Yacht Registration Services 2023-06-26T20:44:49+00:00

Yacht Registration Services



Without doubt in recent years there has been a great transfer of merchant navy registration from traditional areas like Britain, Norway and Greece to offshore shipping jurisdictions such as Panama, Liberia, the Isle of Man, Cyprus and the British West Indies. Correctly advised an individual can also benefit from such tax free/low tax environments. Apart from the lower registration tees it may also be possible to rent or charter a vessel without any significant, or even any tax repercussions. Such benefits, together with the abilities to maintain a respectable flag — if a vessel is registered in the Channel Islands or a British Colony it is fully entitled to fly the ‘Red’ Ensign as if it was a native British vessel — have meant that few private yachts of any size are today registered in their home territory. In addition, for those using vessels in EU waters, if may also be possible to purchase a yacht through the Isle of Man with a local tax exempt company and then reclaim back any VAT paid by registering for VAT on the Island.


Jurisdiction The British Virgin Islands Guernsey Jersey Isle of Man
Cost Effectiveness
Star Rating
10/10 7/10 7/10 8/10
Red Ensign Area Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ownership can be with a local or British Company Yes Yes Yes Yes
Is there British Consular & Naval Protection? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tonnage Surcharge? No No No No
Within the EU VAT Registration Area? No No No No
Star Rating
10/10 7/10 7/10 9/10


Pre-Name Clearance Information required

  • The name, if applicable, of the Registry where the vessel is currently registered;
  • The name, if applicable, under which the vessel is currently registered;
  • Nationality, if applicable, of the current registry;
  • Current physical location/port of residence;
  • Tonnage (gross or net);
  • Propulsion Method – Sail or Motorized;
  • Intended use of vessel – Pleasure – Charter – Fishing/Commercial;
  • Intended/actual date of sale

Post-Name Clearance Information required

  • Builder’s Certificate and/or a Notarized Bill of Sale;
  • A Notarized Bill of Sale from the current owner to the designated/selected Offshore Company – The future legal owner of the vessel;
  • A completed “Declaration of Eligibility” or equivalent declaration of ownership by the designated corporate body prepared by SCF;
  • The supply of the Original Measurement & Survey Certificate supplied by one of the recognized classification societies or the Yacht Brokers, Designers and Surveyors Association (YBDSA);

Inspection Process

The vessels Carving & Marking Note will be issued upon the receipt of the Original Measurement & Survey Certificate supplied by the Register of Shipping. After this the vessel must be inspected, save for Panama and the Bahamas, by:

  • A Nautical Surveyor;
  • A Department of Trade Official;
  • A UK Customs Officer;
  • British Consular Official

Once inspected, the Original Measurement & Survey Certificate will be signed by the appropriate official ready for lodgment with the Registrar of Shipping or its equivalent by the SCF authorized attorney-in-fact – The only other documents likely to be required would be the Original Bill of Sale, Transcript from the current Port of Registry plus the SCF Power of Attorney.

If you would like further information on Yacht and Motor Boat registration, please contact an SCF Consultant.


(Strictly Confidential No Obligation)

    SCF Legal & Corporate Management Services Limited

    Address: 250 Kings Road, Chelsea, London SW3 5UE

    Telephone: 020 7731 2020   Email: enquiries@scfgroup.com

    Registration number: 05462416



    The SCF International  specializes in providing accountancy and management services for UK and Irish limited companies, UK & Irish company management services including the provision of (where necessary) domestic directors, domestic company secretaries, registered office address services, trading offices, value added tax (VAT) registration and management, payroll (Pay as You Earn PAYE), opening up and managing UK or Irish bank account facilities, raising  invoices and any and/or all other services required to establish a bone fide managed and controlled UK or Irish limited liability company.

    Our in-house team of legally and accountancy qualified experts can also provide advice on current UK & Irish tax laws/provisions including anti-avoidance provisions, EU directives and regulations, the impact of BREXIT for both UK and EU based businesses and other relevant. In addition, where required the SCF Group can also set-up and arrange the management of companies in tax efficient EU based jurisdictions such as Cyprus, Luxembourg or Malta or indeed any jurisdiction in the world including those in the Middle and Far East.

    Property de-enveloping services – In conjunction with leading UK firms of solicitors SCF can help transfer companies currently held by what were known as ‘offshore’ companies into either more tax efficient UK companies or directly back into the names of individual beneficial owners’ often without attracting stamp duty land tax (SDLT) but still avoiding the advance tax on enveloped dwellings (ATED).

    Our fiscal migration and tax planning department is operated by qualified lawyers and accountants and can advise both domiciled and non-domiciled individuals on how to mitigate their individual and corporate tax exposure be it in the UK or abroad. Our legal & business department can provide specialized advice on all domestic and international tax planning issues but also upon ‘key’ issues such as asset protection be it in the form of trusts and private interest foundations (PIF’s). In particular, SCF can provide advice to those intending to relocate to the UK on how to do so in the most tax efficient way.