A Beginner's Guide to Yacht Registration in the Cayman Islands

Mar 10, 2023

Yacht registration in the Cayman Islands is a popular choice for yacht owners around the world. The Cayman Islands offer a stable political and economic environment, a well-regulated maritime industry, and a tax-neutral jurisdiction. In this beginner's guide, we will cover the basics of yacht registration in the Cayman Islands.

Registration Process

In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of registering your yacht in the Cayman Islands.

Step 1: Choose a registered agent

The first step in registering your yacht in the Cayman Islands is to appoint a local representative who will act as your agent in the Cayman Islands.  Your representative will handle all administrative tasks and will be responsible for handling the registration process on your behalf and ensuring that your yacht remains in compliance with all local regulations.  HMS Cayman is based in Grand Cayman, the largest of the three Cayman Islands and, as a listed service provider partnering with the Cayman Maritime Authority, is uniquely placed to act as your local representative.

Step 2: Choose a name for your yacht

Next, you will need to choose a name for your yacht. The name must be different from any other yacht registered with the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry. The team at HMS Cayman can check the availability of your preferred name at all three ports of registration and confirm back to you within 24 hours. 

Step 3: Gather the necessary documents

Before you can register your yacht, you will need to gather the necessary documents. These documents include:

  • Builder's certificate
  • Bill of sale
  • Insurance Certificate
  • Certificate of survey
  • Certificate of tonnage
  • Deletion certificate

Step 4: Complete the application forms

The next step is to complete the application forms for the yacht registration. The forms and guidance for completion can be obtained from HMS Cayman. The forms will require information such as the yacht's name, ownership details, and technical specifications.

Step 5: Pay the registration fees

Once the application form is completed, you will need to pay the relevant registration and local agent fees. The fees vary according to the yacht's tonnage and can be paid through HMS Cayman.

Step 6: Await approval

After submitting the application form and paying the registration fees, you will need to await approval from the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry. This process is usually completed within a matter of days.

Step 7: Receive your registration certificate

Once your yacht has been approved for registration, you will receive a registration certificate from the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry. This certificate will be sent to you by international courier and the original should be kept on your yacht as proof of registration in the Cayman Islands.

Step 8: Renew your registration annually

It is important to note that tonnage fees and local agent fees need to be paid annually. The Registry tonnage fees are due by 28 February and late remittance will result in penalties. As it is a legal requirement to have a Cayman representative person, non-payment of fees can ultimately result in the revocation of your registration.


If you're considering registering your yacht in the Cayman Islands, it's important to work with a reputable and experienced yacht registration agent to ensure that the process goes smoothly. By following the steps outlined in this guide, your Cayman representative can guide you through the registration process and ensure that you remain in compliance with all local regulations.

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