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Old 19-10-2008, 13:39   #1
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UK Flagged Yacht in Caribbean - Part 1 or Part 111 Registration?

Hi, this is my first post so I hope I am in the right section.
Advice needed:
I am proposing to purchase a yacht that is lying in Bonaire. The Yacht is US flagged so I am assuming that will have to change as I am not a US citizen.
As a UK National I can register the yacht with MCA either Part 1 which is the full blown registration process that gives full proof of ownership etc; or Part 3 (also known as SSR - Small Ships Register).
Ideally I would like to register as Part 1 but there is a current delay of 8-10 weeks to process the paperwork. I can register for Part 3 online.
My question is: If I only register for Part 3 will this documentation be acceptable and suficient for the numerous Authorities in the Caribbean?
If Part 1 is required how would I handle the fact that the yacht would not be registered for almost 3 months?
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Old 20-10-2008, 04:13   #2
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Greetings, and WELCOME aboard Ukabroad.

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Originally Posted by Ukabroad View Post
... I am proposing to purchase a yacht that is lying in Bonaire. The Yacht is US flagged so I am assuming that will have to change as I am not a US citizen.
As a UK National I can register the yacht with MCA either Part 1 which is the full blown registration process that gives full proof of ownership etc; or Part 3 (also known as SSR - Small Ships Register)...
A foreign national cannot own a Federally “Documented” U.S. vessel; but may own a State “Registered” boat.

According to the “SSR Checklist”
UK Ship Register - Small Ships - Guide to Registration

"... A Part III UK Ship Register certificate should be accepted world-wide ...”

The small ships register ( also known as Part III ) is for boats which only want a low cost simple registration, which proves the ships nationality.

It does not register title, so you cannot register a mortgage on the vessel.

The key points of the SSR registration are as follows :

* A small ship is one that is less than 24 metres ( 79 feet )
* Company owned boats, and those over 24 metres cannot be registered
* Available to UK, and EU citizens, ordinarily resident in the UK
* SSR registration lasts 5 years - date of expiry is shown on the ship's certificate. Registration can be renewed 3 months before expiry
* Ships names will not be registered if considered undesirable. All ships must have a name before being registered.
* Ships can only be registered on the Part I or Part III - not both

Step by step guide to registration of Small Ships joining Part III of the UK Ship Register:
UK Ship Register - Small Ships - Guide to Registration
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Old 20-10-2008, 05:31   #3
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Even if you are getting a loan on your boat you can use the BVI registry instead the UK Part I. This is both cheaper and easier. The BVI is a red ensign country, so your protection as well as documentation is the same as a UK one. The annual fees are quite a bit less, and even the initial surveyor rquirements are simpler to comply with. It is also much faster then the UK or Gibraltar registration; plus you don't need to go the BVI to complete it.

N.B. Many US companies will attempt to force you into creating a BVI corporation for registering the ship. You only need to do this if you are American, any EU citizens can register privately. There are advantages to using a BVI Corporation for the boat, particulary in such matters as death duties, but if you have a lien on the boat the UK bank will demand a personal guarantee in lieu of a boat mortgage if it isn't registered in your name.
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Old 20-10-2008, 05:38   #4
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...My question is: If I only register for Part 3 will this documentation be acceptable and sufficient for the numerous Authorities in the Caribbean?...
In my experience, from Vieques to Grenada, only the French islands ask to see the boat's documentation when clearing in. I can't imagine that Part 3 documentation would fail to satisfy them.

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Old 29-10-2008, 19:08   #5
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Many thanks to you all for the information and advice. I will go with the SSR to start with though I may register a Part 1 in Jersey as it appears quite reasonably priced, is quick to obtain and only needs renewal every 10 years.
Welcome to Jersey Harbours
Again, many thanks for the response
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Old 30-10-2008, 02:41   #6
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i did the Jersey registration earlier this year. it's quick and easy but you do need a recognised surveyor (lists on jersey website) to do the tonnage survey
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Old 30-10-2008, 05:55   #7
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I am a British citizen but have lived in the US for 40 yrs. as a legal alien. Until the patriot act I was able to purchase a US doc. vessel and transfer it to state title. US Customs after the patriot act informed me that any boat owned by a non US citizen could be seized at their discretion. Now all boats are in my wife's name! A.J.
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Old 30-10-2008, 06:45   #8
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Thanks Bob, the surveyor that i have lined up to do the survey is approved and i will get him to do a tonnage survey at the same time as it will be cheaper.
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Old 30-10-2008, 12:46   #9
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Originally Posted by bobsadler View Post
i did the Jersey registration earlier this year. it's quick and easy but you do need a recognised surveyor (lists on jersey website) to do the tonnage survey
Just curious how you met the requirement:-

"* If Individual/Joint Owners do not reside in Jersey and Bodies Corporate do not have a Principal Place of Business in the Island a Representative Person will need to be nominated. A sample list is available from the Registrar if the owner does not already know a local contact."

and how much folk charge
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Old 01-11-2008, 08:55   #10
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I emailed the first name on the list and was quoted a once only charge of £50
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