Register a vessel under the flag of convenience

Purchasing a vessel or a pleasure yacht might be the sweetest dream for many people. Nowadays different vessels are used by companies and private owners for various purposes – travelling, business and commerce, cruises, cargo transportation, etc.

Comparing to purchase of other types of assets, acquisition of a vessel is not limited to a simple process of paying a price and completing required registration formalities. Choosing a country in which a vessel will be registered is a key issue, which literally may determine whether you will enjoy your title as an owner or not.

Why it is so important to choose the right jurisdiction to register a ship? Flagging your vessel in a particular country automatically leads to local laws and regulations being applicable to your vessel. Consequently, by knowing specific advantages and drawbacks of each jurisdiction might not only help you to make a wise choice, but to save a lot of money for administration, taxation and other expenses.

What to consider before choosing a flag of convenience?

Numerous factors shall be taken into account; however, the starting point should be the owner’s prior expectations from owning a boat. Perhaps a full confidentiality of ownership of a vessel is a client’s top priority. As a result, only jurisdictions having a secret register of boat owners should be considered. It is also possible that an owner plans to obtain a future income from chartering his pleasure yacht, consequently zero charter income jurisdictions should be examined.

Amongst key reasons which influence the choice of a flag of convenience are the following:

  • International image of a jurisdiction

The more prestigious jurisdiction has been chosen for the boat registration, the less strict inspection requirements it should face while sailing worldwide. In the list of the most reputable jurisdictions for a vessel registration are Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Malta and so on.

  • Taxation

By far the second largest point taken into considerations are tax implications associated with a vessel registration. Tax consequences can emerge either for an income derived from a boat activity and/or for  the crew maintenance.

  • Employment of a crew

For those who seek to hire a crew the law of some jurisdictions may oblige to form the equipage from nationals of that jurisdiction only, thus reducing an overall attractiveness. Special consideration shall be taken when dealing with such jurisdictions.

  • Residence of owners

Most of the flags of convenience allow both foreign nationals and local residents to be registered as owners of a vessel. However, some jurisdictions apply limitations to this rule. As a result, some of them require a boat to be be partially or fully owned by a national of such jurisdiction.

Astra Trust is ready to provide you with a profound free consultation to help you to choose the best flag of convenience for your boat.

What are “flag of convenience” jurisdictions?

Astra Trust is currently ready to help you to register a boat in the following jurisdictions worldwide:

  • Panama
  • Marshall Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Hong Kong
  • United Kingdom
  • Singapore
  • Malta
  • Bahamas
  • Isle of Man
  • Seychelles

All these jurisdictions provide favourable treatment to the vessels registered under their flag.

How the registration process looks like?

  1. Contact us

Contact us and we help you to choose the best flag for a boat registration

  1. Provide the necessary documents

Provide the documents for a boat that are required to proceed with the registration in chosen country.

  1. We prepare an application

On your behalf we will draft the application, attaching all necessary documents, communicate with state authorities to ensure the registration process goes smoothly.

  1. Issuance of a certificate of registration

Congratulations, your boat is registered now. The new documents issued for your boat will be sent to you with a courier.

  1. Additional services

Astra Trust has a vast experience in maritime registration and upon your separate request we will be ready to assist.

Please do not hesitate to contact us in case you have any questions on the process.