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United Kingdom (UK) Yacht Registration

Introduction

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

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).

History

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:

Aberdeen Dartmouth Kirkcaldy Port Talbot
Aberystwyth Dover Kirkwall Portsmouth
Alloa Dumfries Lancaster Preston
Arbroath Dundee Leith Ramsgate
Ardrossan Exeter Lerwick Rochester
Ayr Falmouth Littlehampton Runcorn
Banff Faversham Liverpool Rye
Barnstaple Felixstowe Llanelli Salcombe
Barrow Fishguard London Scarborough
Beaumaris Fleetwood Londonderry Scilly
Belfast Folkestone Lowestoft Shoreham
Berwick on Tweed Fowey Maldon South Shields
Bideford Fraserburgh Manchester Southampton
Blyth Glasgow Maryport St Ives
Borrowstoness Gloucester Methil Stockton
Boston Goole Middlesbrough Stornoway
Bridgewater Grangemouth Milford Haven Stranraer
Bristol Granton Montrose Sunderland
Brixham Great Yarmouth Newcastle Swansea
Buckie Greenock Newhaven Teignmouth
Burntisland Grimsby Newport Troon
Caernarfon Hartlepool Newry Truro
Campbelltown Hartlepool West North Shields Weymouth
Cardiff Harwich Padstow Whitby
Cardigan Hull Penzance Whitehaven
Chester Inverness Peterhead Wick
Colcester Ipswich Plymouth Wigtown
Coleraine Irvine Poole Wisbech
Cowes Kings Lynn Portland Workington

 

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.

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:

European Union

Commonwealth

British Overseas Territories

Austria Antigua & Barbuda Anguilla
Belgium Australia Bermuda
Bulgaria The Bahamas British Antarctic Territory
Croatia Bangladesh British Indian Ocean Territory
Cyprus Barbados British Virgin Islands
Czech Republic Belize Cayman Islands
Denmark Botswana Falkland Islands
Estonia Brunei Gibraltar
Finland Cameroon Montserrat
France Canada Pitcairn Islands
Germany Cyprus St Helena, Ascension and Tristan Da Cunha
Greece Dominica South Georgia
Hungary Eswatini South Sandwich Islands
Ireland Fiji Sovereign base areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia
Italy The Gambia Turks and Caicos Islands
Latvia Ghana  
Lithuania Grenada

Other Countries

Luxembourg Guyana  
Malta India Argentina
Poland Jamaica Aruba
Portugal Kenya Bahrain
Romania Kiribati Brazil
Slovakia Lesotho Canary Islands
Slovenia Malawi China
Spain Malaysia Faroe Islands
Sweden Mauritius Haiti
The Netherlands Mozambique Israel
  Namibia Japan

EEA

Nauru Liberia
  New Zealand Madeira
Iceland Nigeria Marshall Islands
Liechenstein Pakistan Monaco
Norway Papua New Guinea Panama
  Rwanda South Korea
  Saint Kitts and Nevis Switzerland
  Saint Lucia Suriname
  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines United Arab Emirates
  Samoa United States of America
  Seychelles  
  Sierra Leone  
  Singapore  
  Solomon Islands  
  South Africa  
  Sri Lanka  
  Tanzania  
  Tonga  
  Trinidad and Tobago  
  Tuvalu  
  Uganda  
  Vanuatu  
  Zambia  

 

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.

 

Relevant Guides

Cayman Islands Yacht Registration
Guernsey Yacht Registration
Isle of Man Yacht Registration
Jersey Yacht Registration
Malta Yacht Registration
United Kingdom (UK) Yacht Registration
Polish Yacht Registration
Swiss Yacht Registration

Who to Contact

Clarice
Duncan
Ryan

Oceanskies on Twitter

@oceanskiesltd

07 January 2021 at 14:37

Very pleased to kick off the 2021 with our first favourable weather window of the year today enabling the visits of three motor yachts to Guernsey all handled by Oceanskies including two by @princessyachts #yachtregistration #yachtagents #crewpayroll #Guernsey @gsyharbpic.twitter.com/vcaNjDsVn6DsVn6

@oceanskiesltd

06 January 2021 at 08:18

To answer some of the most frequently asked questions we have published the following guide: oceanskies.com/yachts/yacht-g… From 01/01/2021 through to 01/03/21 we’re offering a 10% discount on our UK flag yacht registration - see:oceanskies.com/yachts/yacht-g…DP #brexit #yachtregistratipic.twitter.com/ybUqiMST0ET0E

@oceanskiesltd

31 December 2020 at 13:31

On behalf the Oceanskies team we want to wish all of our clients & colleagues in the marine & aviation industries a Happy New Year! Thank you to all who supported us in 2020 and we look forward to being of service in 2021! #yachtregistration #crewpayroll #aircraftregistration pic.twitter.com/kc1nDSTcg1

@oceanskiesltd

25 November 2020 at 10:29

Great to see our offices at Boatworks+ in the heart of St. Peter Port harbour on the cover of this new guide issued by @GuernseyFinance promoting the Guernsey Marine Industry #yachtregistration #crewpayroll #yachtagents #Guernsey @gsyharboursweareguernsey.com/media/8668/mar…Spic.twitter.com/LjsPipAW6GPipAW6G

@oceanskiesltd

18 November 2020 at 15:57

The latest video uploaded to our YouTube channel is a guide to the Carving & Marking of Yachts - an important final step of the yacht registration process for the @RedEnsignGroup British flag registries and certain other registries - see the video here: youtu.be/5K4w0nh21uY

@oceanskiesltd

12 November 2020 at 12:00

Oceanskies were very pleased to attend today’s virtual opening of new @MCA_media UK Ship Register office in Greece – representing a timely move for what is officially the world’s No. 1 ship registry (according to current Paris MoU) #yachting @RedEnsignpic.twitter.com/qk6tQ8t86wQ8t86w