Yacht FAQ

Select from our list of frequently asked questions about Yacht and Ship Registration below. The yacht registration FAQ’s cover a host of topics, including: marine regulation, marine finance, yacht and marine insurance, yacht registration, shipping laws…

What is boat, yacht or ship registration?

Every vessel must ‘belong’ to one particular country to be subject to that country’s laws which should incorporate the various International Conventions for ships and, in time of difficulty, to be able to claim the protection of that country. The dictionary defines registration simply as the act of setting down formally in a written record. Almost every country in the world has such record for ships – its shipping registry.

Why register via Starting Business’ marine services?

Benefits of registering a vessel via our marine services include: Assistance in selecting jurisdiction with zero rate of tax for shipping related activities, Assistance in selecting jurisdiction with no or low annual tonnage dues, Paying low registration fee, Attractive VAT arrangements, Legal arrangements for mortgages and assistance with finding ship finance, Assistance with ship owning company formation and management, and Assistance with marine insurance, survey, technical issues and much more.

What are the documents received after ship registration?

In order to trade/sail in international waters and, more importantly, to get customs clearance, the vessel will have to maintain a complete set of certificates. These certificates are: Certificate of Registry – International Tonnage Certificate – Load Line Certificate – Safety Construction Certificate – Safety Equipment Certificate – Safety Radio Certificate – International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate – Certificate of Class – Safe Manning Certificate. There are also some other certificates for certain types of vessels.

Which flag to choose?

Depending on your place of residence, nationality and intended use of the yacht the flag selection should be considered. Here, we could give you free advice.

What is a flag of convenience?

A ship is said to be flying a flag of convenience if it is registered in a foreign country “for purposes of reducing operating costs or avoiding government regulations” however, it might very well be simply to take advantage of a country’s infrastructure such as a world-wide network of consulates, fast service, etc.

What is a classification society?

In the shipping industry, classification societies are non-governmental organizations or groups of professionals, ship surveyors and representatives of offices that promote the safety and protection of the environment of ships and offshore structures. This is achieved by setting technical rules, confirming that designs and calculations meet these rules, surveying ships and structures during the process of construction and commissioning, and periodically surveying vessels to ensure that they continue to meet the rules.

What is a marine surveyor?

A marine surveyor is usually a professional mariner, such as a qualified shipmaster, engineer, naval architect or radio officer. They conduct inspections, surveys or examinations aboard ship to assess, monitor and report on the condition of the ship, as well as attending the manufacturers of new equipment intended for new or existing vessels, to ensure compliance with various standards or specifications. Surveys typically include the structure, machinery and equipment (navigational, safety, radio).

How can I register my boat?

There are two main methods of registration. Full Registration: This gives you absolute title of ownership. A Certificate of Registry is issued by the Shipping Registry, providing the best possible protection for your investment. Registration is a requirement of most countries and with it your boat, yacht or ship can be used as security against a marine mortgage. We will happily arrange registration for you. Small Ships Register: Please note security cannot be charged on this register which is offered by some countries as it does not prove ownership and therefore cannot be used to confirm title. Small Ships Register is usually for the small coaster boats, ski jets, speed boats, etc.

How do I find the right luxury yacht for me?

The best way is to contact a licensed yacht broker or dealer, they specialize in finding the right new yacht for you and they have an extensive network of listings should you be interested in a used yacht. If you do not have the right contact, please get in touch with Starting Business’ marine services.

What should I be warned about while buying a boat?

Be extra cautious when selecting an agent. There are unscrupulous operators that sell instant boat registrations of nonexistent jurisdictions (British Honduras), non valid American and Austrian yacht clubs or unauthorized Guinea Bissau licenses. There is no such thing as instant registration and if you get offer like this you better get rid off this “nice fellow”. The fastest way we could provide your preliminary or permanent registration fax copy is three working days. The hard copy could be handed over to you within 8-12 days.

Could you help me buying/selling my boat?

Although it is not our business we could give you a list of reputable brokers and dealers who can offer you professional solution. We can also offer your yacht to our customers’ inner circle, or if you want to buy one, we may give you valuable information about possible good bargain deals.

Are you taking care about my renewals?

If you choose so, we’ll send you a notification letter before expiration date on your registration. You do not owe us anything, it’s up to you whether you want to renew or not. We shall follow all legal requirements on your behalf.

I sold my boat could you handle the documents?

We can assist you to obtain a valid Bill of Sale and get it notarized. We can also deal with the Certificate of Deletion and transfer the registration onto a new owner.

I do not have valid documents, can you help?

In most cases we could find a workable solution. Contact us if you have any need. We are not doing you a favour by servicing you, you are doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to serve you.

How important is boat insurance?

Insurance provides monetary compensation against a predetermined risk. An insurance company offers such protection for a payment (or premium). It is also the amount the insurance company agrees to pay when an unfortunate event occurs. Insurance is a benefit to the society at large by allowing individuals to share the risks faced by many people. An insurance policy is a written agreement between an insurance company and an individual or organization that requires insurance. The insurance policy sets out the terms and conditions and specifies the risks that will be compensated for.

What is a Protection and Indemnity Insurance?

Protection and indemnity (called P & I) insurance protects the vessel owners against their liability for damage to cargo in their care and custody; death or injury to passengers, crew, cargo loaders, and others; damage caused to piers, docks, underwater cables, and bridges; and, more recently, damage caused by pollution. The terms and conditions of the policy can be extended, limited, excluded, modified or changed upon the request of the client.

What is Marine Hull Insurance?

Hull insurance affords protection to owners of all types of ships for loss or damage to their waterborne property. Typical perils insured against are stranding, sinking, fire, and collision. The hull policy offers an unusual coverage under its collision clause, which provides liability insurance for loss or damage to the other vessel involved in a collision, as well as to its cargo.

What does Freight, Demurrage and Defense Insurance Cover?

FD&D covers the costs involved for necessary legal assistance in charter party and other contractual disputes which are directly connected with the operation of the vessel. The cover entitles clients to a comprehensive legal consultancy service.

What is War Risks insurance?

Usual Hull insurance does not cover the risks of a vessel sailing into a war zone. A typical example is the risk to a tanker sailing in the Persian Gulf during the Gulf War. War risks cover protects, at an additional premium, against the danger of loss in a war zone. The war risks areas are established by the London-based Joint War Committee, which has recently moved to include the Malacca Straits as a war risks area due to piracy.

How much can I expect to pay for marine insurance?

Cost for marine insurance depends on several factors, like your boating experience, current navigational equipment, where your yacht will be used, the value of your yacht and whether you will be living aboard or cruising offshore.

Can Starting Business assist with obtaining marine insurance?

Starting Business marine services can negotiate the most favorable premiums through its contacts with specialist brokers and underwriters whilst ensuring the maximum level of cover for clients and their vessels.

What is Marine Finance?

You may know it by a number of similar names: – boat finance – yacht finance – marine mortgage – marine loan – ship finance – shipping finance. They all basically mean the same thing though, it’s a way of financing a boat, yacht or ship purchase.

What types of Marine Finance are there?

Marine finance can either be in the form of a marine mortgage, where a charge is taken over the boat, yacht or ship, or an unsecured loan, where a charge is not taken.

Is a survey necessary for obtaining marine finance?

A survey and valuation is compulsory on marine mortgages, unless the vessel is under 1 year old. As with any substantial investment, it is wise to ensure that you are receiving good value for money, via a valuation. Better still, we would recommend a consultation with a qualified surveyor. To this end, we can provide a list of the names of reputable surveyors and organizations in your area.

Can Starting Business assist with marine finance?

Having longstanding relationship with many banks and other financial institutions throughout the world Starting Business can assist in all stages of applying for marine finance. Our professional team will work out business plan, conduct negotiations with financial institutions, prepare all needed legal paperwork and will ensure smooth implementation of the project. Finance can be arranged to purchase both new and used yachts and boats or simply to carry out a refit or purchase new equipment. Whatever your requirements are, our marine finance specialists can tailor solution to suit your individual circumstances.