed to own a vessel in the Cayman Islands. Individuals who are allowed to register their yacht or other vessels under the Cayman flag are nationals from the European Union or the European Economic Area as well as those form a country included in the Third Schedule of the Cayman Islands Money Laundering Regulations. Examples of such countries include Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and others. 

Investors who open a Cayman Islands exempted company can own and register a vessel under this flag. In general, any company registered in the Cayman Islands own a vessel, as well those registered in the European Union or the European Economic Area or, as previously mentioned, in the Third Schedule of the Cayman Islands Money Laundering Regulations.

In some cases, companies incorporated in other countries that have a place of business in the Islands can qualify for owning a vessel that operates under this flag. One of our Cayman Islands company formation specialists can provide more details.

The vessel registration process in the Cayman Islands 

In order to register a vessel under the Cayman Flag with the Shipping Registry, ship owners are required to submit the following documentation: 

  • the filled-in form: the form for vessel registration as well as that for the appointment of an authorized person, if applicable.
  • the ship’s certificates: this is the Builder’s certificate of the vessel, which must be notarized, or the Bill of Sale if the ship is not a new one.
  • the Certificate of Good Standing: this must be a new certificate, issued no more than three months prior to the application date.
  • other certificated: the Certificate of Survey and the International Tonnage Certificate, as well as other documents, as needed.

Please note that the documents listed above are for a full vessel registration under the Cayman flag. For an interim registration (valid during the transfer of ownership from a foreign owner to an owner who qualifies for registration under the Cayman flag), the list will also include other documents. 

The Registry applies different tariffs for registration, according to the type of vessel. For example, the registration of a yacht with a gross tonnage of 400 maximum is 700 US$.

The vessel registration process usually takes 24 hours after the receipt of all of the documents and once the applicant has paid all of the relevant fees.

Our Cayman Islands incorporation specialists can offer more details about the registration of a merchant ship or that of a pleasure yacht. 

The Cayman Islands Port is one that receives numerous tourist and cargo ships over the year, as highlighted by the following statistics for 2019:

  • passenger arrivals in January: 271,111;
  • passenger arrivals in July: 118,453;
  • total cargo for January: 40,709 tons;
  • total cargo for July: 28,807 tons.

Owners who register their vessel under the Cayman flag benefit from a wide recognition as their yacht or merchant vessel will run under a premium flag service. Moreover, they will benefit from the experienced team of professionals and registration personnel in the Islands. 

Investors who are interested in setting up a Cayman Islands company for the purpose of vessel registration can contact us for more details.