The Merchant Shipping Act 1992 governs the shipping industry in the Seychelles. Ships and yachts may be registered in the Seychelles under the terms of the Act. The Seychelles offers an attractive “offshore” regime for the ownership and registration of yachts. A Seychelles citizen or company (IBC or domestic) must own a yacht in order for it to fly the Seychelles flag. An IBC is the most effective vehicle for offshore ownership of a Seychelles-registered vessel or ship management operation.
Such a company will be exempt from Seychelles taxation on profits and dividends. Sale and transfer of Seychelles-registered vessels or the companies owning them are also free of tax, as are the salaries of officers and crew of Seychelles-registered vessels operating internationally.
Seychelles is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the group of non-aligned countries, the Indian Ocean Commission and the International Maritime Organisation, and vessels flying the Seychelles flag benefit from friendly treatment worldwide.
The Seychelles presently recognises the following classification societies:
- Lloyd’s Register of Shipping (UK)
- Bureau Veritas (France)
- Nippon Kaiji Ryokai (Japan)
- Net Norske Veritas (Norway)
- America Bureau of Shipping (USA)
- Germanischer Lloyd (Germany)
The following particulars will need to be presented for the provisional registration of a yacht:
- A certificate signed by the builder containing various technical details relating to the yacht, such as the description of the ship, estimated tonnage, date and place of construction, name of the person (if any) on whose account the ship was built
- Where the yacht has been registered under the law of a foreign country, evidence that registration in that county has ceased (Certificate of Deletion). It is possible to obtain a Provisional Registration pending receipt of the deletion certificate
- Evidence that the applicant is the owner of the ship
- A declaration of ownership (Form RS02)
- A list of not less than three alternative names under which the ship is proposed to be registered
- A radio license
After a period of 90 days, the yacht may be permanently registered. The yacht owner will need to submit further documentation:
- An application for permanent registration
- A bill of sale
- Statutory certificates
- A carving and marking note, which is issued by the Registrar of Shipping.
Forms required for provisional registration of the yacht
- Application for Registration of Ship as Seychelles Ship
- Declaration of Ownership
- Application for a Telecommunications/Radio License
- Application for Activation of Maritime Mobile Earth Station
Fees payable to Government
- Application for Registration
- Radio License
- Annual Tonnage Fee
- Annual Radio License Fee
It is recommended that a Seychelles IBC be used. The IBC will need to be kept in good standing (i.e. annual renewal fees paid) in order for the yacht registration to remain valid.
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