Boating Across Borders: What You Need to Know About Foreign Documentation

After closing on a yacht, your single most important decision is to decide where to register it. At present, the most popular yacht registries in the world are the United States, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Cayman Islands, the Marshall Islands, and the British Virgin Islands.

In addition to its own benefits and drawbacks, each yacht registry will have its own specific set of documentation requirements, but the list below consists of essential documents that will likely be necessary no matter which port you decide to call home.

  • A completed request for inscription into the country’s registry
  • Proof of payment for the inscription fee
  • The proposal for the name of the vessel
  • Copy of the passport, identity card and / or other country-specific identification for the legal owner of the yacht
  • Proof of yacht ownership
  • Builder certificate or certificate of tonnage measurement
  • Certified power of attorney for representing the owner of the yacht
  • Compulsory insurance policy in accordance with local law
  • Decision of deletion from the register if the yacht had been previously registered

While boat registries across the globe may have similar registration rules, the actual process can differ considerably, especially in the amount and type of documentation you will need to successfully complete the registration. For example, in the Cayman Islands all vessels categorized as ‘Pleasure Yachts in Private Use’ must submit the following documents, all of them signed by the qualified owner of the yacht or an appointed authorized representative:

  • Form CISR 854 Name request/reservation
  • Form CISR 855 Appointment of Authorised Person
  • Form CISR 856 Registration Form
  • Supporting Documentation such as title documents that provide proof of ownership and certificate of survey and fees

Be prepared to pay both initial and ongoing registration fees, usually on an annual basis. The amount and frequency will vary from one registry to another. Some registries may also limit the type of activity that you are permitted to  undertake with a yacht, such as commercial usage. Such prohibitions should be researched before you submit your application for registration.

If you intend to register your new yacht in a foreign country, contact the experts at Howard S. Reeder, Inc. We will help you determine exactly what documentation is required for your registry of choice and provide you with the resources you need to arrive in the your destination port fully prepared and properly registered.

Howard S Reeder Inc