Having taken the decision to purchase your yacht you will now be faced with the decision as to where to register it. The decision is an important one and it is important to get it right. It would also make sense to talk to an advisor in making that decision as it can be a complex one, but the correct decision upfront can make life easier later on.
Some of the factors that need to be borne in mind in taking this decision include the following:
The registry chosen should preferably be a commercially run one that is responsive and robust;
It should have an acceptable international rating;
The legal system that it operates under should be one that will uphold your rights and make it easy to sort out any issues;
The registration costs should be reasonable, have a low or zero tax cost, and not be unduly bureaucratic;
It should make sense given the country that you are resident in and where the yacht is going to be operated.
VAT is often an issue, especially if the yacht will spend some time in European waters. VAT is potentially chargeable in Europe both on importation and operation in EU waters, although it is possible for a non-EU registered yacht to operate in EU waters for up to 18months on a temporary importation basis.
It is common for a yacht to be owned by a corporate entity, and it is likely that you will go that route as well. This allows you to choose your country of registration most optimally, but also allows for limited liability for you as owner, and also you may sell the yacht by selling the company which means a host of ancillary issues like crewing etc may not be impacted. It also makes estate planning simpler as the choice of law for the winding up an estate will be a lot easier to choose in the event of death.
In our view the choice of a corporate entity and registration location that allows use of the red ensign also allows for any number of benefits and should be pursued.
Osiris marine Air is able to assist with corporate structuring, ownership advice as well as registration in any of the BVI, Cayman Islands, Isle of Man or Mauritius.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or your usual Osiris contact.