Top 10 countries for yacht registration
Buying a yacht is a well-known form of investment and it differs a lot from purchasing real estate or a car. Doing so, you should consider different regulations, tax regimes, privacy protection, cost of maintenance, and opportunities for travelling. For all these reasons, investors take the process of choosing where they will register their yacht very seriously.
Here is the list of ten countries that offer the most attractive terms:
Many investors choose the island of Malta for their yacht registration, since it offers much more attractive tax regime than other EU countries. The VAT here can be reduced to 5.4%, meanwhile the income from shipping activities, as well as many other transactions are exempt of any taxes.
To maintain its golden reputation, Malta has quite strict requirements when it comes to yacht registration here, but it doesn’t scare off any investors, because of the following reasons:
- The cost of registration and renewal is relatively low;
- There are no restrictions on the nationality of the owner of the yacht and its crew;
- Minimum technical requirements for yachts;
- High-quality 24/7 service of maintenance and help.
The Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands have three ports, with the Port of George Town being the main one, and are one of the preferred destinations in the world when it comes to offshore yacht registration. For over a hundred years, shipping registry has been a huge part of this islands’ history. This jurisdiction maintains highest standards for their investors, offering great confidentiality and fast registration process with minimum requirements.
Here are some other advantages of registering a yacht in Cayman Islands:
·Lower tax rates
- Benefits of using the British flag
- Exemption from taxes
- There are no restrictions when it comes to crew master’s nationality, however certain proof of qualifications is required.
Cyprus is also a go-to destination when it comes to yacht registration.
Here are some of its advantages:
- There is no VAT on the purchase of your vessel
- Very attractive tax regime for yachts (no tax on income or dividends for ship management companies, capital gains on the sale transfer, or shares of a ship-owning company, etc.), as well as double tax agreements with over 40 countries
- Low registration costs
- Low operating costs for Cyprus-owned companies
- European Union Flag and access to the European economic area, as well as global recognition (including treaties with over 20 countries for preferential treatment in other ports)
- Highly-skilled professionals and modern infrastructure
Marshall Islands is a presidential republic in free association with the US and that enjoys the same privileges as its British Overseas Territory counterparts.
The pros of registering a yacht in this jurisdiction include the following:
- Fast and easy registration process
- No restrictions when it comes to the country of origin of the owner or the country of the construction of the vessel
- White-listed country with good reputation
- No tax on profits from the operation
- 24/7 high-skilled maritime support
- Mortgage protection for lenders
This African offshore and zero tax jurisdiction has almost 11 % of the globally registered population of ships.
Here are the reasons for its popularity:
- Minimum requirements for registration of a vessel
- Fast registration process
- Attractive mortgage regime
- It is ‘white-listed’ by the Paris MoU
- Great reputation in terms of protection and accident prevention, making it an even more appealing location for yacht registration.
Gibraltar is a European jurisdiction, that doesn’t belong to the EU Common Customs Tariff area and is known for its offshore benefits. Many yacht owners prefer Gibraltar for the registration of their vessel for the following reasons:
- Exemption from VAT charges, tax on sale profits, and import duties.
- Straightforward process of registration
- Red Ensign flag, which implies international recognition and protection
- The Register of Gibraltar enables the owner to dispose of the yacht easily in a cost-effective and timely manner.
The British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands is considered by many investors the best place in the world for offshore business activities. The same applies to yachts registration. Here are its pros:
- The lowest costs of vessel registration in the world
- Low renewal costs
- Exemption from profit taxes when it comes to yacht-related activities, as well as VAT on the purchase
- Ease of renting or reselling of a yacht
- High level of confidentiality
- BVI flag that allows travelling to any place in the world
Panama prides itself for the largest ship industry in the world. To register your vessel there, half of the shares must be owned by a Panamanian company. If it doesn’t stop you, you can enjoy the following benefits:
- Low registration and management cost
- Easy to resell
- No tax on purchase of a vessel and any profits generated from its activities
- High level of confidentiality and privacy
- Low annual renewal cost
Delaware, the USA
This state of the US is another of the most popular places for yacht registration in the world. There is no requirement to live in Delaware or even be a resident of the United States to enjoy the following benefits:
- Attractive tax regime: there are no income taxes if the income is paid externally, there is no personal property taxes, intangible property taxes, or stock transfer taxes in Delaware.
- A vessel under Delaware LLC is protected against any personal responsibility, in case of any damage, no matter if it was caused by the crew or by external effects.
- Confidentiality: all the data on LLC is not available to the public.
- Low costs of registration of a Delaware-based company.
Seychelles is another popular destination when it comes to yacht registration. Here are the reasons why investors choose this jurisdiction:
- High-quality services with maximum confidentiality
- Relatively low registration fees
- No business taxes, work permits and social security contributions for non-resident personnel
- Ownership of ship can be 100% foreign
- 30% off on a second vessel registered within one year of the first one
- Preferential treatment in various countries due to Seychelles’ membership in the Commonwealth and the United Nations.