Shipping Regulations amended to attract new business

Shipping Regulations amended to attract new business

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The Government of Bermuda recently passed into law the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2019 (the “Registration Regulations”) and tabled the proposed Merchant Shipping (Fees) Amendment Regulations 2019 (the “Fees Regulations”).

The Registration Regulations expand the list of eligible countries qualified to be owners of ships registered on the Bermuda Ship Registry. From a shipping perspective, this significant expansion will relax the restrictions on the qualifications to own a ship. In addition to vessels owned by entities incorporated in the British Overseas Territories, EEA States and the United Kingdom, vessels owned by entities incorporated in the following jurisdictions below can now be registered in Bermuda.

China PR
Hong Kong
Marshall Islands
New Zealand
South Africa
South Korea
United Arab Emirates
United States of America

The Fees Regulations will introduce competitive fee pricing for shipping companies registering multiple vessels, or vessels owned by a Bermuda incorporated entity that have a principle place of business in Bermuda. The aim of the proposals is to allow the Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority to develop an incentive strategy, to encourage vessel owners to register their vessels in Bermuda.

As such the combined effect of the changes will be to highlight Bermuda as a commercially competitive jurisdiction for ship registration and further strengthen Bermuda’s already robust position within the global shipping market.  

If you wish to discuss the above or require legal advice with regard to ship registration in Bermuda, please do not hesitate to contact Jeremy Leese or Brian Holdipp. For further information on our ship finance services view our brochure.