OFFICIAL GUIDE TO SHIP & YACHT REGISTRIES

Bahrain

Shipowner Eligibility 

A ship can be registered under the Bahraini flag if the owner is a Bahraini national. However, the Minister may with the consent of the Council of Ministers award Bahraini nationality to ships owned by non-Bahrainis with proviso that they shall be registered at a Bahraini port.

About the Flag

The Kingdom of Bahrain is a small island state near the western shores of the Arabian Gulf. The population in 2010 stood at about 1.2 million. Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands, the largest being Bahrain Island. Saudi Arabia lies to the west of Bahrain, while Qatar is to the southeast across the Gulf of Bahrain.

Known for its oil, Bahrain is also home to many large financial institutions. Bahrain has the freest economy in the Middle East and is tenth freest overall in the world based on the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom published by the Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal.

Bahrain is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council of Arab States (GCC), Arab League, the United Nations and the IMO.

Bahrain Maritime Law regulates shipping, and the Directorate of Registry of Shipping and Seamen (DRS) at the General Organisation of Sea Ports administers registration.

Company Formation

Bahrain has adopted the concept of an open-market as an economic development policy. 100% foreign ownership of business is allowed. Sector-specific and/or company type restriction may apply. If properly-structured, a Bahrain company is legally tax-exempt, regardless of where the company sources its income. Furthermore, Bahrain imposes no withholding tax, value added tax (VAT) or personal income tax.
A Bahrain company with Limited Liability Company (WLL) can be 100% foreign-owned, and shareholders and directors can be resident anywhere in the world.

To encourage foreign direct investment, a limited liability company is exempt from customs duty on capital goods and goods for re-export, raw materials for manufacturing, semi-finished commodities imported for further processing, imports required for development projects, and initial import of capital goods by a manufacturing company.

Taxation

There is no taxation on international shipping income.

Registration and Documentation

The following documents are required for the registration of a ship:
Bahraini Commercial Registration to carry out marine activities (for a new company);
Completed Ship Registration Application;
Deletion Certificate from previous flag.
All relevant classification certificates which should be valid (from a recognized classification society by this Administration)
Bill of Sale.
Arrests which have been imposed upon the ship (if any)
For a new ship, a Builder Certificate is required.

All documents should be submitted to the Registry office at the General Organisation of Sea Ports.

Bareboat Charter Registration

A ship of 3000 GT or over and not being more than 15 years old registered in a foreign country may be registered in Bahrain under Bare-boat charter by the charterer provided the period of charter exceeds five years and the charter-party has such options. The Registrar shall notify the appropriate authority of the first registration regarding the ship's registration as a Bahraini ship. No mortgages may be recorded or registered in Bahrain against such ship.

When a Bahraini ship of 3000 GT or more is bare-boat chartered for a period of not less than 5 years, the Registrar may allow the charterer to register the same ship under bare-boat charter in a foreign country. Once confirmation of such registration is received, the registration in Bahrain shall be put in suspense except that records relating to mortgages shall be maintained.

Vessel and Yacht Eligibility & Survey Requirements

Vessel eligibility and survey requirements are those contained in international conventions and codes with regard to safety, construction, hull and machinery, GT and NT, and class. The following classification societies may issue certificates on behalf of the Government of Bahrain:
American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
Bureau Veritas (BV)
China Classification Society (CCS)
Croatian Register of Shipping (CRS)
Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
Indian Register of Shipping (IRS)
Korean Register of Shipping (KR)
Lloyd's Register (LR)
NIPPON KAIJI KYOKAI (ClassNK)
Polski Rejestr Statków (PRS)
Registro Italiano Navale Association (RINA)
Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS)

Crewing

Every Bahraini ship shall be manned by master and crew sufficiently and efficiently for the safe operation of the ship with security and protection of the marine environment. Relevant regulations of Chapter V of SOLAS74 and IMO Resolution A-890 (21) or any document amending the same shall be taken into consideration for determining the minimum safe manning of the ship. Officers and ratings shall be duly qualified in accordance with the STCW Convention.

Mortgages

A Bahraini ship or share therein may be made a security for a loan or other financial security and shall be affected by an official legal instrument; a mortgage on a ship or its shares shall be registered by submitting an official copy of the mortgage instrument to the registrar. Where it is stated that it is prohibited to execute further mortgages over a ship without prior written consent of the mortgagee, a further mortgage shall not be entered in the register unless consent in writing of the prior mortgagee is produced. Any mortgage entered in the register contrary to this provision shall be void.

Fees

1. Registration of new vessels:
Category GT Max. Fee (BD) Fees
First 151 - 500 50 50
Second 501 - 1,000 75 Max. fee for first category plus 50 fils per each GT above 500
Third 1,001 - 5,000 175 Max. fee for second category plus 25 fils per each GT above 1,000
Fourth 5,001 - 10,000 250 Max. fee for third category plus 15 fils per each GT above 5,000
Fifth 10,001 - 20,000 350 Max. fee for fourth category plus 10 fils per each GT above 10,000
Sixth 20,001 - 50,000 500 Max. fee for fifth category plus 5 fils per each GT above 20,000
Seventh Over 50,001 - Max. fee for sixth category plus 2 fils per each GT above 50,000
2. Navigation License certificate: Fees are calculated according to the table above.
3. Minimum Safe Manning Certificate: BD 100 (regardless of the ship's size)
4. Deletion Certificate: BD 50.
5. Registration of Mortgage/Release of Mortgage: BD 50.
6. Replacement Certificates: BD 50.
7. Certificates of Approval of Liferaft Stations: BD 150.

Contact

Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications
P.O. Box 10325
Kingdom of Bahrain
Tel: 00973 17337878
Fax: 00973 17534041
Address:
East Tower, Bahrain Financial Harbour
9th, 32nd, and 33rd Floors
General Information and Queries
Tel: 00973 17 337878
Media & Public Relations
Tel: 00973 17337899
Fax: 00973 17531599
Email: pr@mot.gov.bh
Website: http://www.caa.gov.bh

Stockholm Agreement 96
IMO Convention 48
* IMO amendments 91 
* IMO amendments 93
SOLAS Convention 74
SOLAS Protocol 78
SOLAS Protocol 88
LOAD LINES Convention 66
LOAD LINES Protocol 88
TONNAGE Convention 69
COLREG  Convention 72
CSC Convention 72
CSC amendments 93
SFV Protocol 93
STCW  Convention 78
STCW-F Convention 95
SAR  Convention 79
STP Agreement 71
STP Protocol 73
IMSO Convention 76
INMARSAT OA 76
INMARSAT amendments 94
INMARSAT amendments 98
IMSO amendments 2006
IMSO amendments 2008
FACILITATION Convention 65
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex I/II)
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex IV)
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex V)
MARPOL Protocol 97 (Annex VI)
London Convention 72
London Convention Protocol 96
INTERVENTION Convention 69
INTERVENTION Protocol 73
CLC Convention 69
CLC Protocol 76
CLC Protocol 92
FUND Convention 71
FUND Protocol 92
FUND Protocol 2003
NUCLEAR Convention 71
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex III)
PAL Protocol 76
PAL Protocol 90
PAL Protocol 02
LLMC Convention 76
LLMC Protocol 96
SUA Convention 2005
SUA Protocol 2005
SALVAGE Convention 89
OPRC  Convention 90
HNS Convention 96
OPRC/HNS 2000
BUNKERS CONVENTION 01
ANTI FOULING 01
BALLASTWATER 2004
NAIROBI WRC 2007
HONG KONG CONVENTION
HNS PROT 2010
Cape Town Agreement 2012
SUA Convention 88
SUA Protocol 88

IMO Conventions

Status of Conventions Bahrain

IMO Convention 48 x
SOLAS Convention 74 x
SOLAS Protocol 78
SOLAS Protocol 88 x
SOLAS Agreement 96
LOAD LINES Convention 66 x
LOAD LINES Protocol 88 x
TONNAGE Convention 69 x
COLREG Convention 72 x
CSC Convention 72 x
CSC amendments 93
SFV Protocol 93
Cape Town Agreement 2012
STCW Convention 78 x
STCW-F Convention 95
SAR Convention 79 x
STP Agreement 71
Space STP Protocol 73
IMSO Convention 76 x
INMARSAT OA 76 x
IMSO amendments 2006
IMSO amendments 2008
FACILITATION Convention 65
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex I/II) x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex III)
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex IV)
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex V) x
MARPOL Protocol 97 (Annex VI)
London Convention 72
London Convention Protocol 96
INTERVENTION Convention 69
INTERVENTION Protocol 73
CLC Convention 69 d
CLC Protocol 76 x
CLC Protocol 92 x
FUND Protocol 76 x
FUND Protocol 92 x
FUND Protocol 2003
NUCLEAR Convention 71
PAL Convention 74
PAL Protocol 76
PAL Protocol 90
PAL Protocol 02
LLMC Convention 76 x
LLMC Protocol 96 x
SUA Convention 88 x
SUA Protocol 88 x
SUA Convention 2005
SUA Protocol 2005
SALVAGE Convention 89
OPRC Convention 90 x
HNS Convention 96
HNS PROT 2010
OPRC/HNS 2000
BUNKERS CONVENTION 01 x
ANTI FOULING 2001
BALLASTWATER 2004
NAIROBI WRC 2007
HONG KONG CONVENTION

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