The Seychelles offers an attractive “offshore” regime for the ownership and registration of yachts. A Seychelles citizen or company must own a yacht in order for it to fly the Seychelles flag. An International Business Company is the most effective vehicle for offshore ownership of a Seychelles-registered vessel or ship management operation. Such a company will be exempt from Seychelles taxation on profits and dividends. Sale and transfer of Seychelles-registered vessels or the companies owning them are also free of tax, as are the salaries of officers and crew of Seychelles-registered vessels operating internationally.
The Seychelles Yacht Registration –Key Feature
Under Seychelles flag a Yacht / Vessel can only be registered either by following:
- A Seychelles citizen
- Seychelles corporate company (International Business Company / Domestic Company) A Seychelles IBC can be incorporated and will act as ship owning company. The yacht could be owned by the IBC Company.
The present recognized and authorized Classification societies by the Seychelles Ship Registrar are listed below.
- Lloyd’s register of Shipping (UK)
- Bureau Veritas (France)
- Nippon Kaiji Ryokai (Japan)
- Det Norske Veritas (Norway)
- America Bureau of Shipping (USA)
- Germanischer Lloyd (Germany)
If the Yacht or vessel is not in Seychelles waters, it can be provisionally registered under a Seychelles flag at a diplomatic or consular representative abroad. It will later be permanently registered with the Seychelles Ship Registrar.
A ship is usually registered for an initial period of 90 days, extendable for another 90 days. Once all requires documents have been submitted the ship can be provisionally registered.
The following particulars will need to be presented for the provisional registration of a yacht:
- A certificate signed by the builder containing various technical details relating to the yacht
- Where the yacht has been registered under the law of a foreign country, evidence that registration in that country has ceased
- Proof of ownership of the yacht
- A list of not less than three alternative names under which the ship is proposed to be registered
- A radio license
After the 90-day period, or after the expiry of the extension of the registration certificate, the Vessel can be permanently registered at no extra cost. The vessel owner must submit the following statutory certificates and documents.
- Certificate of class
- Cargo ship safety equipment certificate
- Cargo ship safety construction certificate
- International oil pollution certificate
- Minimum safe manning certificate
- Load line certificate
- GMDSS safety radio certificate
- Declaration of transfer
- Bill of sale
- Fully exempted from all business taxes, work permits and social security contributions for non-resident personnel
- No tax is paid on the salaries of officers and crew of Seychelles ship which operate in international water
- Ownership of ship can be 100% foreign
- When registering a second ship within 12 months of the first registration, owners of ships are entitled to a rebate of 30% on second ship
- No publication of identity of principals
- No tax on the profits by an IBC which owns ships under the Seychelles flag and operates in international waters. Further no tax on the dividends paid by the IBC
- No tax is paid on the sale or transfer of a Seychelles vessel or of the shares in its own company
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