Registering a vessel in Gibraltar involves the following activities:

Determining whether the vessel itself qualifies for registration is based on its safety record.

Prior to accepting vessels onto its register, an assessment to ensure vessels proposed for registration meet the Administration’s required standards of quality and suitability. The assessment will be provide an indication whether a vessel is eligible for registration and if any pre-registration conditions may be required. The assessment will be undertaken by the GMA’s survey division.

As part of the process, owners will be required to complete GMA Form 18083F giving general details of the vessel, Classification Society and ISM managers.

Vessels over 20 years of age are normally subject to Ministerial consent prior to registration (Gibraltar Merchant Shipping (Registration) 1993 Section 14(1))

Owner require to check whether a vessel’s proposed name is available.This can be done using our online Vessel Name Search.

A name is reserved period for a period of 12 months and may be renewed.

Names may be requested or reserved by an Owner or Registered Agent other party such as a shipyard, subject to the approval of the Registrar (Gibraltar Merchant Shipping (Registration) Regulations 1997 Part V Regulations 11 and 12).

Qualification of Ownership Structure and Proof of Legal Title

The GMA will need to establish whether the owner qualifies to own a Gibraltar registered vessel (see ownership structures).

The process will also involve determining whether an owner has legal title to the vessel and that there are no pre-existing conditions prohibiting the vessel from being registered with Gibraltar. In addition, if the owner of the vessel is not resident or owning company is not incorporated in Gibraltar, then a Gibraltar Representative Person must be appointed (Gibraltar Merchant Shipping (Registration) Regulations 1997 Part III Regulations 5, 6 and 7).

An owner may act on his own behalf in registration matters or may appoint an Authorised Person to do so. If the owner (individual or body corporate) is not resident in Gibraltar, then the owner must appoint a Gibraltar Representative Person. (Gibraltar Merchant Shipping (Registration) Regulations 1997 Part III Regulations 5, 6 and 7).

If the owner (or joint-owners) prefers, he/she may appoint an authorised representative (known as an Authorised Person or Registered Agent) to act on their behalf. Contact a service provider ( Gibraltar Merchant Shipping (Registration) Regulations 1997 Part IV Regulations 8, 9, 10).

Where the owner (in any of the above-referenced forms) is not resident or incorporated in the Gibraltar then a Representative Person (Gibraltar Merchant Shipping (Registration) Regulations 1997 Part III Regulations 5, 6 and 7) must be appointed to represent the owning party for serving any necessary documents and issuing instructions under Gibraltar law. This appointment does not affect the owner’s right to deal directly with the Registry in the interim initial stages (or via their appointed Representative Person or Registered Agent), as necessary. Contact a service provider in Gibraltar.

Required forms, supporting documentation and fees for the various types of registrations and other services are outlined in the Gibraltar Vessel Registration requirements.

Go to FORMS.

A Carving and Marking (C&M) Note which specifies how the vessel is to be marked will be issued. Once a vessel is properly marked, an authorised surveyor will verify this by signing and returning the C&M Note to the Registrar prior to registration. The completed C&M Note may be submitted electronically but the original should be returned to the GMA thereafter.

The relevant Certificate of British Registry will be issued once all documentation and fees have been received.