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Gibraltar’s key location at the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea and its quality Yacht and Ship Register has made it an important commercial and maritime centre.

Pleasure yachts of any size can be registered in the Gibraltar Yacht Registry. Yachts less than 24 metres in length which are in commercial use may also be registered at the Gibraltar Yacht Registry. The registration requirements for both pleasure and small commercial yachts are exactly the same except that an extra certificate needs to be produced by an approved classification society for the latter namely, a “Certificate for Small Vessels in Commercial Use”. The service delivered is fast and efficient and provided that the survey is organised quickly a yacht can be registered in a matter of days.

Advantages of Registering in Gibraltar

The Gibraltar Yacht Registry is a member of the Category 1 Red Ensign Group of the UK and the UK dependency registers. This means that any yacht registered in Gibraltar has the benefit of Royal Navy protection.

Gibraltar is bound by all international conventions and agreements in relation to shipping and safety which have been ratified by the United Kingdom thus giving vessels registered in Gibraltar the same status as that of any other British registry.

Another special feature of the Gibraltar Register is the strict security for mortgagees since no ship will be de-registered without the mortgage being discharged first or without the mortgagees’ consent.

Tax Advantages of Registering in Gibraltar

In Gibraltar, a company can be incorporated to own a vessel. As long as the income received from chartering a yacht (or any other income) is earned outside Gibraltar, in general, a yacht owning Gibraltar company will not be subject to tax in Gibraltar. Further advice can be provided upon request.

Another advantage afforded by registering pleasure craft in Gibraltar is that there is no VAT levied on the yacht purchase provided certain conditions are met. VAT is not applicable in Gibraltar and as a result yachts coming into Gibraltar can qualify as exiting the VAT zone. This means that Gibraltar registered yachts with non-EU resident owners can apply for VAT-free temporary importation to sail in EU waters.


Application Form, Declaration of Ownership & Name of Yacht

An application form and declaration of ownership must be completed by the owner.

A name which is different to any other Gibraltar registered vessel must be submitted for approval which can be confirmed within 24 hours and sometimes in the same day.

Evidence of Title

Evidence of title must be submitted.   If the vessel is new or has never been registered before, a builder’s certificate and subsequent Bills of Sale which link the owner to the vessel must be provided.  For an older vessel or one which has been registered before, a sequence of Bills of Sale tracing ownership either from the builder’s certificate onwards or for the last 5 years must be submitted.

Survey & Classification Societies

A vessel over 24 metres in length requires an International Tonnage Certificate, which must be issued by a member of the approved classification societies detailed below.

  • American Bureau of Shipping;
  • Bureau Veritas;
  • Det Norske Veritas;
  • Germanisher Lloyd;
  • Lloyds Register of Shipping;
  • Registrazione Internazionale Navale (RINA); or
  • Class NK.

For yachts less than 24 metres in length the following three approved Certifying Authorities (in addition to the above) are also authorised to carry out the tonnage measurement survey: YBDSA, MECAL Limited and The Society of Consulting Marine Engineers and Ship Surveyors.

For commercial yachts less than 24 metres in length, the Certifying Authority needs to produce an additional "Certificate for Small Vessels in Commercial Use".

Corporate Ownership

If the ship owner is a company, the following documents must also be provided a certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation and an appointment of a representative person/registered agent.

Carving & Marking Note

Once the Registry is satisfied that the yacht can be registered in Gibraltar it will issue a carving and marking note which states the official number and Gross Tonnage, name and port where it is being registered which must be marked on the hull.  The owner or the representative person/registered agent may sign the carving and marking note.  Except for vessels over 24 metres in length where the carving and marking note must be certified by one of the surveyors of the above Classification Societies.

Certificate of Registration ("Blue Book")

Once this has been returned to the Registry a Certificate of Registration will be issued.

Renewal of Certificate of Registration

The Certificate of Registration must be renewed every year and is done so on payment of a nominal fee.  Our firm can do this on behalf of the owners.