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Shipping Registration

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has always been a favourite of sailors and it is a premier Caribbean sailing destination. For this reason and many others, the BVI Shipping Registry is a natural corollary. The BVI is committed at all levels to the development of our maritime industry in full compliance with international standards. Today, more than 3000 internationally-owned ships are registered by the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry (VISR) under the BVI Merchant Shipping Act 2001 and those numbers continue to rise.

A ship is registered to establish nationality; to secure ownership title, and to enable its use as security to obtain a ship’s mortgage, which in turn is registered. The BVI has the distinct advantage of being a Category 1 Red Ensign jurisdiction which classifies the BVI as 1 of 10 centres worldwide where meta-yachts and super yachts of up to 3000 gross tonnage, and cargo ships of unlimited tonnage can be registered.

For more information on the BVI Shipping Registry, visit http://www.vishipping.gov.vg/

Advantages of BVI Ship Registration

  • Ships flying the BVI flag are entitled to British Consular support, Royal Navy protection, and access to the resources of the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency;
  • VISR is specialised in Yacht registration and our Certificates are recognised worldwide;
  • VISR is a member of the Red Ensign Group (REG) of British Shipping Registries and can register Merchant Ships like bulk carriers and container vessels. Ships flying the Flag are entitled to British Diplomatic/Consular support and Royal Navy protection;
  • Registered ownership allowed to citizens and corporate bodies worldwide; No tax on profit from the operation or management of a BVI ship;
  • Competitive registration, corporate and annual maintenance fees;
  • Concierge registry services;
  • The highest standard in technical expertise;
  • The BVI is the yachting Mecca of the Caribbean, equipped with modern state-of-the-art facilities, berths, accommodation, supplies, and services;
  • In-house expertise in nautical, marine engineering and naval architecture;
  • Backup of collective expertise of the Red Ensign Group and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency UK;
  • Simplified procedures for obtaining Seafarers’ Discharge Books and endorsements;
  • Vessels not targeted for Port State inspection in the UK; full corporate, legal, telecommunications and courier services are readily available in the BVI;VISR’s prompt, courteous and efficient service is supported by a fully computerised Fleet Management System and Database;
  • Marine mortgage is recognised and enforced worldwide;
  • No stamp duty of Mortgage Deed or ship security documents.