Ship Registration

Yacht Registration in BVI

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a dependent territory of the United Kingdom, located in the northeast of the Caribbean Sea, consists of 36 small islands with a total area of 153 square kilometers. The population is about 35 thousand people. The official language is English, the currency is the US dollar. The British Virgin Islands is a member of the prestigious Red Ensign group of British flags. A yacht flying the BVI flag can benefit from consular support from the United Kingdom, as well as the protection of the Royal Navy. To register a yacht, it is necessary to do a survey inspection. The physical presence of the boat in the BVI is not required, the whole registration process can be done remotely.

Not all nationalities can register the flag in the British Virgin Islands.

Private Yachts up to 24 Meters (incl.MMSI)
Survey Inspection
$ 2000
For 1 Year
More Info
National Flag
Private Yachts Over 24 Meters (incl.MMSI)
Survey Inspection
$ 2200
For 1 Year
More Info
National Flag

The yacht registration process is divided into several steps below:

1 Step: Question Form

Registration starts with a questionnaire that we ask to fill out in order to understand the possibility of registration of the BVI flag. In this form it is necessary to tell what is your passport, what is your yacht, how old is it, where it is located or whether it was registered before, etc. We will help you fill out the questionnaire.

If we see that it would be a problem to register in BVI, we’ll suggest you other decent alternatives. If we see no difficulties, we can move on.

2 Step: Survey Inspection

To register a boat in the BVI, it is necessary to pass a survey inspection in one of these Classification Societies:

- American Bureau of Shipping (ABS);
- Bureau of Veritas (BV);
- Det Norske Veritas / Germanischer Lloyds (DNVGL);
- Lloyds Register of Shipping (LR);
- ClassNK (NK);
- Registro Italiano Navale (RINA).

You’ll need to obtain a Certificate of Survey and a Tonnage Certificate.

A simplified procedure is applicable to yachts of up to 24 meters, as a result you receive a combined Certificate of Survey/Tonnage Measurement.

Contact us, we will help you find a surveyor.

3 Step: Documents Required from You

1. Copy of the passport (page with photo) or ID card of the yacht owner*.

* In case of a corporate owner – the copies of all corporate documents of the company (certificate of incorporation, M&AoA, appointment of the director, share certificates, etc.), including a copy of the director's and shareholder’s passport or ID card. If the documents are more than 6 months, an up-dated extract from the Register is required.

2. Proof of Address of the yacht owner. For example, Utility Bill for electricity, water or gas, which contains full name and the address of the owner of a yacht.

3. A completed Application for boat registration, where it is necessary to provide full data about the boat, its technical characteristics, where it is located, owner's data: full name, address, nationality, phone, e-mail; as well as to select the home port and to suggest 4 names of the boat. We will help you prepare this form.

4. Documents confirming the ownership of the yacht, such as Bill of Sale, Sales Agreement, Invoice, for new boats – the Builders Certificate.

5. Yacht Documents: CE Certificate of the yacht, Certificate of Construction.

6. Deletion Certificate issued by previous yacht register, if the boat was registered earlier.

7. Certificate of Survey / Tonnage Measurement – see “2 Step: Survey Inspection” above.

8. Appointment of a local representative in BVI. To register a yacht in BVI, a local resident agent is required; usually this is a local lawyer. We work with such agent. To appoint him, you’ll have to prepare and sign a form: Appointment of Representative Person. We will help you to prepare this document.

The appointment of a local agent is still mandatory, even when the owner of the yacht is a company registered in BVI, since the offshore company does not have the right to operate on the territory of the BVI.

9. Declaration of Eligibility with information about:
- boat data, its length, usage type (private or merchant), its identification number (if any);
- full information about every owner of the boat, in case if the yacht is owned by several owners;
- name and address of the Representative Person / Managing Owner, or the name of the company and its registered address in case of a legal entity.

All yacht owners confirm that the majority interest belongs to the person qualified for BVI registration (see the list of nationalities who can register the BVI flag for their yacht), and sign the Declaration. We will help you prepare it.

10. Photos of the yacht:
- bow, stern, left or right side of the boat, its name,
- Photo of Hull Identification Number (HIN),
- Photo of the Engine Serial No.

11. Confirmation of payment of government registration fees.

If the documents are not in English, a notarized translation is required.

During the registration process, the yacht registry can request more documents about your boat. Any requested technical details should be provided.

After submitting all documents to the boat register, you get a provisional registration within 48 hours for a period of 3 months.

4 Step: Marking of the Vessel

Within 2 weeks after receiving the provisional registration, the yacht registry sends you the Carving and Marking Note. It is necessary to duly apply the name of the boat, the port of registry, registration number, tonnage and so forth, on the hull of the yacht. According to the requirements of the ship register, the lettering should be in certain parts, of a special size and color. Then the surveyor signs the Carving and Marking Note and submits it to the ship register, after which you receive a permanent registration for a period of 1 year. Later on, permanent registration can be renewed for 1, 3 or 5 years in advance.

5 Step: Radio License (MMSI, Call Sign)

When the permanent registration is completed, you can start to obtain a radio license. To do this, you should fill out an application where it is necessary to list all radio devices on your yacht, and to show your license or certificate of the radio operator. You should also provide copies of the technical documentation for all radio devices, if required.

Start registration

Yacht Ownership within the BVI Company

Registering a boat with a BVI company is one of the most popular options. However, now the requirements are much higher than before: a BVI company must maintain and submit accounting statements, it is obliged to provide world of documents and fill out a lot of forms upon a renewal, plus taxes must be paid in full. Today it is impossible to create an opaque entity, this means that the final beneficiary is known. If you are ready for this, we can incorporate a company in the BVI and register a yacht with it.

To register a company, you’ll need as follows:

1. A notarized and apostilled copy of the boat owner's passport (page with photo) or his ID card.

2. Proof of Address, such as Utility Bill for electricity, water or gas, which contains full name and the address of the owner of a yacht.

3. Bank Reference or a Recommendation Letter from a law firm addressed to the registration agent.

If the documents are not in English, a notarized translation is required. We will explain how to make duly notarized translation.

The cost of company formation in BVI – 3000 USD.

The cost of annual renewal of the BVI company – 2500 USD + accounting statements + taxes (if will be charged in BVI).

If the yacht is registered with the company, it is required to fill out some more forms:

1. Appointment of Authorised Officer for a Body Corporate – the person, who is responsible for signing documents on behalf of the company related to the registration of the vessel;

2. Undertaking to Act as Representative Person – who is responsible for Due Diligence of the Beneficial Owner and for compliance with all directives that may be prescribed from time to time by the register.

We will help you with these forms.

Please Note! Registration of a company in BVI is possible in strict compliance with the tax laws of your country. The tax authorities of your country should be aware of the presence of the BVI company and its assets, including the yacht.

More Information


Registration of yachts in the BVI goes on in the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry; a radio license (MMSI, call sign) is issued by Telecommunications Regulatory Commission.

There are 3 ports of registry in the British Virgin Islands: Road Harbor, Gorda Sound and White Bay.

All types of vessels, from pleasure yachts to passenger cruise liners and tankers, can be registered under the BVI flag. There are no restrictions on the size, tonnage or length of the boat. Registration of such vessels demands an individual attention. The bigger the boat, the more inquiries. Contact us, we will start reviewing your case right away.

The British Virgin Islands is the largest offshore center, 41% of offshore companies in the worldwide are incorporated in the BVI. In total, more than 1 million companies were registered here. Besides the fact that the BVI is the most successful offshore zone, the jurisdiction is actively used for yacht registration.

International banks, brokers, insurance companies, global pawnshops – all financial world knows the documents of BVI offshore companies perfectly well. Thus, one of the popular options is to own a yacht through a BVI company.

A yacht registered with the BVI company is a quite marketable asset – it can be easily insured, sold, inherited, you can get a loan secured by a yacht or get a mortgage, etc.

We are happy to help you fill out all the forms for yacht registration, prepare the necessary documents, pay government fees and, if necessary, send by courier a BVI national flag for your boat.

Any vessel registered on the BVI is a "British ship" with the right to carry the Red Ensign.

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Interesting Facts

In addition to the British Virgin Islands, there are also the American Virgin Islands and the Spanish Virgin Islands.

The British Virgin Islands were originally settled by Arawak Indians, until they were conquered by the warlike Carib Indians. The Caribs were cannibals, they ate all the Arawaks. After the discovery of the Virgin Islands by Christopher Columbus, the Dutch, French, Spaniards and British lived there. Nowadays the descendants of enslaved people from Africa live in the Virgin Islands, who were forcibly transported by the British to work on sugarcane plantations.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the French launched a well-heeled business in the BVI. They bred pigs and sold smoked pork to ships that plied between Europe and America. Ships entered the BVI and bought smoked meat for their sailors. Thanks to the rapid development of America, business flourished, the number of vessels that bought pork raised with each day. The Spaniards noticed this and decided to seize the smoking business, so they occupied the islands with all smokehouses and kicked the French out. However, the French did not return home to Europe – they wanted revenge. The French began to espied the Spanish ships and robbed them. The Spaniards nicknamed them buccaneers, from the French word "boucanier", which means "smokehouse". This word spread swiftly throughout the Caribbean, so at that time all pirates of the Caribbean were called boucaniers.

In the 19th century, sugar beet began to be actively cultivated in Europe and plantations on the Virgin Islands became unprofitable. The white men said to enslaved people, "Be free now! Do whatever you want!" and went back to their home in Europe, leaving them at the mercy of fate. The former slaves had to get out alone, they started fishing, farming, and later on their descendants created the coolest offshore zone in the world, where we now register yachts 😁

Summary of BVI Flag

The Prestigious Flag of the Red Ensign Group
A Favorable Base for Yachtsmen in the Caribbean
Registration of All Types
of Yachts is Possible
Low Registration Costs
The BVI Requirements are Well Known to Shipyards and Surveyors
The Largest Offshore Zone
All Documents are
in English
Easy Registration Process
The Yacht is Protected by His Majesty's Navy
It is Possible to Register a Boat with an Offshore Company
Remote Registration
Valid in All Countries
Start registration
Antigua and Barbuda
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
Czech Republic

Falkland Islands
French Polynesia

Isle of Man


New Caledonia

Saint Barthélemy
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
St. Eustatius
St. Helena, Ascension and
Tristan da Cunha
St. Maarten
St. Pierre et Miquelon
St. Vincent and the
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands

United Kingdom

Wallis et Futuna Islands
Yacht Registration up to 24 Meters
Government Registration Fee
Radio License MMSI
Our Service Fee
$ 2000
BVI Flag to be Put on Yacht
$ 100
Courier Delivery of National Flag
$ 100
Renewal – Once a Year
Annual Government Fee
It is possible to renew for 1, 3 or 5 years at once in advance
$ 100
Our Service Fee (optional)
$ 100
Yacht Registration Over 24 Meters
Government Registration Fee
Radio License MMSI
Our Service Fee
$ 2200
BVI Flag to be Put on Yacht
$ 100
Courier Delivery of National Flag
$ 100
Renewal – Once a Year
Annual Government Fee
It is possible to renew for 1, 3 or 5 years at once in advance
$ 300
Our Service Fee (optional)
$ 100