WE OFFER FIXED RATE TURN-KEY YACHT REGISTRATION PACKAGE
ENQUIRE NOW! +353 21 2028270 OR CONTACT@SSMM.IE
The flag you choose to fly from your transom can have a direct bearing on your privacy, taxes, exposure to liability and boarding, the vessel’s economic sustainability, and, ultimately, your enjoyment of the yacht.
So how do you decide which flag best serves your purposes? Our expert team is here to help.
There is no simple answer that covers every owner, but some basic considerations do apply.
A flag state is the country or governmental entity under whose laws a vessel is registered or licensed. This can be the country in which the owner resides, or more commonly in the marine world, an offshore ship registry in a country with laws that are attuned to the complexities of yacht ownership and charter operations.
The flag state has the authority and responsibility to enforce regulations over vessels registered under its flag, including those relating to inspection, certification and issuance of safety and pollution prevention documents.
Choosing a particular flag is a vastly complicated matter in which we have over 90 years of experience and will be delighted to assist.
Contact us now to discuss your requirements and our experts will take care of every aspects of the flagging of your vessel, either pleasure craft of commercial ship, including the incorporation, if necessary, of holding companies and tax efficient ownership legal structures worldwide.
OFFSHORE YACHT REGISTRATION ADVANTAGES
Owners who choose to flag offshore (i.e. outside of their country of residence) – especially those who plan to make their yachts available for charter in the EU – can benefit in many ways, including, but not limited to, mitigation of some tax burdens, confidentiality of ownership, and reassuring lenders and insurance companies. This applies equally for owners who intends to operate his vessel as a private yacht as well as a yacht charter.
Our team of legal and marine expert will assist you in choosing between many popular flag states that have appealing and relatively simple avenues for setting up corporate structures that offer favourable taxation and liability protections under a stable fiscal and legal system. In addition they have construction, inspection and regulatory compliance regimes that can streamline the process of owning and operating small, medium-sized and large yachts.
Registering as a private yacht with a non-EU flag also allows an owner to operate under the Temporary Importation regime in Europe in which a yacht can operate without the vessel being subject to customs duties or the EU’s Value Added Tax (VAT).
Owners who intend to actively pursue charter in the world’s most popular destinations – in particular, the Med, which is ringed by EU states – and the Caribbean, will generally choose to incorporate and flag offshore their vessel.
In addition to the benefits above, such structures can allow the vessel to operate within the VAT system. VAT on charters is still chargeable to the end consumer – the charterer – but the system allows operators of legitimate charter businesses to account for their input tax in the normal business sense. For instance, if a business buys food for a charter, it will pay input tax on the supply but can deduct it as an operating expense.
A flag state will generally require a yacht to be in compliance with construction standards set forth by one or more of the main classification societies such as Lloyd’s Register, American Bureau of Shipping or Det Norske Veritas, as well as meeting safety and practice standards set forth by government agencies such as the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), as applied by the relevant states’ national legislation.
Where to register your vessel?
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: