Yacht Registry Excellence: Opt for Madeira Island

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Yacht Registry Excellence: Opt for Madeira Island

by | Wednesday, 8 May 2024 | Shipping

yacht registry

The International Shipping Register of Madeira, known as MAR, has emerged as a premier destination for yacht owners and charterers seeking a robust, EU-compliant registry that offers unparalleled benefits. As a high-quality, credible, and secure shipping registry, MAR has meticulously aligned its operations with all international treaties, conventions, and agreements ratified by Portugal, ensuring every registered vessel’s robust surveillance and regulation.

The Allure of MAR: Comprehensive Yacht Registration

MAR’s comprehensive yacht registration services cater to pleasure and commercial yachts, allowing owners and charterers access to the full breadth of European waters without restriction. Whether your vessel is used for leisure or commercial activities, the registry’s versatility ensures that all your yachting needs are seamlessly accommodated.

Registering Pleasure Yachts

The registration process for pleasure yachts in MAR is streamlined and well-defined. Owners must provide information, including the intended vessel name, builder details, propulsion type, and comprehensive specifications. Documentation such as proof of ownership, previous registration certificates, and crew qualifications must also be submitted. MAR’s technical commission closely reviews these materials to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations and safety standards.

Registering Commercial Yachts

The registration of commercial yachts in MAR follows a similar process, with the added requirement of submitting comprehensive safety data under Portuguese law and international regulations. While pleasure yachts undergo their first inspection five years after registration and every three years after that, commercial yachts are subject to annual and biennial dry dock hull inspections to maintain the highest standards of safety and seaworthiness.

Operational and Tax Advantages of MAR

MAR’s status as an EU-compliant registry offers yacht owners and charterers a distinct competitive edge, providing operational and tax-related benefits that set it apart from other flag options.

Operational Advantages

Yachts registered in MAR, whether for pleasure or commercial use, enjoy unfettered access to navigate the waters of the European Union. This EU-wide mobility is a significant advantage, allowing owners and charterers to explore the diverse and picturesque coastlines of the continent easily.

Tax Advantages

The tax regime governing MAR-registered yachts is equally compelling. Vessels engaged in charter activities benefit from a complete exemption from value-added tax (VAT) on registration and repair, maintenance, and fuel/oil supply operations at sea. This tax-efficient framework also extends to the crew, with non-Portuguese crew members exempt from personal income taxes and able to choose from a flexible social security regime.

Moreover, yacht-owning companies licensed within the Madeira International Business Center (MIBC) enjoy reduced corporate tax rates until the end of 2027 and access to Portugal’s extensive network of double-taxation treaties.

Regulatory Oversight and Compliance

MAR’s robust regulatory framework ensures the highest safety and compliance standards for all registered yachts. The registry’s Technical Commission oversees the registration process, crew composition, and implementation of safety requirements aligned with international conventions.

Recognized Classification Societies

MAR delegates specific tasks, such as surveys and issuing international certificates, to a select group of recognized classification societies. This includes industry-leading organizations like the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Bureau Veritas (BV), and Lloyd’s Register of Shipping (LR), among others. This collaboration ensures the application of rigorous technical standards and the maintenance of MAR’s impeccable reputation.

Crew Qualifications and Licensing

While MAR imposes no citizenship requirements on the crew of registered yachts, all personnel must be duly qualified and licensed to operate the vessel. The Technical Commission sets the safe manning levels based on the yacht owner’s proposal, ensuring the appropriate crew composition for the vessel’s size and intended use.

Streamlined Registration Process

The registration process for yachts in MAR is designed to be efficient and straightforward, leveraging the resources of Madeira’s well-established Private Commercial Registry and Notary.

Required Documentation

Depending on the yacht’s intended use, owners must submit comprehensive documents and information to the Technical Commission, including details about the vessel, ownership, and safety equipment. Additional technical elements related to the vessel’s safety are required for commercial yachts.


The fees associated with yacht registration in MAR are structured to balance affordability and regulatory oversight. Pleasure yachts registered for leisure are subject to an initial registration fee and an annual maintenance fee, with discounts available for vessels owned by IBC-licensed entities. On the other hand, commercial yachts incur a more complex fee structure that factors in the vessel’s gross tonnage.

Madeira’s IBC: A Complementary Corporate Framework

While yacht registration in MAR can be undertaken independently, many owners establish a corporate presence within the Madeira International Business Center (MIBC) to leverage this ecosystem’s additional benefits.

Licensing and Incorporation

Companies operating within the MIBC legal framework can be licensed to engage in maritime transportation and other shipping-related activities. This includes incorporating a new shipping company or registering an existing entity with no minimum share capital requirements. The MIBC’s Private Commercial Registry streamlines the process, ensuring a swift and efficient setup.

Tax Incentives for MIBC-Licensed Entities

Yacht-owning companies licensed within the MIBC benefit from a desirable tax regime. These entities enjoy reduced corporate tax rates until the end of 2027 and access to Portugal’s extensive network of double-taxation treaties, further enhancing the financial advantages of operating a yacht-related business in the region.

Conclusion: Navigating the Pinnacle of Yacht Registration

The Madeira International Shipping Register, MAR, has firmly established itself as a premier yacht registry, coveted by owners and charterers seeking a secure, EU-compliant, and tax-efficient registry. By offering a comprehensive suite of operational and financial benefits, MAR empowers yacht enthusiasts and commercial operators to navigate the waters of Europe with confidence and ease. Whether you’re looking to register a pleasure yacht or a commercial vessel, the unparalleled advantages of Madeira’s yacht registry make it a compelling choice for discerning yachting professionals.

Remember, this article provides a comprehensive overview. Still, for more detailed information, we recommend seeking the expertise of our team at MCS, who are here to support you throughout your business journey.

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