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REGISTRATION


at the Isle of Man Ship Registry. Owners should also consider whether the yacht can comply with the flag state’s yacht code as some requirements will relate to the build characteristics of the yacht. Fees and taxes also come into the mix. Explains Mitchell,”Cheaper is not always better but what is important is clarity so that you know what you are paying and when. Some registries will have hidden additional fees for issuing all sorts of documents and services that are not apparent when flagging in.”


Commercial yachts used for charter must be certificated to the REG Yacht Code along the lines of merchant shipping convention rules. Private yachts don’t need to meet these standards. But many private yacht owners choose to voluntarily meet the Large Yacht Code to ensure that their family are going to sea on as safe a vessel as can be provided. Says Marshall, “At MCA LYS we do not differentiate between commercial yachts and voluntary compliance yachts – all are provided with the same high level of service and contact.”


Mitchell at IOM adds, “You may also find that crew prefer to work on a yacht that offers the protection of MLC. One must also bear in mind that private yachts are not exempt from all regulations. Depending on the tonnage of the vessel in question, you still have to consider compliance with MARPOL, minimum safe manning and COLREGs for instance.”


Matheson from Maritime Cook Islands explains that “Owners who wish to charter their yachts need to comply with commercial safety, crewing and operating standards including MLC. Private yachts have less mandatory requirements, but we implement the highest possible safety standards for both private and commercial.”


PICK ME


And another thing… flag state yacht registries aren’t sweet shops: You can’t just go and pick the one you fancy; they need to want you too. At MCA, for example, eligibility has expanded in the past few years and companies registered in 120 countries are now able to register UK ships. The IOM list of qualifying countries includes all EU/EEA countries and major yachting territories. Says Mitchell at IOM, “It should be noted that nationality restrictions apply only to the registered owner of the yacht. So if the registered owner is a body corporate, the Beneficial Ownership of the body corporate is not restricted by nationality.”


CONVENIENTLY OFFSHORE? When selecting a flag state owners often choose the option of least initial impact such as open flags with technical flag duties delegated to commercial organisations. Initial flag costs may be low but overall costs are usually comparable with the UK MCA. For example, says Marshall, “A Flag state can offer so much more as a partner to an owner and captain to ensure the best possible cruising experience.”


COMMONWEALTH OF DOMINICA Commonwealth of Dominica is proud to offer yacht owners commercial and private, the opportunity to join an international yacht registry. No tonnage tax and no size restrictions are some of the privileges. The length of registration periods can be customised and special registration offers exist for three or five years registrations. Registering a vessel under the Commonwealth of Dominica is efficient, straightforward and cost effective. The Dominica Consulate in Athens, established since 2010, provides guidance and assistance to the local and the international yacht community with regards to vessel registration, mortgage recordation, forming Dominica business entities and the renowned Dominica Citizenship by Investment Program. For more details Tel: +30 6932 488888 or visit www.dominicaconsulategreece.com


ONBOARD | AUTUMN 2021 | 187


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