Among all the flags you could choose for to register your yacht, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) red ensign is the preferred option for most yachtsmen. Not only the BVI yacht ensign provides the advantages of a tax efficient and stable jurisdiction, as being part of the Red Ensign group which comprises most of the Royal Commonwealth Countries and Dominions, it is a recognized flag worldwide which enable flexible management and use of your yacht, either for your own private use, chartering or professional operations. Registering under BVI flag enables the yacht owner, agents and operators to enjoy the favorable tax laws of the British Virgin Islands.
Our team could assist not only with the registration of your yacht under the BVI red ensign, but also obtain the radio call signs and related services as well set up for you any holding company in this jurisdiction if required.
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The British Virgin Islands (BVI) possesses a modern yacht registry system, which offers a fast, secure and worldwide accepted registering of boats. The registry allows for registration and discharge of mortgages, change of ownership, transfer of ownership and other similar services.
In addition to the private yacht registry, the BVI Shipping registry began offering Category 1 registrations in 2007, which includes large cargo vessels of unlimited tonnage and megayacht grossing below 3000 tons and are now able to register ships of unlimited tonnage and type.
BVI registration is also permitted for yachts commercially chartering in the Mediterranean, Europe, Atlantic & Pacific oceans as well the West Indies. Please note that while the BVI red ensign is part of the Red Ensign Group, the BVI Register is legally independent from the UK Register.
BVI Yacht registration advantages
- NO CORPORATE TAXES, making the BVI an interesting place to own a boat as a vehicle towards tax efficiency;
- There is no sales tax in the BVI when purchasing anything;
- Your ship will sail as a member of the Red Ensign Group. Your ship will be entitled to British Diplomatic and Consular support, including Royal Navy Protection. Also, the BVI provides access to the expertise of the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency;
- BVI tax exempts based on BVI’s positive reputation of leading offshore financial centre;
- Low Registration and Maintenance fees;
- Yacht registration and Certificates recognized worldwide;
- BVI has stable government and working British Judicial System;
- BVI is the yachting centre of the Caribbean...
What kind of vessels can be registered in the BVI?
- General cargo ships of unlimited tonnage;
- Yachts of up to 3000 gross tons; and
- Vessels previously covered under Category 2.
- Recreational craft and yachts of up to 400 gross tons (about 45m in length);
- Cargo and commercial craft of up to 150 gross tons (roughly 24m in length); and
- Domestic passenger ships on domestic voyages.
By tradition, ownership in a British Virgin Island' Ship is divided into 64 shares. Majority share of the boat (at least 33 of the 64 shares) must be owned by qualified persons (BVI Companies, even fully owned by a non-BVI citizen).
Our team of professional yacht agents will happily guide you to decide on the best suited flagging options for your yacht, based on the intended use of the vessel (private use, charter, VAT reclaim, export, ...) as well other parameters such as taxes, insurance, mortgages and loans, boat & yacht finance and refinancing, all to fit with your personal circumstances.
While we are happy to register your vessel in the country of your choice, including through purpose-built holding companies and tax efficient ownership legal structures if necessary, we do have Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enable fast track registration with the following commercial ships and pleasure yachts registries: