How to Register

Ship owners wishing to register their vessels under the Bahamas Flag may do so through all BMA offices, including Nassau (Bahamas), New York (USA), London (UK), Piraeus (Greece), Hong Kong (Hong Kong) or Tokyo (Japan). Additionally, registration documents can currently be processed through the Tokyo Agency office.

Full on-the-spot registration services will soon be available in Tokyo as well as Greece and Germany.

To start the registration process, the ship owner, who may be an individual or a corporation, must complete and submit to the Registrar an Application to Register form (R102) giving the name and general details of the vessel. A Registration of Managing Owner form (R104) which provides full contact details of the managers responsible for the day to day management of the ship should also be submitted together with copies of the vessel’s current class certificates (see Technical Procedures and Requirements for Registration of Ships).

The application will be reviewed and the Registrar will then confirm the vessel’s suitability for provisional registration on to the register (as applicable). Further, the Registrar will reserve the vessel’s name and issue Bahamas identification details i.e. official number, call sign and MMSI number. The remaining registration forms and required documents listed below should then be submitted together with the applicable registration fees.

Once all registration requirements are fulfilled, the vessel will be registered and the following Bahamas certificates and documents will be issued:

  • Provisional Certificate of Registry
  • Radio Communication License
  • Safe Manning Document
  • Ship’s Carving and Marking Note
  • Oil Pollution CLC
  • Bunker CLC
  • Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR)
  • LRIT Conformance Test Report (CTR)
  • Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance (DMLC) – Part 1
  • Set of Ship Statutory Publications

NB: Mortgages may also be registered against a vessel following its provisional registration.

Vessels are provisionally registered for a period of six months to allow owners to complete all flag change formalities and fulfil BMA requirements for permanent registration (see requirements listed below).

Once all requirements are met, a permanent Certificate of Registry will be issued.

The BMA also has a user friendly procedure for the registration and discharge of mortgages. A Bahamian statutory mortgage form (R208) should be completed in accordance with the footnotes provided on the form and duly executed and notarised. To record the mortgage transaction, the original instrument must be forwarded to the Registrar together with the applicable fees. Mortgages are recorded in the order of the date and time in which they are presented to the Registrar.

The friendly and efficient support staff and Registrars of the Registration Department at the BMA are always available to assist with any questions the ship owners and/or their agents may have. Their needs will be addressed promptly!