The Gibraltar Ship Registry (GSR)


Registration Types


The 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 Registration

3)      Registration Under Construction


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


In addition, there are facilities to ‘Bareboat Out’ vessels that are fully registered to other Ship Registers.


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 



Ownership and Appointments


The Gibraltar registry offers an extensive range of ownership structures. These include:


1.       Individual;

2.       Joint-owners;

3.       Companies;

Gibraltar has a wide ownership eligibility criteria accepting individuals and companies from around the globe.


For further information on accepted nationalities for qualifying persons please contact our Registry staff.





Acceptance and Recognition


A shipowner or manager wanting to register a vessel in Gibraltar should initially contact the GMA to discuss registration and survey requirements.


Prior to accepting vessels onto its register, an assessment to ensure vessels proposed for registration meet the Administration’s required standards of quality and suitability.The assessment will provide an indication whether a vessel is eligible for registration and if any pre-registration conditions may be required.


The GMA delegates most of its statutory surveys and certification functions to approved Recognised Organisations (classification societies) under formal agreement. Gibraltar has designated the following Classification Societies as Recognised Organisations:


American Bureau of Shipping (ABS); Bureau Veritas (BV); Det Norske Veritas AS (DNV AS); Lloyds Register (LR); Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (Class NK) Registro Italiano Navale (RINA)


The GMA retains direct responsibility for the assessment and audit/inspection of Gibraltar shipping companies and ships against the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code, Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), Large Yacht Code and Passenger ship surveys.


Using its team of highly experienced and trained exclusive surveyors, the GMA undertakes all ISM, ISPS, MLC, LYC and passenger ship compliance related visits (Note: ISM, ISPS and MLC interim verifications are generally delegated to Class during change of flag of surveys). 


The GMA will normally undertake reviews of the ISM Safety Management System (SMS) and ISPS Ship Security Plan (SSP). This function may be undertaken by our Recognised Organisations in cases where ISM and ISPS initial verifications have been delegated.


The GMA does not require annual flag state inspections to be undertaken on its registered fleet. Ship visits for audits and inspections are harmonised where possible.


The use of GMA exclusive flag state surveyors, allows us to:


Develop a thorough understanding of it registered fleet and management Company’s;

Develop and maintain strong relationships with our valued Clients;

Provide an unrivalled level of support to our clients;

Assist our clients to ensure the quality of their fleet is maintained.


Our team of flag state surveyors are also qualified and experienced Port State Control Officers and are available to provide guidance in matters relating to PSC interventions and inspections.


For more information please contact our survey team.




Accident Reporting


The Gibraltar Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2012 require masters of Gibraltar registered vessels to report accidents to the Maritime Accident Investigation Compliance Officer (MAICO) and the Gibraltar Maritime Administration (GMA) as soon as practicable by the quickest means available.


The GMA have published a Shipping Guidance Notice, which contains information on the reporting requirements including what accidents and incidents need to be reported.



Office of the Maritime Accident Investigation Compliance Officer (MAICO)


The MAICO is an independent statutory post appointed by the Minister under Regulation 5 (2) of the Gibraltar Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2012.


MAICO is responsible for the investigation of all marine casualties and marine incidents on board Gibraltar registered ships and within British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW). 


The MAICO’s sole objective in investigation an accident under the Gibraltar Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2012 is the prevention of future accidents by establishing its causes and circumstances: its purpose is not to apportion liability, nor except so far as is necessary to achieve the objective, to apportion blame. The MAICO is not enforcement or prosecuting body.



Safety Investigations


Upon receipt of an accident report, the Office of the MAICO will undertake an evaluation to determine on what further action is necessary and whether a marine safety investigation will be conducted.


Not all accidents will require a safety investigation to be undertaken by the MAICO, however, a maritime safety investigations will be conducted into every “very serious marine casualty”. A “very serious marine casualty” is defined as an accident involving the total loss of the ship or a death or severe damage to the environment.


Safety investigations undertaken by the MAICO under the applicable regulations will result in a published report. The GMA will post the aforementioned accident reports on its website.


In addition to the aforementioned accidents reports, the Maritime Administrator may publish any reports published by the MAICO in relation to lessons learned.


Related files

Full Registration

Bareboat Registration

Registration Under Construction

Shipping Guidance Notices (SGNs)

Shipping Information Notices (SINs)

Local Maritime Directions (LMDs)