How to register a luxury yacht

How to register a luxury yacht?

How to choose your yacht’s flag state

If you consider buying a superyacht for international cruises and chartering in the Caribbean and the Med, your lawyer or broker will tell you to register and flag the yacht offshore.

The flag you choose to fly from your transom can have a direct bearing on your privacy, taxes, exposure to liability and boarding, the vessel’s success as a commercial enterprise, and, ultimately, your enjoyment of the yacht. So how do you decide which flag best serves your purposes? There is no simple answer that covers every owner, but some basic considerations do apply.

The choice of flag state has, over the last few years, become one of the most important decisions owners and/or their representatives must make,’ says Mike Dean of Isle of Man-based Döhle Yachts.

A flag state is the country or governmental entity under whose laws a vessel is registered or licensed. This can be the country in which the owner resides, or more commonly in the superyacht world, an offshore ship registry in a country with laws that are attuned to the complexities of yacht ownership and charter operations.
The flag state has the authority and responsibility to enforce regulations over vessels registered under its flag, including those relating to inspection, certification and issuance of safety and pollution prevention documents.

Offshore flagging advantages

Owners who choose to flag offshore – especially those who plan to make their yachts available for charter in the EU – can benefit in many ways, including, but not limited to, mitigation of some tax burdens, confidentiality of ownership, and reassuring lenders and insurance companies. An owner who intends to operate his vessel as a private yacht and not charter might register the vessel in his home country.

However, many popular flag states have appealing and relatively simple avenues for setting up offshore corporate structures that offer favourable taxation and liability protections under a stable fiscal and legal system. In addition they have construction, inspection and regulatory compliance regimes that can streamline the process of owning and operating a large yacht.

The choice of flag state has, over the last few years, become one of the most important decisions owners and/or their representatives must make

Registering as a private yacht with a non-EU flag also allows an owner to operate under the Temporary Importation regime in Europe in which a yacht can operate for up to 18 months without the vessel being subject to customs duties or the EU’s Value Added Tax (VAT).

Owners who intend to actively pursue charter in the world’s most popular destinations – in particular, the Med, which is ringed by EU states – and the Caribbean, will generally choose to incorporate, flag offshore and register as a commercially operated vessel.

In addition to the benefits above, such structures can allow the vessel to operate within the VAT system. VAT on charters is still chargeable to the end consumer – the charterer – but the system allows operators of legitimate charter businesses to account for their input tax in the normal business sense. For instance, if a business buys food for a charter, it will pay input tax on the supply but can deduct it as an operating expense.

Luxembourg’s ensign allows registration of charter yachts, has some tax protections and is said to be the least expensive quality flag.

 

Good and bad flags

Registering a yacht to operate commercially subjects it to a broad range of regulations related mainly to safety.

A flag state will generally require a yacht to be in compliance with construction standards set forth by one or more of the main classification societies such as Lloyd’s Register, American Bureau of Shipping or Det Norske Veritas, as well as meeting safety and practice standards set forth by government agencies such as the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), as applied by the relevant states’ national legislation.

Choosing a particular flag is a vastly complicated matter generally settled between an owner and his attorney, but there are some basic considerations, not the least of which is the potential for the yacht to be boarded and detained by authorities. In short, there are good flags and bad flags.

‘You need to be with a flag that can provide a solid commercial registration that’s accepted in the shipping industry and accepted by the governments of the world,’ says Ken Argent of Water’s Edge Consulting Ltd.

You need to be with a flag that can provide a solid commercial registration that’s accepted in the shipping industry and accepted by the governments of the world.

A wise starting point would be to choose a flag on the so-called ‘White List’ as maintained by the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MoU).

The Paris MoU consists of 27 participating maritime administrations and covers the waters of the European coastal states and the North Atlantic basin from North America to Europe. Its mission is to eliminate the operation of sub-standard ships through a harmonised system of port state control. There are other MoU groups around the world, with similar aims.

Port officers inspect foreign ships in the Paris MoU ports, to ensure they meet international safety, security and environmental standards, and that crew have adequate living and working conditions.

Flags on the Paris White List have demonstrated strong performance in those areas and thus, are subject to fewer boardings when they enter foreign ports.

Flags on the Grey List and Black List have been deemed deficient and risk more boardings and possible detentions. Traditionally, yachts have been a low priority for Port State Control (PSC) inspections, but since the advent of the New Inspection Regime in Paris, this is no longer the case and so it is important to choose a flag with a good PSC record and a rigorous approach to safety and certification.

A wise starting point would be to choose a flag on the so-called “White List”

‘There are rogue states that remain outside the family of civilised nations, and yachts that fly those flags are not welcomed,’ says maritime attorney Michael T. Moore. ‘Generally speaking, most civilised countries have subscribed to a web of treaties designed to protect the world’s oceans from pollution, overfishing and various other unacceptable practices. Almost all seafaring nations are on the alert for out-of-pattern flags.’

Other considerations extend beyond the prospect of being boarded. ‘Lenders and insurance companies will review a flag state’s enforcement of international environment and safety and procedures and standards, compliance with international regulations and casualty record,’ says Dean. ‘A poor record will inevitably affect the decisions of the lenders and underwriters.’

The flag of the Marshall Islands is popular with ships, and it is increasingly found on superyachts

As many as 80 per cent of large yachts are flagged in the British overseas territories commonly known as the Red Ensign Group.

The LYC has been submitted (and accepted) to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as the UK’s equivalent provisions under the equivalence arrangements of several international conventions (Load Lines, SOLAS and STCW).

‘Yachts built and operated under the LYC do so under internally recognised standards,’ says Harrison, ‘whilst other jurisdictions operate their own codes, these have not been presented or accepted to the IMO. Compliance with LYC can have a positive impact on resale values.’

The Red Ensign registry with the largest number of yachts is the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry. According to Peter Southgate, Advisor, Maritime Policy and Legislation Development and Shipping Master of the Cayman Registry, service is one key to the flag’s popularity.

‘We offer a very high quality flag option for any owner, and we ensure that as a group, we do not compete on quality,’ Southgate says. ‘This leaves essentially only service and the possible effects of local restrictions. For example, the UK is an EU flag and hence, temporary importation would not be available to a UK-flagged vessel.’

The red ensign of the Cayman Islands is widely recognised as the most popular large-yacht flag.

 

Flags of different colours

Most flag registries, while either an agency of a government or acting on behalf of the government, are to some extent, in competition with each other for business and offer various angles that may benefit the needs of some owners.

The Marshall Islands allows qualified private yachts to charter up to 84 days a year, but subjects them to detailed surveys heavy on lifesaving, safety and fire fighting. They also have to have a minimum safe manning certificate for when they’re chartering.

The US flag has long been problematic for ship and yacht owners due in large part to onerous regulations and manning requirements. ‘The US flag has a very unwelcoming regime of laws and regulations that make it extremely difficult for a ship of any size to be registered., some specific reasons a US flag may not appeal to owners of large yachts.

If you are tempted to use the flag of a state because you like the AK-47 image on it, resist.

 

‘US residents often wish to purchase yachts outside the US and register on to a non-US flag in order to avoid US sales and/or use tax,’ Ruane writes. ‘US Coast Guard legislation fails to differentiate between merchant vessels and commercial yachts, meaning most large yachts would fail to meet their “Seagoing Motor Vessel” requirements, which, in essence, apply SOLAS requirements to all vessels in excess of 300GT.

‘A US-resident master and crew are required for all large yachts, unless operating privately and outside of US waters. A US flag requires US corporate or private ownership, and the concept of 

nominee directors and shareholders is less understood and thus, less acceptable, essentially meaning that US corporate ownership is more transparent.’

The actual cost of flagging offshore is relatively low, provided your yacht meets class requirements, which is something an owner would want to consider especially when buying a brokerage yacht. The cost of bringing a yacht up to class can be substantial.

Choosing a flag is a matter best undertaken under counsel of a maritime attorney. There are many possible avenues depending on an owner’s intended use and other considerations, but at the end of the day, most advise sticking with the tried and true.

 

Registration

‘Normally, boats over a certain size and weight have to be registered in one jurisdiction or another, and with many onshore and offshore jurisdictions offering registry services, this will be one of the most important considerations in the yacht tax planning process. This decision will be guided by where, when, how often and for what purposes (e.g. private use or chartering) you intend to use your yacht and of course these factors will have an important bearing on tax.

While national boat registries have broadly similar registration rules, the registration process may differ quite substantially, for example in the amount of documentation, such as proof of ownership information that will be required to complete a registration. Almost invariably, initial and ongoing registration fees, usually on an annual basis, will be charged and these too can vary quite widely. Some registries may also restrict the type of activity that may be undertaken by a yacht, e.g. by prohibiting commercial uses.

In the case of yacht registration some of these requirements might typically include: a bill of sale; a builder certificate (if new); a declaration of ownership; and a deletion certificate if previously registered.

 

‘Additionally, it is wise to consider the international standing of the jurisdiction concerned, and whether there are issues over its reputation in terms of tax compliance with other countries, especially the country of your residence. While it is not the purpose of this feature to endorse one jurisdiction over another, it is often the case that professionals in this field will recommend using an offshore registry which is affiliated with or has strong links to one of the major onshore countries like the United Kingdom and the United States. These tend to have internationally-recognised laws, rules and regulations in the areas of shipping and aviation and therefore are considered a safer choice.

 

‘Last but not least are the tax rules in the jurisdiction of registration. This is where registering a vessel offshore has significant benefits as the owner may be able to take advantage of very low or no rates of tax. Company tax is set at 0% for most businesses in a number of countries with registries, including the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. Whether you are able to avail of these tax advantages may depend, however, on how the ownership of the boat or plane is structured, a subject we will tackle next.

The range of options open to those owning and operating yachts and boats of all sizes is considerable. In our experience, even relatively modest purchases in the sub $250,000 price bracket can benefit from substantial savings in tax, if the most appropriate ownership structure is designed in at the outset. This is certainly not an issue for those operating only at the higher reaches of the market, in our view.

 
 

Individual versus Company Ownership

‘While it is perfectly possible in most cases to register a yacht in one own name as an individual, there are many disadvantages to doing so; indeed, it is certainly the case that the vast majority of owners choose to transfer their ownership to some form of corporate entity or special purpose vehicle.

For example, by using an offshore company to own, run or charter a yacht, it may be possible to take advantage of the above-mentioned low rates of corporate tax on offer in certain jurisdictions, although such a company need not necessarily have to be formed in the same jurisdiction in which the vessel itself is to be registered. Additionally, using a company form has certain other benefits in terms of protecting the owner; confidentiality being one of them, and limiting the liabilities that may arise in connection with ownership of the vessel being another. If confidentiality is a high priority for the owner, an additional option is the use of a trust company, into which the owner (settlor) transfers an asset to the effective ownership of a trustee who manages for the benefit of a beneficiary. In civil law jurisdictions (and now some common law jurisdictions), a foundation company will perform a similar role. The use of a trust structure may also be an effective shield against adverse inheritance tax implications in the owner country of residence.

Some financing options can also be used to put distance between the owner and the asset. For instance, by using a leasing arrangement, the bank or finance company buys the yacht from the seller and then leases it to the buyer. With this type of financing deal, the buyer does not actually legally own the asset but is instead granted possessory interest. With a leasing arrangement however, the buyer must also front all the risks associated with owning and operating a yacht and may be liable for loss in the event of damage for example.

 

VAT

‘This section sounds a note of caution for those intending to purchase or sail their yacht within the territory of the European Union (EU), which could have unwelcome repercussions for owners in terms of EU value-added tax (VAT).

Under EU VAT law, all yachts owned or used by EU residents are liable to VAT and owners must be able to show that VAT has been paid before they may enter EU waters. There is, however, a concession open to non-EU persons, under which vessels purchased outside of the EU may be temporarily imported into the Union (or more strictly in the ‘customs territory of the Community’, which includes the EUs territorial waters) and used for private purposes, without customs duties or VAT needing to be paid. The boats concerned have to be placed under the EU ‘temporary importation procedure’ with the customs department of a member state, and the period of use in the EU is typically limited to 18 months. Because the boat is temporarily imported into the EU and not a specific member state, it is permitted to sail from one member state to another with no further customs formalities. When the 18 months have elapsed, the boat is, in the official jargon, effectively re-exported, although subsequent periods of temporary importation may be applied for. It is also possible to apply for an extension of the temporary importation period if the yacht is to be laid up and not used for a period of time

 

‘It must be emphasized that this concession is only available to non-EU residents, that is, people established outside the territory of the EU, although there are ways of lessening the VAT blow for EU residents. Important points to be considered for determining whether or not VAT is payable are the place of purchase of the yacht, where the yacht will be used, who is the beneficial owner of the yacht, whether the yacht will be chartered out to third parties, and whether the yacht will be used by EU residents.

In some circumstances it may be possible through careful planning for EU residents to mitigate the amount of VAT paid on a yacht purchase. Although VAT laws are to some extent harmonized across the EU, the rules (and rates) vary considerably 

from country to country and the overall picture is very complex. It therefore may be advantageous to consider paying VAT in a country which has relatively low rates of VAT, such as Cyprus (17%) or Malta (18%) or importing a vessel to certain territories which are outside the EU for VAT purposes, such as Gibraltar or the Channel Islands. However, with EU member states increasingly cracking down on all forms of tax avoidance, especially by high-net-worth individuals, the penalties for breaking VAT rules, whether by accident or design, can be severe, so it must be stressed that advice from an advisor with expertise in this area must be sought if a vessel is to be used within EU waters, for example in the Mediterranean or the English Channel.

Getting the structuring right at the outset is vital, if complex tax and customs issues are to be avoided later on during ownership. We always advise clients to take advice as early as possible and to have clear understanding how they might operate their vessel, both in terms of geography and whether commercially it will be chartered, for example, as all of this can impact upon the best way of structuring ownership.

In the following sections, we summarize some of the most popular offshore yacht and aviation registries.

 

Jersey

‘Ships registered in Jersey are British ships and are therefore automatically entitled to fly the prestigious Red Ensign. This right is recognized in both UK and Jersey legislation. As such there are certain reputational benefits associated with flying a quality flag. However, legislative, inspection and compliance standards particularly regarding safety, protection against pollution, employment and security are also known to be high (although non-resident crew are exempt from the provisions of Jersey Employment Law 2003 if operating overseas).

According to the government of Jersey, the jurisdiction currently has over 2,000 pleasure craft on its Shipping Register, many of which are based away from the island.

At present, a non-financial services company incorporated in Jersey pays no corporate income tax so there are significant tax advantages to be had by registering a vessel in Jersey through a corporate structure. Furthermore, non-EU residents can temporarily import their vessel into the EU VAT-free through Jersey, while non-resident crew are exempt from social security contributions. Direct ownership of a yacht by a trust company is currently prohibited in Jersey, but vessels can still be owned through a Foundation company, which shares similar characteristics to a traditional common law trust.

As a thriving and reputable international offshore financial centre which is white listed by the OECD, Jersey also offers local expertise in all aspects of yacht and crew management, as well as in asset management and tax-efficient ownership structures.

 

‘The Jersey ship registry allows for two types of registration: full registration with the British Register of Ships in Jersey; or registration with the Jersey Small Ships Registry, which offers qualifying boat owners a less expensive and simpler alternative to full registration.

Full registration proves the title, ownership and nationality of a vessel worldwide and allows for a mortgage to be entered on the register. In order to qualify for full registration in Jersey, the vessel must be a pleasure craft and weigh less than 400 gross tons. Commercial vessels may also be registered if they weigh 

‘under 150 gross tons. The owner of the vessel (whether an individual or a company) must be a resident of the EU, the Commonwealth, or a British Crown Dependency or Overseas Territory.

In order to register on the British Register of Ships in Jersey, an applicant must submit the following documentation along with the initial application form:

 

‘The initial and re-registry fee for any pleasure craft or a commercial vessel under 150GT owned by a non-Jersey resident or a non-Jersey company is also GBP 400. There are numerous other fees, for example for the transfer of ownership, registration of a mortgage, change of vessel name, transfer of port registry etc.

The Certificate of Registry is valid for 10 years provided that ownership does not change within this period. Upon a change of ownership, the period commences again for another 10 years. Vessels are allocated a unique registration number which cannot be transferred to another craft.

Owners of vessels of less than 24 metres in length may register with the SSR, which offers a simpler and more cost-effective registration procedure. Fees for registration and renewal are currently set at GBP57 (or GBP108 for a fast track registration) and the Certificate of Registry is valid for five years (although registration is terminated if any ownership details change).

However a registration on the SSR does not provide proof of ownership and a marine mortgage cannot be recorded. Also, the owner must be resident in Jersey and must own the vessel directly (not through a corporate structure).
 

Bermuda

‘Bermuda’s capital, Hamilton, is a port of British registry. A Bermudian exempt company whose principal place of business is Bermuda or another Crown territory can register wholly-owned ships in Hamilton. At the time of writing, 161 commercial vessels and 255 yachts were registered in Bermuda.

The laws applying to ship registration are the Merchant Shipping Act 1988 (Bermuda) Order 1991 and the Merchant Shipping (Demise Charter) Act 1994; aircraft are registered under the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order 1989.

The Companies Act 1981 (as amended) provides exemption from the 60% local ownership requirement to a company which is does not engage in any activity on the island except with other exempt entities. Managing other exempt entities is also permitted, and, for mutual companies, so is the local distribution of their shares. Other activities may be permitted to exempt companies if a licence is granted by the Minister of Finance.

An exempt company must have two individuals resident in Bermuda, either as directors, or one as secretary and one as director, or one as secretary and one as ‘permanent representative’.

Exempt companies pay annual fees based on their ‘assessable’ capital (authorised capital plus share premium account; or for a mutual company its authorised capital – a share premium account is not required).

An exempt company may apply to the Minister of Finance for a certificate exempting it from future profits taxation, should there be any, for a period ending not later than the 26th March, 2035.

In Bermuda there is no income tax, capital gains tax, VAT, sales or use tax or wealth tax. Annual government fees are imposed on businesses and there is a payroll tax. Local businesses must be controlled by Bermudians but offshore operations take place through ‘exempt’ or ‘permit’ companies.

 

Cayman Islands

‘The Cayman Islands operates Registers of Shipping .. George Town is a Port of British Registry. Over the years, Cayman has been included in most English merchant shipping acts, with the result that it is a Category 1 registry, entitled to register all classes of vessel.

The Cayman Islands Shipping Registry administers Cayman registration, and has a full professional staff for this purpose. The Merchant Shipping Law (2008 Revision) governs Cayman registration and lays down fee levels according to tonnage.

By the end of 2010, the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry had a total of 1,870 vessels on its books.

 

Gibraltar

‘The Gibraltar Ship Register is a member of the Category I Red Ensign Group of the United Kingdom and United Kingdom dependency registers, and nearly every type of commercial vessel is represented on the Gibraltar Registry.

Gibraltar recognises Lloyds Register of Shipping and the British Committees of American Bureau of Shipping, Bureau Veritas, Det Norske Veritas, Germanischer Lloyd and Registro Italiano Navale  and it is to these Classification Societies that the issuing of certain Convention Certificates is delegated.

Changes in Gibraltar legislation now permit a wider range of individuals or corporate bodies to be qualified persons eligible to own a registerable ship.

Gibraltar has a very competitive fee structure for registration, and although it is part of the EU the absence of VAT means that ships or pleasure craft can be imported without a VAT charge. This has led to a substantial increase in the registration of yachts and other private vessels in recent years.

A busy yacht sales market has developed in Gibraltar. A number of brokers, selling new and second hand craft, are based in the territory while a stroll around the jetties will normally reveal several interesting vessels on the market. In total Gibraltar offers several hundred yacht berths, with depths of up to 4.5 metres available. For larger yachts the full range of wet and dry stores and chandlery can be supplied. Urgent spares can be flown in directly to Gibraltar.

Shipping legislation is modelled on the UK’s Merchant Shipping Act; Gibraltar does not offer a flag of convenience, and the full panoply of British safety requirements and crewing regulation applies. However, the application procedure is relatively painless.

 
 

Isle of Man

The Isle of Man passed the Merchant Shipping (Registration) Act 1984 in order to encourage registration of ships on the island. There is a zero-tax regime for ship management companies based on the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man allows for the registration of both large commercial yachts and smaller pleasure yachts. In 2009 there were 72 commercial yachts and 364 pleasure yachts registered in the Isle of Man.

In August 2009, the Isle of Man Ship Registry announced three important changes to its operating practices to enhance its registration process and make it more attractive and simpler for its clients.

First, the Registry has removed some of the “barriers” some perceived and some “real” for clients wishing to register. It will now be simpler, easier to arrange, and more cost effective to register a vessel. The changes include:

Accepted Ship Types

Secondly, the Registry has also been able to extend the number of “Accepted Countries.” In 2007, the Isle of Man introduced legislation to extend the number of countries accepted for ownership of Manx vessels. Previously, the Registry was constrained by legislation inherited from the UK to EU, EEA and British Dependent Territories. The list of accepted countries has now been extended to include Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Liberia, the Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Panama, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, and the United States. This will allow ownership structures of vessels using companies registered in those countries to remain unchanged when vessels transfer registration to the Isle of Man and thus provide a smoother transition.

Thirdly, the Registry has bolstered its affiliation with law firm Stephenson Harwood. In lieu of British consular services in London, Stephenson Harwood has acted on behalf of the Isle of Man in receiving title documents (e.g. Bill of Sale, registration of mortgages) on behalf of the Registrar of Ships. This service has now been extended to include Stephenson Harwood€™s offices in Piraeus, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai, thus covering many of the world€™s major shipping centres.

Malta

Malta is one of the top ten shipping registries worldwide. The original Merchant Shipping Act 1973 based on English law has been adapted and modernised in 1986, 1988 and 1990; and further improvements are planned. The Merchant Shipping Directorate of the Malta Maritime Authority supervises the sector and has developed a world-wide network of surveyors and inspectors. Malta adheres to all the major international maritime conventions. Malta has also introduced a Commercial Yacht Code.

The Maltese registry accepts all types of vessel, from pleasure yachts to oil rigs. Bareboat charter registration is allowed both of foreign ships under the Maltese flag and of Maltese ships under a foreign flag. There are no restrictions on the nationality of crew in Maltese law, and no age limit for ships. The shipping laws are flexible with regard to sale or mortgaging of ships.

By the end of 2010, a total of 5,249 ships, 2440 of which were pleasure yachts, were registered under the Maltese Merchant Shipping Act.

In January, 2006, Malta was one of four flag states that attained the highest quality ranking following the Paris Memorandum on Port State Control’s latest inspections.

In order to register a ship in Malta, it must be owned by a company incorporated in Malta. In most circumstances, Maltese shipping companies are exempt from taxes.

 

United Kingdom

All pleasure craft, including yachts, can be registered on Part I or Part III of the UK Ship Register. Any eligible pleasure craft owner can apply to register under Part I of the UK Ship Register, while Part III is a simpler registration procedure designed for individual owners of vessels of less than 24 metres in length.

The advantages of a Part I registration are that the boat title and nationality can be proved, the boat can be used to obtain a marine mortgage and a Transcript of Registry can be obtained showing the vessel previous owners and whether there are any outstanding mortgages.

 

In order to be eligible for a Part I registration, owners must be one of the following: a citizen of the UK; a citizen of an EU member state; a citizen of a British Dependent or Overseas Territory; a company incorporated in the European Economic Area (the 27 EU member states plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein); a company incorporated in any British overseas possession which has its principal place of business in the UK or those possessions; or a European Economic Interest Grouping.

Non-eligible persons may still be permitted to part-own a boat within a partnership, but only if they are a minority shareholder. 

The bills of sale and Declaration of Eligibility form will have to reflect this.

There are a number of ownership and use criteria that must be fulfilled to qualify for a Part I registration. Firstly, the vessel must be classified as a pleasure craft and therefore used exclusively for sport or pleasure, and not with the intention of generating income or carrying passengers. According to the UK rules, a privately-owned or company-owned boat is considered a pleasure craft if, at the time of its journey, it is on a free voyage or excursion. However, a privately-owned vessel has to be used by the owner or the owner family or friends, while a company-owned boat must be used by employees of the company, officers of the company or immediate friends and family of the employees or officers. A pleasure craft can also be owned on behalf of a members€™ club if the following conditions are satisfied: the boat is used only by members of the club and their immediate families; the boat is only used for sport or leisure purposes; any fees are paid into club funds for the general use of the club; and no other payments are made by the users of the boat.

A number of other documents need to be submitted along with the initial application form, such as a Declaration of Eligibility form, a title document and bill of sale, and a builder certificate.

Part I registration costs GBP124 and a UK Certificate of Registry is issued for five years.

Part III is a simpler and cheaper form of registration that proves a boat nationality and costs just GBP25. However, a Part III registration is not open to corporate owners.

In order to be eligible for a Part III registration, all owners must be resident in the UK for 185 days of the year and be one of the following: a UK citizen; a non-UK citizen exercising their EU right of freedom of movement or worker right for establishment; a citizen of a British Dependent or Overseas Territory; a British subject under the British Nationality Act 1981; a British National (overseas) under Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986; or a Commonwealth citizen.

About AAJP Global Services

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