OFFICIAL GUIDE TO SHIP & YACHT REGISTRIES

Saudi Arabia

Shipowner Eligibility 

Vessels are eligible for registration only if they are owned by one of the following:

A Saudi national
A Saudi company or establishment with 100% Saudi capital

A company with joint Saudi/foreign capital, if all the following conditions are met:
i) The company is registered in Saudi Arabia.
ii) The Saudi capital involved is not less than 51% of the total capital of the company.
iii) The managing director of the company, institution or organization owning the ship should be a Saudi citizen or should have an experience in the marine transport business.
iv) One third of the members of the board of directors including the managing director and the chairman of the board have the Saudi citizenship or permanently reside in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
v) The headquarters of the company is in Saudi Arabia.

A vessel may be divided into 24 units or parts for partial ownership purposes.

About the Flag

Saudi Arabia is an Arabic speaking monarchy which borders the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, north of Yemen. The Chief of State and Head of Government are the King and the Prime Minister. There is a Consultative Council composed of 60 members and a chairman who are appointed by the King. The legal system is based on Islamic law but several secular codes have been introduced. The nation is a member of the Arab League, OPEC, the UN, and the IMO.

The Saudi economy is based on oil as the country is the largest exporter of petroleum products in the world. There are especially strong economic and political ties with the United States. Japan and the United Kingdom are also major trading partners. The unit of currency is the Saudi riyal.

Company Formation

The following conditions are required to register a company in Saudi Arabia:
i) The Saudi capital involved is not less than 51% of the total capital of the company.
ii) The managing director of the company, institution or organization owning the ship should be a Saudi citizen or should have an experience in the marine transport business.
iii) One third of the members of the board of directors including the managing director and the chairman of the board have the Saudi citizenship or permanently reside in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
iv) The headquarters of the company is in Saudi Arabia.

Taxation

For more information, contact:
The Ministry of Transport
Airport Road
Riyadh 11178
Saudi Arabia
Tel: [966] (1) 3000 404
Fax: [966] (1) 4031 401
Email: mot@mot.gov.sa
Website: http://www.mot.gov.sa

Registration and Documentation

A license to practice maritime transport must first be issued to the owner by the Ministry of Communication Transportation Affairs Department according to the nature of the work of the vessel. (If it is confirmed that joint companies which have been licensed to practice maritime transportation according to the Foreign Capital Investment Regulation are not practicing their activities in the field of the licensed work to develop the abilities of the Saudi commercial maritime fleet, the Ministry of Communications shall cancel and withdraw the licenses granted to them.) Upon obtaining the license, original registration documentation should be submitted at the Ministry of Communications and Transport or to the registration office at the Islamic Sea Port at Jeddah or the King Abdul Aziz Sea Port in Dammam.

The application form includes:

• The present name of the vessel and previous names confirmed by certificate endorsed by the classification body under which the vessel is registered
• Date of construction and name of builder
• Type of vessel
• Major and subsidiary machine and motor specifications
• Vessel dimensions, length, width, depth, draught, decks, etc.
• Capacities of vessel - gross lead capacity, net and tonnage capacity, etc.
• Name of owner or owners in joint tenancy
• Statement of each owner of shares
• Name of operator or manager, if owner is not the operator
• Name and nationality of the captain
• Debts, mortgages or seizure details of the vessel
• Present port where vessel is registered or for newbuildings, a Registration Certificate from the country of manufacture, together with any Certificate of Cancellation from the registry of that country

The following documents should be submitted together with the application form:
• Vessel Ownership Deed
• Certificate of the Builder, endorsed by the country where the factory is located indicating vessel specifications and date
• Certificate of Classification from a society recognized by Saudi Arabia that the vessel has never been the property of any citizen of Israel or South Africa and has never been registered under the flag of either of them
• Certificate from the Regional Office of Israel Boycott that the vessel requesting registration is not entered on the boycott list
• Photocopy of the documents indicating cost of the vessel and the means of transmission of those amounts
• Photocopy of third party compensation insurance policy covering risks that may result from operating the vessel
• Photocopy of license to practice maritime transport works issued to the company by the Ministry of Communication Transportation Affairs Department
• Photocopy of commercial registration of the company with the Ministry of Commerce
• Photocopy of the permission issued by the Foreign Capital Investment Committee of the Ministry of Industry and Electricity and the decision of the Minister
• Official Certificate of Cancellation of the vessel from its former registry
• Declaration of the owner regarding the correctness and validity of all documents presented by him, and that no illegal agreement or dealing is in existence in regard to the documents provided

The registrant is required to publish particulars of the vessel in two local newspapers, and these details will also be posted at the registration office during which time a temporary registration, if granted, will be valid for one or more voyages as specified, or for a six-month period. Any interested party may object to the registration within three months of the publication of the above details by submitting reasons for the objection to the Ministry of Communications. Within two months of that objection, the objector shall also raise the case with the Disputes Settlement Committee, which will inform the Registry and Ministry of Communications of its decision. If the vessel is abroad, it may be granted provisional registration by an Embassy or Consulate. A certificate will be granted for one voyage to enable the vessel to reach a Saudi port with a registration office, and be valid for ten additional days after such arrival.

A Permanent Registration Certificate shall be issued upon expiration of a three month period after publication of the registration details, if there has been no objection, or if any objections have been refused. The registration of a vessel may be transferred from one registry office to the other within the kingdom upon application. Amendments to the certificate must be made with the registry within thirty days of a change in the status of any particulars.

The registration will be canceled if a vessel is damaged or captured by an enemy of the kingdom, if the owner loses nationality, or if other conditions for registration are reversed. An application for cancellation should be submitted by an owner within thirty days of the reason for a cancellation or the optional sale of the vessel.

Details of new ownership, change in vessel name, etc. must be submitted to the registry and changes must be in conformity with the original provisions for Saudi registration.

Penalties, confiscation and imprisonment may be imposed on any owner, rigger or captain who raises the Saudi flag while not entitled, who forges a Registration Certificate, or who alters its particulars. These range from three months to one year and/or one to fifty thousand Saudi riyals, depending on the violation. If the violation involved changing the distinguishing marks of the hull, i.e. draught marks or name, there is an exception if the action was taken to prevent the vessel from being captured by an enemy.

Vessels sailing under Saudi flags are not allowed to sail in waters declared to be in a state of war.

Bareboat Charter Registration

Bareboat charter registration into the Saudi flag is permitted. The Saudi leaseholder should apply to the Ministry of Communications or to any of the two registration offices in Jeddah or Dammam at least fifteen days prior to the commencement of the contract, by presenting a photocopy of the lease contract, a certificate from the Israel Boycott office declaring that the vessel is not blacklisted, and notification from the underlying registry authority that the vessel's registration is waived for the period of the lease. All valid current charters of Saudi vessels with any country or citizens shall be suspended in case of an armed dispute or emergencies which arise between them and the Saudi Government.

Saudi Arabia also allows bareboat charter registration out of the flag. Temporary cancellation of Saudi registration is provided when a vessel is on bareboat charter. Application should be made at least fifteen days prior to the commencement of the lease. The Saudi owner should apply to the Ministry of Communications and furnish a certificate from the Israel Boycott Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the leaseholder is not blacklisted. The leaseholder company must provide a declaration that the vessel "will not possibly visit Israeli ports throughout the period of her lease," and the lease of the vessel shall commence while the vessel is free and empty of any shipments."

There is a further procedure to secure a Saudi Temporary Cancellation Certificate during the period the vessel is leased out. At least fifteen days prior to signing a contract to bareboat charter register a Saudi vessel out of the flag, the leaseholder should submit a list of the names and nationalities of the seafarers and the captain to both the Ministry of Defense and Aviation and the Ministry of the Interior.
Saudi vessels cannot be chartered to or from foreign organizations or governments that are proved to be assisting or organizing maritime piracy activities or devastation against the Kingdom.

Vessel and Yacht Eligibility & Survey Requirements

A survey must be made by an approved classification society before registration. (For information, contact the registry.)

Crewing

There are no nationality requirements for seafarers on Saudi vessels; however, a seafarer is prohibited from working on board Saudi vessels in the following cases:

• He was previously expatriated from the lands of the Kingdom for reasons connected with security.
• He practices activities inimical to the interests of the Kingdom.
• He is proved to be involved with terrorist activities.

Every Saudi vessel must designate a suitable and convenient place for the crew and passengers to perform their prayer duties.

Mortgages

All details of property rights on a vessel shall be entered in the registry and assigned a priority level based on the date of entry on the registration sheet.

Fees

For more information, contact:
The Ministry of Transport
Airport Road
Riyadh 11178
Saudi Arabia
Tel: [966] (1) 3000 404
Fax: [966] (1) 4031 401
Email: mot@mot.gov.sa
Website: http://www.mot.gov.sa

Contact

TRANSPORT GENERAL AUTHORTY
Eng. Kamal Al Junaidi
General Manger of the Conventions & Organization Department
Al OLAYA Street
RIYADH
11642
Saudi Arabia

Phone
+966118261111
Ext: 1042
+966 560808089
Fax
+966118261199
Email
kmjunaidi@tga.gov.sa
Web
https://www.tga.gov.sa

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 Saudi Arabia

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 x
CSC amendments 93 x
SFV Protocol 93
Cape Town Agreement 2012
STCW Convention 78 x
STCW-F Convention 95
SAR Convention 79 x
STP Agreement 71 x
Space STP Protocol 73 x
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
INTERVENTION Protocol 73
CLC Convention 69 x
CLC Protocol 76 x
CLC Protocol 92 x
FUND Protocol 76
FUND Protocol 92
FUND Protocol 2003
NUCLEAR Convention 71
PAL Convention 74 x
PAL Protocol 76 x
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 x
SUA Protocol 2005 x
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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