OFFICIAL GUIDE TO SHIP & YACHT REGISTRIES

Oman

Shipowner Eligibility 

A vessel must be registered under the Omani flag if it is owned by an Omani national or company. An Omani company may have foreign part ownership. Likewise, a vessel must be owned by an Omani national or company in order to be eligible for registration.

About the Flag

Oman is a monarchy and a member of the Arab League, the UN, and IMO. It is located in the Middle East bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf between Yemen and the United Arab Emirates. Arabic is the official language with 75% of the population belonging to the Ibadhi sect of Islam. The capital is Muscat, and the legal system is based on English common law and Islamic law with ultimate appeal to the Sultan (the chief of state and head of government). There is a unicameral Consultative Council.

Oman is a middle-income economy that is heavily dependent on dwindling oil resources. Because of declining reserves and a rapidly growing labor force, Muscat has actively pursued a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialization, and privatization, with the objective of reducing the oil sector's contribution to GDP to 9% by 2020 and creating more jobs to employ the rising numbers of Omanis entering the workforce. Tourism and gas-based industries are key components of the government's diversification strategy. By using enhanced oil recovery techniques, Oman succeeded in increasing oil production, giving the country more time to diversify, and the increase in global oil prices throughout 2010 provides the government greater financial resources to invest in non-oil sectors. Oil production is the economic mainstay but fish, processed copper, and textiles are also important industries. Major trading partners include the United Arab Emirates, Japan, and South Korea. The unit of currency is the Omani rial.

Merchant shipping is regulated by Sultani Decree No. 35/81 (1981), and the Law Regulating Navigation in Territorial Waters Sultani Decree 98/81 (1981) administered by the Ministry of Communication.

Company Formation

The basic law governing foreign investment in Oman is the Foreign Business and Investment Law of 1974, amended in 1977, 1978, and 1982 pursuant to which foreign investment is encouraged in certain sectors but excluded from others.

New foreign investment is limited to the agriculture, fisheries, industrial, construction, minerals, and petroleum sectors. Restrictions on investment do not apply to oil companies, international transportation companies, foreign banks and several other fields. In most cases, Oman does require that a company doing business in Oman have a local agent. The agent must be an Omani citizen. A company must be 51% Omani owned.

Taxation

The Income Tax Law (Royal Decree 47/81) applies to all trades or businesses, including partnerships and permanent establishments or foreign firms. Companies that are 100% Omani owned are taxed on income above US $72,000.00, including profits, interest, royalties and capital gains. There is no withholding tax, estate or gift taxes, or dividend tax.

Tax is not charged on profits from a supply contract terminating at or before the Omani port concerned, (i.e. when the supplier has no activity within the country). In the case of combined supply and installation contracts, however, the taxpayer is required to account to the Omani tax authorities for the full amount received under the contract.

One tax issue which causes uncertainty for firms is the question of the percentage of head office expenses which may be charged from the home country. Incentives are available to companies with at least 35% Omani ownership on the recommendation of the Industrial Development Committee. It is unclear whether vessels may be considered as such.

Registration and Documentation

An application for registration must be submitted within thirty days from the date of building or ownership of the vessel, a period which shall commence with the date of the vessel’s entry into an Omani port. An original application should be submitted to the Registry in Muscat containing the following particulars:
• The present name and any previous names of the vessel
• Port of registration
• Date and place of construction
• Reasons for acquiring Omani nationality
• Class of vessel and type of vessel, whether propeller or sail-driven
• Dimensions of the vessel’s length, width and depth
• Gross and net tonnages
• Name of the owner or joint owners and share of each
• In-kind rights on the vessel
• Attachments imposed on the vessel

The applicant shall enclose with the application all documents necessary to support the correctness of the particulars. The Registry office shall post the particulars on the Notice Board and in a daily newspaper of wide circulation at the expense of the applicant. Any concerned party may file an objection within three months from the date of publication. In the interim, the owner shall receive a temporary Registration Certificate.

Bareboat Charter Registration

Bareboat charter registration into the Omani flag is permitted by Title Five, Part One of the maritime law (Sultani Decree 35/81 1981).

Vessel and Yacht Eligibility & Survey Requirements

Small and large boats that belong to another vessel are exempted as are boats, floating platforms, derricks and platforms operating in one harbor, which need only a Navigation License and Safety Certificate.

Foreign vessels without a special license issued by the maritime authority may not engage in fishing, towage or pilotage within Omani territorial waters.

Crewing

Only Omani nationals may work on a vessel engaged in coastal navigation, towage, or pilotage at Omani ports.

Mortgages

The mortgage of a vessel must be concluded in an official instrument. If the vessel is jointly owned, she may be mortgaged entirely by the consent of the owners holding at least 3/4 of the shares. Lien creditors who attach a lien on a ship shall follow, irrespective of who has possession of the vessel, to reclaim and settle their debts according to their order and rank. An official copy of the Mortgage Agreement must be submitted to the Ship’s Registry office. Two original lists signed by the applicant for registration should be enclosed and include the following:
• Name and surname of each of the creditors and debtors, their respective places of residence, professions and date of the agreement
• Amount of the debt shown in the agreement
• Conditions of interest and payment
• Name of the mortgaged vessel, her description, date and number of the Registration Certificate
• The selected domicile of the creditor in the area of the Registry office

Fees

Please contact:

Ministry of Transport & Communications
P.O. Box 684
Muscat 100
Sultanate of Oman

Tel: [968] 24685000
Fax: [968] 24685757
Email: info@motc.gov.om

Contact

Registration
Ministry of Transport & Communications
P.O. Box 684
Muscat 100
Sultanate of Oman
Tel: [968] 24685000
Fax: [968] 24685757
Email: info@motc.gov.om
Website: http://www.motc.gov.om

Company Formation and Taxation Information
Ministry of Commerce & Industry
P.O. Box 550
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Tel: [968] 799 500
Fax: [968] 794 239 or 794 226

Department of Ship Registration and Seafarers Affairs
Tel: +968-24685975
Email: abdullahm@motc.gov.om

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 Oman

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
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)
London Convention 72 x
London Convention Protocol 96
INTERVENTION Convention 69 x
INTERVENTION Protocol 73 x
CLC Convention 69 d
CLC Protocol 76 x
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
SUA Protocol 2005
SALVAGE Convention 89 x
OPRC Convention 90 x
HNS Convention 96
HNS PROT 2010
OPRC/HNS 2000
BUNKERS CONVENTION 01 x
ANTI FOULING 2001 x
BALLASTWATER 2004 x
NAIROBI WRC 2007 x
HONG KONG CONVENTION

x= ratification
d=denunciation

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