Most banner registries, while either an agency of a government or acting on behalf regarding the government, are to some extent, in competition with one another for company and offer various angles that may benefit the requirements of some owners.

The Marshall Islands allows qualified yachts that are private charter as much as 84 times per year, but subjects them to step-by-step studies heavy on lifesaving, safety and fire combat. They also have to have a minimum safe manning certificate for when they’re chartering.

‘We glance  at that as  an owner wanting  to recoup some of his expenses not putting his yacht in to  a mode that is commercial’ says Eugene Sweeney, senior vice president, Yacht Operations for International Registries, Inc., which provides administrative and technical support towards  the Marshall Islands Maritime and business Administrators.

The US flag has long been problematic for ship and yacht owners due in large part to onerous laws and manning demands. ‘The US flag includes a really unwelcoming regime of laws and regulations which make it extremely difficult for a ship of any size to be registered,’ says Moore. Matt Ruane, director of JTC Marine and Aviation, cites some specific reasons a US flag might  not appeal to owners of large yachts.

Like the AK-47 image on it, resist if you are tempted to use the flag of a state because you.

‘US residents often wish to get yachts outside the US and register on to a flag that is non-us order to avoid US product sales and/or use tax,’ Ruane writes. ‘US Coast Guard legislation fails to distinguish between merchant vessels and commercial yachts, meaning most large yachts would neglect to meet their “Seagoing Motor Vessel” requirements, which, in essence, apply SOLAS requirements to all vessels in excess of 300GT.

‘A US-resident master and crew are necessary for all big yachts, unless running privately and outside of US waters. A US flag requires US business or private ownership, and also the notion  of nominee directors and shareholders is less understood and therefore, less acceptable, essentially and therefore US business ownership is more transparent.’

The actual cost of flagging offshore is relatively low, provided your yacht meets class requirements, which will be something an owner may wish to consider especially when buying a brokerage yacht. The cost of bringing a yacht up to class can be significant. Selecting a flag is really a matter well undertaken under counsel of the maritime attorney. There are lots of possible avenues depending on  an owner’s meant use as well as  other considerations, but at the end of your day, most advise sticking utilizing  the tried and true.

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