Located at the gates to the Mediterranean and one of the largest bunkering ports in Europe, Gibraltar is an obvious choice for shipping business – a jurisdiction built on a common law legal system located at one of the world’s most important maritime crossroads.
Gibraltar has, over many centuries, represented a safe harbour for commercial and pleasure shipping, resulting in the development of a mature, thorough and dynamic shipping/maritime offering.
As one of the leaders in the local shipping context, Hassans is able to assist clients in all the following elements of the local shipping practice:
Ship & Yacht Registration – international recognition comes as standard.
We work with international clients looking to register vessels in Gibraltar under the British Red Ensign. A Category 1 Red Ensign register since 1997, clients can register vessels of unlimited tonnage, type and length in Gibraltar. More recently, yacht services have been expanded to include the registration of all types of pleasure yachts, including superyachts (in respect of which the tax considerations can be very attractive), as well as yachts under construction. This enables owners to finance the building of a vessel in a potentially more cost-effective manner.
What are the advantages of registering a vessel in Gibraltar?
- Sailing in confidence;
- No restrictions on foreign company owners;
- Comprehensive Common Law legal framework and protection for mortgagees;
- Simple registration procedures;
- 24/7 Technical Support;
- White lost status under Paris and Tokyo MoUs on Port State Control;
- Recognised flag under the US Coast Guard’s Qualship 21; and
- Accredited to ISO 9001:2008 Quality Standard.
Our asset finance team assists clients in structuring of finance/ownership, with a strong network of providers and financial institutions to deliver the best solutions for our clients. Ownership of a Gibraltar flagged vessel comes with many advantages built-in, as well as further taxation advantages for the corporate owning structures of such vessels.
For clients who do not have a physical presence in Gibraltar, we offer Registered Agent services to our clients, acting as point of contact for all matters relating to the vessel that is registered under Gibraltar flag.
We work closely with maritime and port authorities in Gibraltar, advising on compliance with both international maritime laws and local law obligations.
Our class-leading employment team regularly deals with all elements of crew management issues where relevant and, in the context of ship arrests, have extensive experience of dealing with and coordinating suppliers and third-party contractors in the context of crew welfare and associated matters.
Gibraltar offers real potential advantages to charter operators from a tax/VAT perspective. Our team is engaged in the development of a Gibraltar-based charterparty and can assist in the structuring of relevant entities in Gibraltar.
We are able to assist yacht and shipping brokers who have chosen Gibraltar and its attractive fiscal environment from which to do business. As we exit the EU and develop our reach in markets beyond Europe, we can assist clients looking to explore opportunities around the world.
Our extensive insurance practice makes Hassans the go-to firm for ship insurance matters. Our network provides our clients with the connections they need to secure the right solution for any given application.
The registration of superyachts in Gibraltar carries a number of benefits, some of which are covered in the ship registration section above. The absence of a requirement to pay VAT or any import duties for vessels registered in Gibraltar, in addition to the many tax and other benefits that can accrue to superyacht operating businesses and/or, as the case may be, the HNWI clients directly owning these vessels, makes Gibraltar a very compelling jurisdiction for a growing number of clients. For more information, please visit our page dedicated on Superyachts in Gibraltar.
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