Marine Vessel Registry: A Guide to Registering Ships in Madeira

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Marine Vessel Registry: A Guide to Registering Ships in Madeira

by | Monday, 29 April 2024 | Shipping

marine vessel registry

Madeira’s Marine Vessel Registry, also known as MAR (or Madeira International Shipping Register), is a highly reputable ship and yacht register in Portugal. It is considered one of the top three EU registers regarding the number of vessels and registered tonnage. MAR offers a credible and secure alternative to other international registers, ensuring high technical discipline and safety standards.

This comprehensive guide will explore the advantages and process of registering ships in the Madeira Vessel Registry. From the types of vessels eligible for registration to the required documents and benefits, this article will provide you with all the essential information you need to navigate the registration process.

Advantages of Registering Ships with MAR

Registering your ship with the Madeira’s Marine Vessel Registry offers numerous advantages, making it an attractive option for ship owners and operators. Here are some key benefits of choosing MAR:

  1. Access to EU Cabotage: Ships registered under MAR fly the Portuguese flag, allowing them to engage in cabotage, i.e., coastal shipping, navigation, trade, or transport, within EU countries.
  2. Compliance with International Conventions: MAR ensures compliance with all international conventions ratified by Portugal. This commitment to international regulations contributes to MAR’s inclusion on the Paris MOU White list.
  3. Flexible Crew Composition: MAR imposes flexible crew composition requirements, with only 30% of the vessel’s safe manning needing to be EU nationals or from official Portuguese-speaking countries (PALOPs). This flexibility allows for a diverse crew while ensuring safety and quality of life aboard.
  4. Tax Advantages: Ships registered with MAR benefit from various tax advantages. Crew salaries are exempt from taxation, and non-Portuguese crew members and their employers are not obliged to contribute to the Portuguese social security regime.
  5. Mortgage Law Flexibility: MAR allows ship owners to choose the legal system of a specific country to govern the terms of the mortgage. This flexibility enables them to optimize their financial arrangements.

These advantages, among others, make Madeira’s Marine Vessel Registry an appealing option for ship owners and operators seeking a reputable and advantageous ship registration solution.

Types of Ships Eligible for Registration

The Madeira Vessel Registry accommodates a wide range of commercial vessels. Here are the types of ships that can be registered with MAR:

  1. Cargo Ships: This category includes bulk cargo carriers, general cargo carriers, and container ships. MAR welcomes all types of cargo ships, contributing to its status as a comprehensive registry.
  2. Passenger Ships: MAR accepts the registration of passenger ships, including cruise ships and “ro-ro” (roll-on/roll-off) ships. The registry ensures the safety and compliance of passenger vessels, enabling smooth operations within EU waters.
  3. Barges: MAR accommodates barges, which are flat-bottomed vessels primarily used for transporting goods on inland waterways. The registry’s inclusion of barges reflects its commitment to providing comprehensive registration services.
  4. Tugboats and Assistance-Providing Vessels: MAR allows the registration of tugboats and other assistance-providing vessels. These vessels play a crucial role in supporting maritime operations and ensuring the safety of larger ships.
  5. Platforms/Rigs: Both stationary and floating platforms and rigs can be registered with MAR. The registry’s acceptance of these specialized vessels showcases its versatility and commitment to serving the maritime industry.

It’s important to note that fishing boats are not eligible for registration with Madeira’s Marine Vessel Registry. However, MAR covers a wide range of commercial vessels, catering to the diverse needs of ship owners and operators.

Entities Eligible for Registration

MAR welcomes various entities involved in maritime transport, including companies, branch offices, and other legal or judicial representations. These entities can apply for vessel registration with MAR, whether they have a registered office in Madeira or not.

Entities operating within the International Business Centre of Madeira (IBC) gain access to the favourable tax system associated with the IBC. It’s worth mentioning that non-resident entities must appoint a local legal representative when registering a vessel with MAR.

Types of Registration

The Madeira Vessel Registry offers two types of registration:

  1. Permanent Registration: This type of registration suits ships intending to maintain their Madeira registration for an extended period. Permanent registration allows ships to fly the Portuguese flag and benefit from the advantages associated with MAR.
  2. Temporary/Dual Registration under Bareboat Charter: Ships operating under a bareboat charter can opt for temporary or dual registration with MAR. This registration type allows vessels operating under different flags during specific periods.

The choice between permanent and temporary registration depends on the ship’s operational requirements and the ship owner’s preferences.

Documents Required for Permanent Registration

To initiate the permanent registration process with MAR, ship owners must gather the following documents:

  1. Requirements/Information:
    • The ship’s intended name is along with two alternative names.
    • Owner’s name and address, including the registered office details of the applicant, along with the memorandum and articles of association.
    • List of proposed crew members, duly justified in terms of the vessel’s safety manning.
    • Classification Society details.
    • Authority responsible for payment of radio accounts, recognized by Portuguese authorities.
    • Commercial navigation area of the ship.
    • Port where the flag will be hoisted or exchanged.
    • Description of the communication system.
    • Ship’s propulsion system details, including makes, models, power, and serial numbers.
    • Shipyard where the ship was built and the year of construction.
    • Manufacturer and model of automatic pilot, gyrocompass, and other navigation equipment.
    • Hull and superstructure colors.
    • Make and model of automatic pilot and internal communication system.
    • Makes, models, and numbers of cranes, capstans, and other mooring equipment.
    • Auxiliary machinery details, including make and power of generators.
    • Manufacturer, model, serial number, MMSI number, call sign, and AAIC of the accounting authority.
    • Tonnage measurements of the vessel, following the 1969 conventions.
    • Obligatory placement of “Madeira” on the vessel’s bow, lifeboats, and buoys upon registration.
  2. Duly Legalized Documents:
    • Power-of-attorney, issued by the ship owner.
    • Bill of Sale.
    • Official translation of the ship’s excerpt issued by the relevant authorities of the previous register to English.
    • A certificate issued by the authorities of the previous register states the ship owner’s application for cancellation of registration upon completion of MAR registration.
    • A certificate issued by the administration of the previous register declaring any mortgages or encumbrances on the vessel.
    • A written declaration issued by the mortgage holders authorizing registration in MAR.
  3. Other Documents:
    • Confirmation of the Classification Society if the vessel’s machinery is UMS (unattended machinery system).
    • Declaration from the authority responsible for payment of radio accounts, assuming responsibility after the allocation of call sign and other identification numbers.
    • Names and copies of seamen certificates of the crew and captain.
    • Individual employment contracts of crew members.
    • General plan of the ship.
    • Fire control and life-saving devices’ plan (safety plan).
    • Preliminary Stability Booklet (approved).
    • Copies of the ship’s certificates, including international load line certificate, cargo ship safety construction certificate, class certificate, GMDSS shore-based maintenance certificate, vessel’s radio station license, international tonnage and measurements certificate, inspection certificate, classification certificates, and provisional registration certificate.

These documents, duly legalized and submitted to MAR, form the basis of the permanent registration process.

Documents Required for Temporary Registration

For ships opting for temporary or dual registration under a bareboat charter, the following documents are necessary:

  1. Requirements/Information:
    • Ship’s intended name, along with two alternative names.
    • Owner’s name and address, including the registered office details of the applicant, along with the memorandum and articles of association.
    • List of proposed crew members, duly justified in terms of the vessel’s safety manning.
    • Classification Society details.
    • Authority responsible for payment of radio accounts, recognized by Portuguese authorities.
    • Commercial navigation area of the ship.
    • Port where the flag will be hoisted or exchanged.
    • Description of the communication system.
    • Ship’s propulsion system details, including makes, models, power, and serial numbers.
    • Shipyard where the ship was built and the year of construction.
    • Manufacturer and model of automatic pilot, gyrocompass, and other navigation equipment.
    • Hull and superstructure colors.
    • Make and model of automatic pilot and internal communication system.
    • Makes, models, and numbers of cranes, capstans, and other mooring equipment.
    • Auxiliary machinery details, including make and power of generators.
    • Manufacturer, model, serial number, MMSI number, call sign, and AAIC of the accounting authority.
    • Tonnage measurements of the vessel, following the 1969 conventions.
    • Obligatory placement of “Madeira” on the vessel’s bow, lifeboats, and buoys upon registration.
  2. Duly Legalized Documents:
    • Power-of-attorney, issued by the ship owner.
    • Bareboat Charter.
    • An official translation of the ship’s excerpt in English was issued by the relevant authorities of the previous register.
    • A written declaration issued by the ship owners, authorizing registration in MAR.
    • A written declaration issued by the competent authorities of the ship’s current register authorizing registration in MAR.
    • A certificate issued by the administration of the previous register declaring any mortgages or encumbrances on the vessel.
    • A written declaration issued by the mortgage holders authorizing registration in MAR.
  3. Other Documents:
    • Confirmation of the Classification Society if the vessel’s machinery is UMS (unattended machinery system).
    • Declaration from the authority responsible for payment of radio accounts, assuming responsibility after the allocation of call sign and other identification numbers.
    • Names and copies of seamen certificates of the crew and captain.
    • Individual employment contracts of crew members.
    • General plan of the ship.
    • Fire control and life-saving devices’ plan (safety plan).
    • Preliminary Stability Booklet (approved).
    • Copies of the ship’s certificates, including international load line certificate, cargo ship safety construction certificate, class certificate, GMDSS shore-based maintenance certificate, vessel’s radio station license, international tonnage and measurements certificate, inspection certificate, classification certificate, and provisional registration certificate.

These documents, duly legalized and submitted to MAR, form the basis of the temporary registration process.

How We Can Help

At MCS, we specialize in inward investment services in Portugal and Madeira. With over 25 years of experience, we provide comprehensive assistance and support for ship registration with the Madeira Vessel Registry. Our team of experts can guide you through the entire registration process, ensuring compliance with all legal requirements and optimizing the advantages MAR offers.

The Madeira’s Marine Vessel Registry, MAR, offers a credible and secure ship and yacht registration solution in Portugal. With its wide range of advantages and flexible registration options, MAR attracts ship owners and operators seeking a reputable and advantageous registry. By understanding the types of vessels eligible for registration, the entities eligible for registration, and the required documents, ship owners can confidently navigate the registration process with MAR. With the assistance of experienced professionals, such as MCS, ship owners can ensure a smooth and compliant registration experience. Registering a ship with the Madeira Vessel Registry opens doors to EU cabotage, tax advantages, and compliance with international conventions, making it an appealing choice for the maritime industry.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal or professional advice. Please consult with a qualified professional for specific guidance regarding ship registration and related matters.

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