General Information The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) welcomes all types of vessels to the register while ensuring certain legal and safety standards are met. As part of the registration requirements, the technical suitability and age of a vessel are also taken into consideration before it is accepted to fly the Bahamas Flag. Foreign-owned ships engaged in international trade may be registered in The Bahamas. Vessels over 12 years old are subject to a pre-registration inspection undertaken by an authorised Bahamas inspector and applications are approved on an individual basis. Applications for vessels of less than 1600 net tons may also be submitted to the register and will be assessed on an individual basis. A foreign owner, irrespective of nationality or place of incorporation, can hold direct title to a Bahamas-flagged ship but some foreign owners find it useful to incorporate a Bahamian company for this purpose primarily because there is no income tax or capital gains tax in The Bahamas. The operation and income of a Bahamian registered ship or any capital gain on its sale are therefore completely tax free in The Bahamas whether the vessel is foreign-owned or owned by a Bahamian company. The BMA is able to assist with the incorporation of Bahamian registered companies. Further details may be obtained by contacting any one of the BMA Registrars. How to Register Ship owners wishing to register their vessels under the Bahamas Flag may do so through the London, Nassau or New York offices. Additionally, registration documents can currently be processed through the Tokyo Agency office. Full on-the-spot registration services will soon be available in Tokyo and Hong Kong in the Far East as well as Greece and Germany. To start the registration process, the ship owner, who may be an individual or a corporation, must complete and submit to the Registrar an Application to Register form (R102) giving the name and general details of the vessel. A Registration of Managing Owner form (R104) which provides full contact details of the managers responsible for the day to day management of the ship should also be submitted together with copies of the vessel's current class certificates (see Technical Procedures and Requirements for Registration of Ships). The application will be reviewed and the Registrar will then confirm the vessel's suitability for provisional registration on to the register (as applicable). Further, the Registrar will reserve the vessel's name and issue Bahamas identification details i.e. official number, call sign and MMSI number. The remaining registration forms and required documents listed below should then be submitted together with the applicable registration fees. Once all registration requirements are fulfilled, the vessel will be registered and the following Bahamas certificates and documents will be issued: Provisional Certificate of Registry Radio Communication License Safe Manning Document Ship's Carving and Marking Note CLC (Oil Pollution) Bunker CLC Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR) Set of Ship Statutory Publications NB: Mortgages may also be registered against a vessel following its provisional registration. Vessels are provisionally registered for a period of six months to allow owners to complete all flag change formalities and fulfill BMA requirements for permanent registration (see requirements listed below). Once all requirements are met, a permanent Certificate of Registry will be issued. The BMA also has a user friendly procedure for the registration and discharge of mortgages. A Bahamian statutory mortgage form (R208) should be completed in accordance with the footnotes provided on the form and duly executed and notarised. To record the mortgage transaction, the original instrument must be forwarded to the Registrar together with the applicable fees. Mortgages are recorded in the order of the date and time in which they are presented to the Registrar. The friendly and efficient support staff and Registrars of the Registration Department at the BMA are always available to assist with any questions the ship owners and/or their agents may have. Their needs will be addressed promptly!

No. of Ships 1476
Tonnage  32,500,000 grt
Age Limit 12 years (discretionary
Size Restrictions 1,600 grt
Ownership Requirements There is no requirement for local ownership of a Bahamian registered ship. The ship is required to be surveyed on
first registration and inspected annually thereafter.
Documents Required The owner must submit a written application for registration to the Bahamas Maritime Authority along with the following documents: -
_ evidence of ownership (e.g. bill of sale or builder's certificate);
_ declaration of ownership;
_ certified copy of the certificate of incorporation;
_ evidence of the cancellation of previous registry;
_ evidence that no liens recorded against the ship or the applicant;
_ certificate of tonnage measurement;
_ particulars of radio and radio accounting authority details;
_ name of managing owner or manager if vessel is owned by a company;
_ carving and marking note duly completed;
_ survey certificate;
_ details of number of crew the vessel is certified to carry;
_ application for signal letters and confirmation that r/t set is installed on the vessel;
_ application for safe manning certificates;
_ application for MMSI number;
_ SOLAS Certificates;
_ Load line certificate.
Registration Fees Ships of 2000 nrt or less: US$ 2,000
2,001-5,000 nrt: $1 per nrt; 5,001 - 25,000 nrt: $0.90 per nrt; over 25,000 nrt: $22,500
Annual Fees:
Ships of 2,000 nrt or less: US$ 1,900
2,001-5,000 nrt: $0.13 per nrt plus $1,650; 5,001 nrt and over: $0.12 per nrt plus $1,650.
Approved Classification Societies ABS, LRS, BV, NKK, DNV, RINA, GL and KR
Crew Nationality Foreign officers and ratings may man foreign owned Bahamian ships provided they have certificates acceptable to
the Bahamian authorities
Parallel Registration Parallel registration in or out of the Bahamian Registry is permitted.
Flag of Convenience No
Principal IMO Conventions Adopted All the principal IMO Conventions have been adopted.
Type of Mortgage An account current or principal and interest statutory mortgage form issued by the Bahamian authorities is required and
will need to be registered at the Shipping Registry. There will normally be a separate Deed of Covenants which need not
be registered at the Shipping Registry. However, care should be taken to ascertain whether or not these documents
need to be registered in the relevant Companies Registry (within a specific time limit) where the owner is a body
corporate. The mortgage and Deed of Covenants will also need to be notarised and executed in the presence of an
independent witness who must attest to due execution. Legalisation not required
Mortgage Registration Fee US$200 or £140
Useful Addresses
Latham House
16 Minories
London EC3 1EH
Tel: +44(0)20 7264 2550

A pre-entry safety inspection must be passed. If the ship is over 20 years there is a presumption against acceptance (which may be rebutted).
*   Discounts available for ships less than 5 years old or if three or more ships register at the same time