SHIPS REGISTRATION

Gibraltar Ship Registry offers a wide range of services including the registration of legal mortgages that provides security for mortgagees. Through inspection of the registers, any interested parties can ascertain whether a vessel is free from encumbrances or it has any registered liens.

The Gibraltar Ship Registry currently offers three types of registration:

1) Full Registration;

2) Bareboat/Demise Registration;

3) Registration Under Construction

(Full Registrations are valid for five years, Bareboat Registrations for up to two years and are all renewable).

As a jurisdiction, Gibraltar is served by skilled and experienced firms who in their capacity as local representatives, can assist with all aspects of ship registration, ship finance (including drafting and registration of loan and security documentation) and collection and dispatch of registry related documentation. In addition, the local representatives can assist with incorporation of shipping and crewing companies in Gibraltar as well as advising how to structure these to the benefit of their clients.

 

TYPES OF REGISTRATION

  1. Full Registration

The complete registration of a vessel and the issuance of a Certificate of Registry occur upon the submission of all Registration Forms, required Supporting Documentation, and the payment of applicable Fees.

 

  1. Bareboat/Demise Registration

Gibraltar provides options for both Bareboat/Demise (Out) and Bareboat/Demise (In) vessel registrations.

A bareboat charterer has the ability to register a ship under an Administration that facilitates commercial operations more effectively, different from the flag under which it was originally registered. Matters concerning title, mortgage, and other proprietary interests remain subject to the law of the original registry (bareboat/demise-out flag).

However, for operational purposes, the ship's nationality aligns with the flag under which the charterer registers it (bareboat-in flag). Preferential financing and other conditions may be accessible on the initial register.

Bareboat/Demise charter registration in Gibraltar typically extends for a fixed period of up to 2 years.

 

  1. Registration under construction:

A vessel undergoing construction, along with any associated mortgages for said vessel, becomes eligible for registration as soon as its keel is laid. The registration process parallels that of full registration, with the exception that instead of a Builder’s Certificate, evidence of ongoing construction (such as a Construction Contract and Shipyard Letter) must be provided. Gibraltar will then issue a Certificate of British Registry for a Ship Under Construction. Notably, there is no requirement for a registration survey at this stage.

The key benefits of registering a vessel under construction include:

  1. Allocating a title to the registered owner of the vessel in construction, ensuring its distinct status from the general assets of the shipyard. The extent of this separation depends on the contractual language between the registered owner and the shipyard. This distinction can prove advantageous, especially in scenarios involving bankruptcy.
  2. A registered mortgage on a vessel under construction enjoys the same priority as a recorded mortgage in full registration. This priority status persists until the mortgage is discharged, even if the construction registration ceases to be in effect.