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Saint Kitts and Nevis

Shipowner Eligibility 

There are limited restrictions on ownership of St. Kitts & Nevis ships, this being available to St. Kitts & Nevis corporations, foreign corporations and individuals. A local representative (Maritime Resident Agent) may be required.

However, where a ship is registered with St. Kitts & Nevis International Ship Registry and is owned by a St. Kitts & Nevis corporation or a St. Kitts & Nevis citizen that owner may be entitled to a reduced Registration Fee.

About the Flag

The twin-island nation of St. Kitts & Nevis is located in the northern section of the Eastern Caribbean, approximately 1,300 miles southeast of Miami, Florida.

The name St. Kitts is a shortened form of its official name, St. Christopher given to it by Christopher Columbus when he landed there in 1493. Columbus also discovered Nevis on his voyage, reportedly calling it Nevis (Spanish word for snow) because of its resemblance to a snowcapped mountain. St. Kitts became Britain's first colony in the West Indies with the founding of a settlement in 1623. In 1983, the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis gained independence as a two-island nation within the British Commonwealth.

A number of important historical sites in the Federation include Brimstone Hill, an 18th Century fortress, nicknames "the Gibraltar of the West Indies" when it was in military use. This is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The St. Kitts Scenic Railway operates on the old sugar railway for scenic trips around St. Kitts initiating one of the most exhilarating experiences in the Caribbean described as "only a one-of-a-kind scenic wonder travelling over 23 bridges".

Port Zante, Basseterre is the modern cruise ship terminal for the Federation, rebuilt entirely in recent times to withstand hurricane damage. Two ships of up to 130,000 tonnes can be accommodated alongside simultaneously. Cruise ships also call separately at Charlestown, Nevis.

Within the existing marina berths as many as 65 boats of up to 150 feet in length. Additionally there is a new 450 berth super-yacht marina, Christiphe Harbour, in construction stages with a finish date of approximately 2012.

An Annual Music Festival in June brings musicians from all over the world to the Federation.
The St. Kitts & Nevis International Ship Registry (SKANReg), an International Open Register, falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Maritime Affairs of the Ministry of Public Works, Utilities, Transport and Posts.
The St. Kitts & Nevis Merchant Shipping Act and Maritime Regulations (which are based upon English Law) are the foundation for maritime operations. This foundation offers international familiarity and the fundamental protection afforded to Ship Owners, Operators, Managers, Seafarers, Mortgagees and Mortgagors. The Ship Registry is operated by the International Registrar of Shipping & Seamen whose head office is located in London. The International Registrar controls the issuance of all documentation issued on behalf of SKANReg.

SKANreg is actively open for all types of yacht registration.

A network of Maritime Registrar Offices around the world assist the Registrar in registering ships and are allowed to issue pertinent documentation when authorised by the Registrar to help the ship owner avoid any delays.

SKANReg has gained ISO Quality Assurance 9001:2000 Accreditation from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).

Company Formation

Full details of company formation and financial services can be found on the websites of the Government's Financial Services Departments, namely and


Companies are exempt from all taxes as long as they conduct their business exclusively with persons who are not resident in St. Kitts & Nevis. No estate, inheritance, succession or gift tax, rate, duty, levy or other charge is payable by any person with regard to any property owned by, or securities issued or created by or in respect of, an exempt company.

Registration and Documentation

The following is a synopsis of requirements. For full details, visit Applications for Registration can be made through the offices of the worldwide network of Maritime Registrars, a Service Provider in St. Kitts & Nevis or direct to the office of the International Registrar of Shipping & Seamen. All documents are to be submitted in the English language. Where the document has been issued in a language other than English, then a True Translation into English is to be attached to it.

Documentation required at time of registration is as follows:
• Completed Application Forms
• Evidence of Ownership (Bill of Sale; Builder’s Certificate).
• Certificate of Incorporation or an original Certificate of Good Standing for the owning company.
• Existing International Tonnage Certificate (ITC 1969).
• Certificate of Registry for current flag.
• Radio Station License for current flag
• Letter of Attestation dated no more than 14 days before the application, issued by a Class Society.
• Current Continuous Synopsis Record

If a St. Kitts & Nevis vessel is changing ownership within the flag, the following original documentation is required:
• Completed application forms
• Second Bill of Sale
• A signed copy of CSR Amendment Form if the ship is over 500 GRT.
• Copy of Certificate issued by Class Society stating that the vessel is in Class and has valid statutory certificates.

Within 30 days, an original Certificate or Statement from the Class Society stating that the ship has been marked with a new name and official number.

Bareboat Charter Registration

A Shipowner may Bareboat Charter a ship into or out from SKANReg. Bareboat chartering is available to ships provisionally or permanently registered.

Ships are to be over 1500 GRT and the bareboat charter must be for a minimum of 2 years and maximum of 20 years. For provisionally registered ships, a maximum of 2 years is allowed. However, this period can be extended once the ship completes Permanent Registration.

Smaller ships and a shorter or longer bareboat charter period may be allowed on a case-by-case basis.

Vessel and Yacht Eligibility & Survey Requirements

Vessels to be newly registered must be no more than 20 years old from date of first construction. Vessels already registered with the St. Kitts & Nevis Flag are not subject to this requirement upon registration. A special waiver of the 20 year rule may be granted if the vessel is in class with an approved classification society and completes a general condition survey.
For registration or re-registration, vessels must be appropriately classed with an authorised Classification Society. The following organisations have agreements with the Administration to carry out Statutory Surveys and issue Statutory Certificates on behalf of the Government of St. Kitts & Nevis.

• American Bureau of Shipping - ABS
• Bureau Veritas - BV
• Indian Register of Shipping - IR
• International Register of Shipping – IRS
• Korean Register of Shipping - KRS
• Lloyds Register of Shipping - LR
• Nippon Kaiji Kyokai - NK
• Polski Rejestr Statkow - PRS
• Registro Italiano Navale - RINA
• Russian Maritime Register of Shipping - RS

Full details of the Authorisations given by our Government to each organisation can be found on the IMO Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) website at
Pending finalisation of agreements with them, members organisations of IACS will be accepted as RO/RSO's on a case-by-case basis. Other well-established organisations may be accepted on a case-by-case basis. Owners should enquire of the International Registrar of Shipping & Seamen for the requirements in such cases.
Radio Traffic Accounting Authorities (AAIC) and Point Service Activators (PSA)
Currently, any organisation authorised by ITU and Inmarsat respectively are allowed to be used by owners for radio traffic accounting and Inmarsat activation.


It is mandatory for all seafarers serving on board a St. Kitts & Nevis Ship to hold a "Continuous Discharge Certificate and Identity Document (CDC)", also commonly known as a Seamen's Book.

It is also mandatory for the Master, all officers and all watch keeping ratings, serving onboard a St Kitts & Nevis ship to hold an appropriate Endorsement from St. Kitts and Nevis International Ship registry (SKANReg).

A Certificate of Endorsement (CoE) shall be issued to officers holding Certificates of Competency - (CoC) and title endorsement from a "White Listed" country under Regulation I/10 of the STCW 1978/95 Convention for Ratings holding appropriate certification from their home country or any "White Listed" country.


The Merchant Shipping Act follows the general legal principal of English Law on ship mortgages. The mortgagee may enforce the mortgage by taking possession of the ship and selling it by private sale or at auction.

The mortgagor mortgages the ship by execution of a simple mortgage deed and registering the same at the offices of the International Registrar of Shipping & Seamen, where the existence of the mortgage is then recorded in the ships records in the Registry Book.

It is usual for the mortgagor and the mortgagee to enter into a deed of Covenant collateral to the ship mortgage, setting out in detail the legal relation between them and the terms and conditions under which the mortgagee may enforce its rights under the mortgage.

The priority of the mortgage is determined by the date and time of its registration in the Registry Book. There are no provisions in the Merchant Shipping Act for the registration of the mortgage in the register of companies as a charge against the ship owning company.


Please contact your local Maritime Registrar, a Service Provider or SKANReg Head Office for the Registration Service Fees.

Bank Details
Payments are to be made in US Dollars, free of all bank charges, to the following Account:
Natwest Bank
134 Aldersgate Street
PO Box 13309
London EC1A 4LD
US Dollar Account No: 27029484
IBAN: GB14 NWBK 6073 0127 0294 84
Swift: NWBK GB 2L
Sort Code: 60-05-37
Account name: St. Kitts & Nevis International Ship Registry

Payments by Credit Card is also accepted.
Please apply to the Registrar for the details how to pay by Credit Card.

Shipowners and clients in St. Kitts & Nevis can make payments to the following account:
St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Ltd
Central Street,
P.O. Box 343
Basseterre, St. Kitts, West Indies
US Dollar Account No: 42399


International Registrar of Shipping & Seamen
St. Kitts & Nevis International Ship Registry
Stolt-Nielsen House
1-5 Oldchurch Road, Romford
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1708 380 400
Fax: +44 1708 380 401

Mr. Mr Wayne Edmeade
Acting Director of Maritime Affairs
Department of Maritime Affairs Ministry of Public Works, Utilities, Transport & Posts
Water Services Building
Needsmust, Basseterre St Kitts, W.I.
Tel: +1 869 466 7032
Fax: +1 869 465 0604
Email: or

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 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
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
Cape Town Agreement 2012
SUA Convention 88
SUA Protocol 88

IMO Conventions

Status of Conventions Saint Kitts and Nevis

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 x
Cape Town Agreement 2012 x
STCW Convention 78 x
STCW-F Convention 95
SAR Convention 79 x
STP Agreement 71
Space STP Protocol 73
IMSO Convention 76
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
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 x
PAL Protocol 76
PAL Protocol 90
PAL Protocol 02 d
LLMC Convention 76
LLMC Protocol 96
SUA Convention 88 x
SUA Protocol 88
SUA Convention 2005 x
SUA Protocol 2005
SALVAGE Convention 89 x
OPRC Convention 90 x
HNS Convention 96 x
OPRC/HNS 2000 x

x= ratification

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