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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Offshore Business Sectors

Ship Management and Maritime Operations

See Offshore Business Review – Shipping for a more general treatment of offshore shipping registries.

The registration of vessels under the Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is governed by the Merchant Shipping Act, 1982, as amended by the 2004 Shipping Act, and the Wreck and Salvage Act (Act 55 of 1989).

Characteristics of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines flag are as follows:

  • Low company formation and ship registration costs;
  • No restrictions on the nationality of the ship owner, the master, officers and crew;
  • No restrictions or taxation on the sale, transfer or mortgaging of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines registered ships;
  • No trading restrictions and preferential treatment;
  • A ship may be registered if it is owned by:
    • Any individual who is a citizen of Saint Vincent domiciled in Saint Vincent.
    • Any body corporate, partnership or other association of individuals registered in accordance with the laws of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and having their main office in Saint Vincent.
    • Any body corporate, partnership or other association of individuals registered according to law in any foreign country, provided that, when the main office is situated outside Saint Vincent, a Registered Agent in Saint Vincent is appointed.
  • Vessels must not be older than 18 years (15 years for tankers) unless special permission is granted.

Registration requirements are as follows:

  • Application form for Registration completed and signed;
  • Good Standing Certificate (of the owning company);
  • A Proof of ownership or copy of notarised of Sale Bill or copy of Purchase Contract or Builder's Certificate (New Ship only);
  • Certificate of general inspection issued by a Classification Society / confirmation of class (if applicable), or nautical Surveyor. The Classification Society must confirm that the vessel's class will be retained under the new Ownership/Flag and that the new statutory certificates will be issued after the completion of the necessary surveys;
  • Continuous Synposis Records (when I.S.P.S Code is applicable;
  • Payment of registration and annual fees;
  • A Permission for transfer or recent of Register Transcript and/or recent Non-Encumbrance Certificate or Deletion Certificate from the present registry (if applicable);
  • A copy or photocopy of the existing Tonnage Certificate or Certificate of Measurement (for yachts over 24m);
  • A copy of ISM Document of Compliance (DOC) of the vessel's operator and a copy of the short term (or interim) SMC or confirmation from the authorised organisation that same is being issued (if applicable);
  • An Accounting Authority Identification Code (A.A.I.C.) and confirmation from the accounting authority that it will be responsible for the radio traffic accounts (if applicable).

The following Organisations are authorised to issue statutory documents on behalf of St.Vincent & The Grenadines Administration after satisfactory surveys:

ABS (American Bureau of Shipping), BV (Bureau Veritas), CCS (China Classification Society), CR (Croatian Register of Shipping), DNV (Det Norske Veritas), RINa (Registro Italiano Navale), HRS (Hellenic Register of Shipping), INSB (International Naval Surveys Bureau), KRS (Korean Register of Shipping), LR (Lloyds Register of Shipping), NKK (Nippon Kaiji Kyokai), RS (Russian Maritime Register of Shipping), PRS (Polish Register of Shipping), and GL (Germanischer Lloyd).

Registration fees are as follows:

  • Yachts, Tugboats, Small Crafts, USD500;
  • Charter Yachts USD1,000;
  • Other vessels from 1 to 99,999 GT, USD0.60 per tonne, subject to a minimum tax of USD1,000 and a maximum of USD8,000;

Annual taxes are as follows:

  • Yachts, Tugboats, Small Crafts, USD250;
  • Bareboat Charter (maximum 4 years) per NT, US$0.30;
  • Other vessels from 1 to 99,999 GT, USD0.07 per tonne (minimum USD250)



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