OFFICIAL GUIDE TO SHIP & YACHT REGISTRIES

Ghana

Shipowner Eligibility 

The following parties may register their ship in Ghana:
Ghanaian citizen
Body corporate registered under the Companies Act, 1963 (Act 179)
Partnership registered under the Incorporated Partnership Act, 1962 (Act 152)
Foreign individual or a foreign company in a registered joint venture relationship with a Ghanaian national or company

About the Flag

Located in western Africa bordering the North Atlantic Ocean between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo, Ghana is a constitutional democracy with its capital at Accra. The President is the Chief of State and Head of Government, and there is a unicameral National Assembly. The legal system is based on English common law and customary law. English is the official language. Ghana is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the UN, and the IMO.

Ghana is well endowed with natural resources, and has twice the per capita output of many of the poorer countries in western Africa. The economy revolves around subsistence agriculture. Cocoa, gold, timber, tuna, bauxite, and aluminum are the major exports. Principal trading partners are Germany and the United States. The currency is the Cedi.

The legislation governing the maritime industry in Ghana is the Shipping Act of 2003. The Ghana Maritime Authority oversees ship registration.

Company Formation

Provisions are made for the registration of companies with the Registrar of Companies under various regulations including:
The Registration of Business Names Act 1962 for companies registered as sole proprietorships
The Companies Code 1963 for companies registered as private companies limited by shares
The Companies Code 1963 for companies registered as public companies
The Partnership Act 1963 for companies registered as partnerships
The Companies Code 1963 for companies registered as external companies

Companies may also be registered as companies limited by guarantee. The most common is the private company limited by shares. The Companies Code 1963 requires that for this type of company there shall be at least one shareholder, at least two directors, one secretary (a corporate body is eligible to act as secretary), and an auditor who shall be a qualified accountant. The Act provides that the director of the company shall be in a fiduciary position to the company in the performance of his statutory duties and obligations, and he can be held liable for negligence and for the dissipation of the assets of the company.

Provisions are made for the official or private winding up of the company and for the liability of the shareholders upon liquidation.

Usually the vehicle for the registration and operation of a ship in Ghana is the private limited liability company with liability limited by shares.

Taxation

For further information, please consult the Ghana Revenue Authority.

Registration and Documentation

The process of registering a ship is as follows.
Applicants for registration must obtain a permit for the importation of vessels.
Fishing - Permit from the Minister of Food and Agriculture
Cargo - Permit from the Minister of Transport.
Applications must have the following attached:
International Oil Prevention and Pollution Certificate (IOPPC)
Safety Equipment Certificate
Safety Construction Certificate
Safety Radio Certificate
Load Line Certificate
Tonnage Certificate
Transcript of Register
Certificate of Registry

Applications should be submitted to the Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority for registration of the Vessel with copies of certificate of incorporation of company, certificate to commence business, company objectives on Form 3 and Bill of Sale (old vessel) or builders certificate (new vessel). Upon satisfactory assessment of the aforementioned documents approval will be given for the purchase of the following forms at Ghana Maritime Authority:
Application to register a ship
Declaration of ownership
Notice of a name proposed for a Ghanaian Ship
Allotment of signal letters
Survey application form

Applicants should complete a survey form and a surveyor is appointed (Ship/ Radio) for initial survey upon payment of survey fee. Upon the satisfaction of all of these requirements the Director-General will approve the application for registration, appropriate the ship's official number and issue Ship's Carving and Markings Notes. The applicant then submits the Ship's survey Certificate and Carving and Marking Notes duly issued by the Surveyor of Ship to Registrar of Ships and pays for registration fees and the Ship's Certificate of Registry is ready for issue within two days.

Bareboat Charter Registration

Bareboat charter registration of foreign vessels is permitted. Such a foreign vessel is required to comply with international safety requirements and preregistration inspection requirements prior to the period of the charterparty.

Vessel and Yacht Eligibility & Survey Requirements

Generally there are no restrictions with regard to the age of merchant vessels for registration, but fishing vessels which are more than seven years old are not eligible.

A ship is required to be inspected by a registered surveyor prior to acceptance for registration.

Crewing

There are no nationality requirements for ratings but they are expected to hold the appropriate certificates in accordance with the STCW Convention.

Officers must be Ghanaian nationals or persons resident in Ghana. The Merchant Shipping Act sets out minimum standards for crewing which are required of vessels and provides sanctions to ensure compliance therewith.

Mortgages

All mortgages shall be recorded by the Registrar of Ships in the order in which they are presented for registration to enable priority to be claimed. To register a charge or mortgage, forms are required to be completed and executed and, where necessary, legalized showing the principal amount of money being secured and interest thereon. The mortgage document will be registered by the Registrar of Ships.

Fees

Service
Fees (US$ or Cedi equivalent)
Ship Registration: Initial Registry, Registry Anew, Re-Registration
Application Forms for Vessel Registration
50.00
Processing of Application
(i) 150-500 gross tons
1000.00
(ii) 501-2,000
2000.00
(iii) 2,0001-5,000
3000.00
(iv) 5,001-10,000
4000.00
(v) 10,001 and above
5000.00
Certificate of Survey for Registration
1000.00
Issue or Re-issue of Certificate of Registry
200.00
Provisional Certificate of Registry
(i) 150-500 gross tons
500.00
(ii) 501-2,000
1000.00
(iii) 2,001-5,000
1500.00
(iv) 5,001-10,000
2000.00
(v) 10,001 and above
2500.00
Issue of an Extension to a Provisional Certificate of Registry
(i) 150-500 gross tons
250.00
(ii) 501-2,000
500.00
(iii)2,001-5,000
750.00
(iv) 5,001-10,000
1000.00
(v) 10,001 and above
1150.00
Ship Carving and Marking Notes
100.00
Change of Name of Vessel
200.00
Deletion of Certificate
500.00
Licensing of Vessels Below 150 GT and Less than 24 M
Yachts
(i) Up to 50 gross tons
300.00
(ii) 51-100
500.00
(iii) 101-150
800.00
Pleasure Crafts and Other Vessels
(i) Up to 50 gross tons
200.00
(ii) 51-100
400.00
(iii) 101-150
600.00
Bareboat Charter Registration
Processing of application
(i) 150-500 gross tons
1000.00
(ii) 501-2000
2000.00
(iii) 2001-5000
3000.00
(iv) 5001-10,000
4000.00
(v) 10,001 and above
5000.00
Bareboat Charter Renewal - Annual
100.00
Issue of a Letter of Consent to a Foreign or Local Bareboat Charter Registry
100.00
Issue of Certificate of Permission for Foreign Bareboat Charter
200.00
Termination of a Bareboat Charter
200.00

Additional fee information can be found in the Ghana Maritime Authority List of Fees and Charges at https://www.ghanamaritime.org

Contact

Ship Registration

Facilitation purposes
Ministry of Transport/Ghana Maritime Authority
Mr. Nana Kwabena Boakye-Boampong
Maritime Services Division/Ag. Director
Ministries Post Office
P. M. B 34
Ministries Post Office
Accra
Ghana

Phone
+233 302 684-388
+233504806055

Email
info@ghanamaritime.org
nana.b.boampong@ghanamaritime.org

Web
https://www.ghanamaritime.org
Fax
+233 302 677-702

Ship inspection and casualty investigation services
Ministry of Transport/Ghana Maritime Authority
Mr. Thomas Kofi Alonsi
Director General
PMB 34
Ministries Post Office
ACCRA
Ghana

Phone
+233 302 662122

Email
thomas.k.alonsi@ghanamaritime.org
info@ghanamaritime.org

Web
https://www.ghanamaritime.org

Fax
+233 302 684392

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 Ghana

IMO Convention 48 x
SOLAS Convention 74 x
SOLAS Protocol 78 x
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
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 x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex I/II) x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex III) x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex IV) x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex V) x
MARPOL Protocol 97 (Annex VI) x
London Convention 72
London Convention Protocol 96 x
INTERVENTION Convention 69 x
INTERVENTION Protocol 73
CLC Convention 69 x
CLC Protocol 76
CLC Protocol 92 x
FUND Protocol 76
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
LLMC Protocol 96
SUA Convention 88 x
SUA Protocol 88 x
SUA Convention 2005 x
SUA Protocol 2005 x
SALVAGE Convention 89
OPRC Convention 90 x
HNS Convention 96
HNS PROT 2010
OPRC/HNS 2000
BUNKERS CONVENTION 01
ANTI FOULING 2001
BALLASTWATER 2004 x
NAIROBI WRC 2007
HONG KONG CONVENTION x

x= ratification
d=denunciation

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