THE GIBRALTAR SHIP REGISTER
The Gibraltar Ship Register has now reopened for business as a Category 1 Red Ensign Group Register. Category 1 is the highest status that can be accorded to a ship register within the Red Ensign Group of U.K. and U.K. dependency registers. Gibraltar now joins Bermuda, Cayman Islands and the Isle of Man in this premier league of Red Ensign Group registers.
There is no tonnage restriction and the register is open to all types of ship (except nuclear powered ships and fishing vessels). The Register includes a Bareboat Charter Registry and a register of ships under construction.
The Ship Register will be run on behalf of the Government of Gibraltar by its newly appointed Maritime Administrator, Mr. Roland Green, who will also be responsible for registry safety and compliance issues.
Gibraltar will recognise Lloyd's Register of Shipping, American Bureau of Shipping, Bureau Veritas, Det Norske Veritas, Germanischer Lloyd and Registro Italiano Navale - and it is to these classification societies that the issuing of certain convention certificates will be delegated. Statutory annual, intermediate or renewal surveys will be undertaken by a surveyor nominated or appointed by the Maritime Administrator. The Maritime Administrator or a surveyor nominated by hm will make a visit to a registered ship once in every five years to survey its safety equipment and to conduct a general inspection to ensure that standards are being maintained.
The advantages of registering a ship in Gibraltar are many, not least, fiscal advantages, membership of the Red Ensign Group, a well-established legal system based on British Maritime law and the benefits that derive from Gibraltar's status as a part of the European Union. The Gibraltar Register is considered to be a Member States' Register.
Changes in Gibraltar legislation now permit a wider range of indiviudals or corporate bodies to be qualified persons eligible to own a registerable ship. Ship manning requirements which in the past were often regarded as a major obstacle to an owner agreeing to flag into the Red Ensign Group have been modified and non-EC nationals can obtain certificiates of equivalent competency allowing them to serve on all but a few types of ship registered in Gibraltar.
Gibraltar ship registration and annual fees have been set at a level comparable with similar registers.
Gibraltar's Minster for Transport, Joe Holliday, said, "We are delighted to have our full Category 1 register back and up and running. We are very excited by its prospects, not least because of the interest that has already been shown in it. Gibraltar has a long history of ship registration. We have a good professional infrastructure to support it. We understand the needs of owners and managers. The register will combine good commercial service, tax advantages, high standards of safety and reputation."