Ownership structures

The Gibraltar ship registry offers an extensive range of ownership structures.

These include:

  1. Individual;
  2. Joint-owners;
  3. Companies;

Gibraltar has a wide ownership eligibility criteria accepting individuals and companies from around the globe. For further information on accepted nationalities for qualifying persons please contact our Registry staff (maritime.registry@gibraltar.gov.gi)

The GMA is to ensure compliance on eligible qualified persons applying for registration of a vessel in Gibraltar.Gibraltar accepts different ownership structures. These are summarised as follows:

  1. Individuals and joint-owners;
  2. Companies.

Individual and Joint OwnersThe following persons can register a vessel in Gibraltar (i.e. “Qualified Persons”)( Gibraltar Merchant Shipping (Registration) Regulations 1997 Part I Regulation 2C ):

  1. British citizens;
  2. British Overseas Territories citizens;
  3. Persons who under the British Nationality Act 1981, are British subjects;
  4. Persons who under the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986, are British Nationals (Overseas);
  5. Commonwealth citizens;
  6. Nationals of an EEA State;
  7. Citizens of the following “Approved” countries:
    a) Argentina; (b) Aruba; (c) Bahrain; (d) Brazil; (e) the Canary Islands; (f) China; (g) the Faroe Islands; (h) Haiti; (i) Israel; (j) Japan; (k) Liberia; (l) Madeira; (m) the Marshall Islands; (n) Monaco; (o) Panama; (p) South Korea; (q) Switzerland; (r) Suriname; (s) the United Arab Emirates; and (t) the United States of America.
    *Approved countries as defined in Schedule 9 of the Gibraltar Merchant Shipping (Ship Registration) Regulations 1997

Where “Qualified Persons” are not residents in Gibraltar, he/she will have to appoint a representative person (Gibraltar Merchant Shipping (Registration) Regulations 1997 Part III Regulations 5, 6 and 7).

The following Companies can register a vessel in Gibraltar:

  1. Bodies corporate or legal entities incorporated, established or registered:
  1. Under the laws of Gibraltar, United Kingdom, Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, EEA State; or
  2. Under the law of a Commonwealth State;
  3. Under the law of an “approved country”
    (a) Argentina; (b) Aruba; (c) Bahrain; (d) Brazil; (e) the Canary Islands; (f) China; (g) the Faroe Islands; (h) Haiti; (i) Israel; (j) Japan; (k) Liberia; (l) Madeira; (m) the Marshall Islands; (n) Monaco; (o) Panama; (p) South Korea; (q) Switzerland; (r) Suriname; (s) the United Arab Emirates; and (t) the United States of America.
    *Approved countries as defined in Schedule 9 of the Gibraltar Merchant Shipping (Ship Registration) Regulations 1997
  4. A foreign Maritime Entity

The Companies eligible as per above will be required to:

  1. Have their principal place of business in Gibraltar; or;
  2. Have appointed a representative person.

Companies House is responsible for the registers of corporate and other ownership entities in Gibraltar.