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Ship Registration in Belize

Ship Registration in Belize

The registration of all classes of vessels is possible in Belize and several forms of registration, including provisional and permanent, are available as per the International Merchant Marine Registry (IMMARBE).

Ship registration in Belize is of interest to those investors who open a company in Belize and will use the ship for business activities as well as for those who register the ship as natural persons. There are no particular or limiting requirements for registration and there is no concern for foreign owners or the need to have local participation in a business that owns a vessel in Belize. 

Investors who open an offshore company in Belize can take advantage of the flexibility of this business structure and assign it as the owner of the vessel. 

The Belize Ship Registry

The framework implemented by the International Merchant Marine Registry, IMMARBE, which offers services on a twenty-four hour basis, facilitates ship registration in Belize. Ship owners can thus receive immediate assistance and the fast registration process makes it even more advantageous for interested individuals, and those who open a company in Belize, to also register a vessel here.

The Ship Registry operates with all types of vessels, such as passenger or fishing ships, cargo and bulk carrier ships, containerships, yachts, barges, tugs and other types of vessels. An age policy for vessels and these should have less than twenty-five years of age at the time of the registration in order to be eligible for the fast approval.

An advantage for those who register ships in Belize is that there is no restriction according to ownership: foreign-owned companies as well as foreign individuals are free to register their vessel under the Belize Flag.

All vessels that are registered with the IMMARBE are subject to a safety inspection and will have to comply with the national and international regulations. The inspection fee is included in the annual fee package for registered vessels. One of our agents who specialize in company formation in Belize can also provide information about the fees that are payable by companies that own a registered vessel.

There are several types of registration and other submissions and we list them below:

  • • Provisional registration: a temporary registration with a duration of six months during which the owner of the vessel can gather the documents needed for the permanent registration; can be used by vessel sunder constructions and in other cases.
  • • Permanent registration: this is valid for five years and it commences once all of the required documents have been submitted.
  • • Bareboat charter registration: vessels are registered with a second flag (the Belize one) when the original Registry grants permission.
  • • Others: the registration of certain categories of vessels, such as yachts and fishing vessels.
  • • Special registration: only in certain cases such as when they are on a delivery voyage.
  • • Mortgage: a registered vessel can also apply to be mortgaged during its registration.

Vessel registration in Belize

The documents required for the purpose of registering a vessel in Belize are the following:

  1. the special form: this is a special application for the registration of vessel and it must be duly filled in.
  2. the sale/build certificate: this document must be notarized and it can either be the vessel Bill of Sale or the Builder’s Certificate for new ships.
  3. power of attorney: this is awarded to the Shipping Agent who will be domiciled in Belize.
  4. safety requirements application: this is the application for Minimum Safe Manning Certificate; a proof of liability insurance will also be required.
  5. tonnage certificate: this is the original or certified copy of the tonnage certificate issued by an authorized survey company.
  6. other documents: can include proof that the ship is free of encumbrances and a special inspection report when the vessel is over 20 years old.

Investors who are interested in Belize offshore company formation can reach out to one of our agents for detailed information on the requirements for submitting a ship registration application by a locally registered company.

We can also help ship owners who wish to obtain Belize permanent residency prior to buying a vessel.

Belize companies that are engaged in trade or other service maritime activities, including leisure boating services, can reach out to one of our agents for more information on the manner in which they can register their vessel with the International Merchant Maritime Registry of Belize. We can provide complete information on the registration of ships and also the registration of ship mortgages and maritime liens.

Contact us for information about ship registration and complete assistance for Belize offshore company formation.