Gibraltar: Offshore Business Sectors
Ship Management and Maritime Operations
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.
Provisional Certificates of British Registry can be issued, valid for three months, based on proof of title.