Bermuda is a UK Overseas Territory which has its own Parliament
and which makes its own national laws. The UK extends
international maritime and other conventions to Bermuda where they
are enacted into Bermuda law for Bermuda ships. The
territory has a sound legal framework for company law and shipping
law, based on UK practice and is a reputable jurisdiction for
carrying out ship registry and finance transactions. Bermuda
offers the option to set up exempt companies to carry on
international trade and is a base of choice for a great many well
known large shipping interests.
The Bermuda ship Registry is based in Hamilton in Bermuda but
also has a team of experienced surveyors based in the UK, Croatia
and Spain who are available to attend ships easily and quickly for
surveys and audits when required. The registry is a UK
category 1 register which means it is authorised to register ships
of all types and sizes.
Currently the makeup of the register shows high percentages of
passenger cruise ships, LNG tankers, bulk carriers and tankers,
with a number of very large commercial yachts. The new
Passenger Yacht Code is available for owners wishing to register
such craft in Bermuda . Facilities exist to legally empower
ship's captains to perform legal marriages on board ships.
The port of registry for Bermuda ships is Hamilton.
The registry of ships in Bermuda is governed by the
Bermuda Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships)
regulations 2003 which define who can be a qualified owner
and the processes for registry. Priority of mortgages and
related matters follow UK practice and are well
understood. The registry is able to accept demise
registry both "in" and "out".
The registry charges an annual tonnage fee based on net tonnage
plus charges on an hourly basis for the attendance of surveyors
. The registry is available, with notice, 24 hours per
day and 365 days per year for registry transactions and has an
emergency telephone cover 24 hours per day for survey
Bermuda enjoys a high reputation in the various Port state
Control areas and is currently the highest ranking flag on the
Paris MOU "white list". The territory has completed its
voluntary IMO flag state audit which will make Bermuda a "low risk"
flag in the Paris MOU.