Certain countries allow for the registration of shipping companies that can operate without any local income tax liability. Furthermore, such countries try to offer competitive terms as far as ship registration, overseas maritime services and general ship-management matters are concerned. Apart from tax advantages, shipping companies are concerned with issues such as labour regulations and manning scales.

Ownership, registration, administration and operation of ships are four different types of activities, and are often situated in two or more different jurisdictions in order to achieve an optimum result. Thus, an owner in a high-tax, non-maritime country might register his ships in a low-tax jurisdiction and operate them from there.

It is common to incorporate a company in a low-tax jurisdiction for each ship, in order to provide insulation in the event of financial problems. Cyprus and Malta offer very advantageous tax regimes for shipping and ship-management operations. Companies conducting this kind of operations in these countries may qualify for full tax exemption over their income and may only have to pay a relatively mild tonnage tax in relation to their activities.

Consulco has gained significant experience in servicing many (large and mid-sized) clients in the field of shipping and ship-management, as regards to fiscal, corporate advisory, accounting and audit services to companies active in this field.

In addition to the above jurisdictions Consulco provides ship registration services in various offshore jurisdictions. It includes the establishment of legal entities in all countries having flag of convenience, registration of ship’s nationality and establishment of mortgages.

Consulco assists with all required procedures, whether it be establishment of a local overseas subsidiary, completion of a ship’s registration, establishment of mortgages, deletion of vessels from registers or assistance with sale of a vessel.

Countries for ship registration:

  • Cyprus
  • Malta
  • Belize
  • BVI
  • Greece
  • Jersey
  • Marshal islands
  • Panama
  • Seychelles
  • Liberia
  • Delaware
  • Bahamas