Just like with a vehicle, there is more to owning a yacht than just buying one. Once you purchase a yacht, it needs to be registered in order to travel between waters and enter or depart from ports. As stated by the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry (CISR), “Registration of a ship gives it a nationality and a ship without nationality enjoys no protection under international law.” Registering your vessel offshore under a company in an offshore financial centre (OFC) means that your company and by extension your vessel benefit from the jurisdiction’s legal benefits, such as tax benefits and protection under that country’s laws.
Rather than registering their vessel in their country of residence, it has now become the norm for yacht owners to do so in various OFCs across the globe because of the distinct advantages each offers. What are the benefits of doing so? And why is the Cayman Islands a preferred choice for yacht registration worldwide?
Location, Location, Location
The Cayman Islands is a jurisdiction of choice for offshore vessel registration for many reasons, the most popular of which being the tax benefits. As a tax-neutral jurisdiction, yacht owners registered in the Cayman Islands can save thousands in fees related to taxes, registration, and VAT alone. The Cayman Islands also offers convenient ease of marine vessel access with three ports of registry and several marinas across the three islands.
Another benefit of registering vessels in the Cayman Islands is that they are considered British vessels and are therefore protected by the British Royal Navy. Furthermore, these vessels fall under the Category 1 British Registry within the Red Ensign Group. This is considered a first-class flag and one of the top flags in the world by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). Vessels registered under CISR also benefit from its whitelist and low-risk status at all major ports worldwide, and with 15 global locations yacht owners are afforded 24/7 support. CISR-registered vessels can also participate in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) using the British status of their vessel.
Yacht owners registered in the Cayman Islands also benefit from considerably fewer inspections, less hassle, more support, and smoother sailing…no pun intended.
CEC Caters to All Your Needs
The Cayman Islands has set itself above other tax-free locations such as Malta, Singapore, and Cyprus by offering yacht owners and shipping companies a genuine physical presence in which to place their staff in turnkey offices and generate legitimate tax-free international business income. This is accomplished through Cayman Maritime & Aviation City, a component of Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) set up specifically for businesses within the maritime industry so they can take advantage of the benefits offer by operating from the award-winning Special Economic Zone. The Cayman Islands Government has granted appealing concessions to such companies.
Benefits include a well-regulated and recognised free zone, an appropriately regulated business environment, easy access to North and Latin American markets and more. Companies within CEC are subject to no local income tax, capital gains tax, corporate tax, or sales taxes, and import duties. Furthermore, friendly immigration laws distinctive of the Cayman Islands maritime services park allow companies to get 5-year renewable work/residency visas for their staff within 5 working days.
CEC will help you to incorporate and establish your presence in the Cayman Islands so that you can have peace of mind and enjoy all the benefits of your yacht worry-free. Find more information about setting up your offshore presence with CEC here.