The United Kingdom (UK) Ship Register is one of the world’s most popular choices for the registration of yachts.
Oceanskies is a Channel Island based yacht documentation agency that is responsible for a significant percentage of yacht registrations in the UK each year and the purpose of this guide to to highlight the many advantages of the register and to introduce the Jersey yacht registration services that we provide.
The UK is one of the world’s leading maritime nations. London is the world’s foremost centre for maritime business services. The unparalleled tradition of excellence in legal, arbitration, insurance, P&I, shipbroking and finance makes results in the UK being the first choice for the registration of yachts sailing internationally.
The UK Ship Register
The UK Ship Register is a British ‘red ensign’ register administered by the UK Government’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
Before 1786, there were no central government records of ship registration, although ships began to be registered around the middle of the 17th century when foreign built ships were required to register with customs in order to obtain the same trading privileges as British built ships.
Towards the end of the 17th century British-built ships were required to register before trading to or from the British colonies and later this requirement was extended to ships importing wool from Ireland.
The Merchant Shipping Act of 1786 required all British ships of more than 15 tons to register with Customs in their home port. A copy, known as a transcript of each entry was sent to the Custom House in London or Edinburgh becoming the first national register of ships.
Today the UK Ship Register is governed by the Merchant Shipping Act of 1995 that can trace its origins back to the original 1786 act.
UK Ports of Registry
The UK register is administered by a central Registry of Shipping and Seamen located in Cardiff, Wales.
The registry oversees registration of vessels at all 116 mainland UK ports of registry.
London is the most popular UK port of registry but an owner of a yacht intending to register with the UK Ship Register can choose any one of the 116 UK ports of registry listed in the following table:
|Berwick on Tweed||Fowey||Maldon||South Shields|
|Campbelltown||Hartlepool West||North Shields||Weymouth|
The Flag (‘Ensign’)
Owners of UK registered yachts are able to fly the prestigious red ensign that is recognised and held in high regard throughout the world.
The Certificate of British Registry
Upon completion of registration formalities a UK registered yacht is issued with a Certificate of British Registry. The Certificate of British Registry is valid for five years from the date of issue.
Eligibility – Yachts
The UK Ship Register will accept private pleasure yachts and commercial yachts of any size that are based and operated anywhere in the world.
Eligibility – Owners
The UK Ship Register is an international register meaning that the register is not just restricted to UK companies or UK citizens
The following are qualified to be the owners of yachts to be registered on Part I of the UK Ship Register:
(a) British citizens or persons who are nationals of a member State other than the United Kingdom and are established (within the meaning of Article 52 of the EEC Treaty) in the United Kingdom;
(b) British Dependent Territories citizens;
(c) British Overseas citizens;
(d) persons who under the British Nationality Act 1981(1) are British subjects:
(e) persons who under the Hong kong (British Nationality) Order 1986(2) are British Nationals (Overseas);
(ea) Commonwealth citizens;(eb)citizens of a country listed in Schedule 6;
(ec) non-United Kingdom nationals who are settled in the United Kingdom;
(ed) bodies corporate incorporated in a Commonwealth state;
(ee) bodies corporate incorporated in a country listed in Schedule 6
(f) bodies corporate incorporated in a member State;
(g) bodies corporate incorporated in any relevant British possession; and
(h) European Economic Interest Groupings being groupings formed in pursuance of Article 1 of Council Regulation (EEC) No.2137/85(3) and registered in the United Kingdom.
A person who is not qualified under paragraph (1) to be the owner of a British ship may nevertheless be one of the owners of such a ship if:
(a) a majority interest in the ship (within the meaning of regulation 8) is owned by persons who are qualified to be the owners of British ships, and
(b) the ship is registered on Part I of the Register.
In summary all British citizens and companies may register a yacht in the UK in their own name as well as citizens and companies from countries listed in the following table:
British Overseas Territories
|Austria||Antigua & Barbuda||Anguilla|
|Bulgaria||The Bahamas||British Antarctic Territory|
|Croatia||Bangladesh||British Indian Ocean Territory|
|Cyprus||Barbados||British Virgin Islands|
|Czech Republic||Belize||Cayman Islands|
|Germany||Cyprus||St Helena, Ascension and Tristan Da Cunha|
|Hungary||Eswatini||South Sandwich Islands|
|Ireland||Fiji||Sovereign base areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia|
|Italy||The Gambia||Turks and Caicos Islands|
|Norway||Papua New Guinea||Panama|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||Switzerland|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||United Arab Emirates|
|Samoa||United States of America|
|Trinidad and Tobago|
Summary of Features & Benefits of UK Yacht Registration
UK Yacht Registration By Oceanskies
Oceanskies is based in the Channel Islands and provides a fixed fee yacht registration service to all yacht owners wishing to take advantage of the benefits of UK registration for their yacht.
The registration service results in Oceanskies taking responsibility for the entire registration process on behalf of the owner.
Our fees include all registry fees and disbursements providing the internationally recognised UK Certificate of British Registry valid for five years and a lifetime radio licence allocating the vessel’s call sign and MMSI number.
Crew Employment & Payroll for UK Registered Yachts
Through Oceanskies Crew Limited we are able to provide crew payroll outsourcing services from the Channel Islands for crew working onboard UK registered vessels.
This service is a very popular ‘bolt on’ service for our clients as it simplifies the employment of the crew of their UK registered yacht.
The yacht owner engages Oceanskies Crew Limited to employ and pay the crew of their vessel through a crew services agreement. As employers, Oceanskies Crew Limited issues the crew with contracts in line with the Marine Labour Convention guidelines, pays them, issues payslips, sea service testimonials etc.
For further information please refer to the crew employment and payroll section of our website at the following link:
Other UK Yacht Registration Services by Oceanskies
Oceanskies are able to provide a range of stand alone fixed fee additional registration services including:
Please do not hesitate to contact is for a fixed price quotation for any of these services.
Here is a batch of Tonnage Plates for yachts we are registering with @RedEnsignGroup under British flag here @oceanskiesltd HQ awaiting courier despatch. These plastic strips are an important part of the yacht registration process #yachtregistration #yachtregistry pic.twitter.com/5xGR7f0Xo3
A beautiful start to the day again here @Oceanskies in St. Peter Port Guernsey were we are pleased to welcome the latest @sunseeker_int Sunseeker 50 Predator #Guernsey @guernseyharbours @locateguernsey @vistguernsey #PositiveVibes pic.twitter.com/rajLtbGriM
On this sunny Monday we are pleased to welcome this beautiful @Sunseeker_Intl 76 Yacht to @gsyharbours which is undergoing @RedEnsignGroup registration with Oceanskies - Anyone would think its Summer! #yachtregistration #yachtlife #Guernsey @LocateGuernsey #PositiveVibes pic.twitter.com/gy0sguWV5S
Today we have been Northern France visiting an incredibly busy @Lagooncats factory near La Roche sur Yon for the tonnage survey of a newbuild Lagoon 46 sailing catamaran undergoing @RedEnsignGroup registration by Oceanskies #lagooncatamaran #yachtregistration #tonnagesurvey pic.twitter.com/rwmKAuzOvX
Today Duncan has been in a sunny and warm Monaco for the tonnage survey of an @PrincessYachts Princess 82 undergoing red ensign registration by Oceanskies - we are a leading yacht registration agency working with the world’s best yacht registries #yachtregistration #tonnagesurvepic.twitter.com/PUl9Sy4L9a9a