BVI – Advantages of Yacht Registration

There are many uses for Offshore Companies, but one of the uses, is for yacht registration.

The advantages of registering a yacht in the BVI are:

  • Ownership is permitted to citizens and companies in the UK and all other British Territories.
  • Registration Certificate is recognized by authorities world-wide
  • No Annual Tonnage fees
  • Very low Registration fee
  • Provision for Registration of Mortgages, Change of Ownership or Transfer of Ownership
  • The benefit of a world-wide recognized and reputable financial centre


We can provide you with all the services you need including advice in registering your yacht in the BVI. The first step is to incorporate a BVI Business Corporation, we can provide you with a registered office and agent in the BVI and all officers/directors. We also have ready made shelf companies in order to reduce time.

The next step is to register the Yacht in the name of the Corporation and to ensure no charter is executed in favour of persons resident in the BVI.

The registration process is not long, it can take up to two weeks. We can appoint a representative in the BVI who will hold a Power of Attorney for limited period if necessary in respect of the corporation. This enables the beneficial owner to have legal capacity to take possession of the vessel on behalf of the Corporation in the place where it remains whilst we prepare and file all documentation at the Registry.

Once the registration of the yacht has been completed, our representative may cease the POA. Neither the vessel nor the beneficial owner need then visit the BVI.

Registration Process:

  • Proposed name of vessel
  • “name approval” needs to be cleared first (as for a corporation). This usually takes from 2 to 5 days.
  • Submit details of where vessel is currently registered or yard where vessel is being built.
  • Name under which vessel is currently registered (if applicable)
  • Nationality of current registry
  • Port at which vessel is based/lying/located
  • Approximate tonnage (gross or net)
  • Method of propulsion
  • Proposed trade of vessel (pleasure, fishing, etc.)
  • Proposed date of sale

Once the name has been approved and cleared, the next steps are to:

  • Forward the Original Builders Certificate inclusive of all descriptive details of the vessel or so attached indicating the name of the Corporation for whom the vessel was built.
  • Provide a Notarised Bill of Sale from last registered owner to present owner, where applicable.
  • Provide Notarised Bill of Sale from Present owner to BVI Corporation
  • Declaration of Ownership on behalf of the Corporate Body (this will be prepared and signed by us, its form is similar to that of the “Declaration of Eligibility” used in the UK).
  • Original Measurement Survey Certificate (same as carried out in the UK using one of the recognized Classification Societies or Yacht Broker and Designers Association).

Following the receipt of the above measurement survey documents the Registrar will issue a Carving & Marking Note.

The vessel must then be inspected by an official authorized by the Registry.

Following the return and receipt of his/her report to the Registrar, a Certificate of Registry will be issued.

If the vessel was previously registered in a British Port only then the following documents are required:

  • Close/Deletion transcript from current port of registry
  • POA authorizing ILS staff to register the vessel
  • Bill of Sale

If you require advice on the registration process of yachts in BVI or in Cyprus, you can get in touch with our Lawyers.