The process for registry in Bermuda is simple and straightforward.
There are a number of standard forms to be completed and these are all available on this website.
Typically the process is:
- Reserve a name,
- Submit the application to register,
- Submit the details of the owner and manager (confirming that the owner is a qualified owner).
- Registrar issues a carving and marking note which states the agreed name, tonnages, numbers etc.
- Application to the Telecommunications Authority for Radio License, callsign, MMSI number.
- Registrar appoints a Class surveyor to confirm the details at registry and sends the essential ship certificates and documents out to the class surveyor prior to registry.
- Attending class surveyor verifies that the name and numbers are correctly marked.
- Copy of the builder’s certificate or bill of sale is verified and confirmed to the registrar,
- Ship is registered, and the Class surveyor dates and hands over the certificate of registry and the ship’s certificates.
The process can be completed very quickly.
The ownership of a Bermuda ship is divided into 64 shares which are, themselves, indivisible. It is a requirement that a majority of the shares (at least 33) are owned by “qualified” persons. In general a person is a qualified person if they are:
- A British Citizen
- A British Dependent Territories citizen
- A body corporate registered in the UK or in a UK dependent territory.
- A body corporate registered in the EU or the EEA.
The full details of entitlement are contained in the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) regulations 2003. There is also a requirement, if the owner is not incorporated in Bermuda for a Bermuda representative person and this person, typically a law firm, is nominated at the time of application.