The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) welcomes all types of vessels to the register while ensuring relevant legal and safety standards are met. As part of the registration requirements, the technical suitability and age of a vessel are also taken into consideration before it is accepted to fly the Bahamas Flag.

Foreign-owned ships engaged in international trade may be registered in the Bahamas. Vessels over 12 years old are subject to a pre-registration inspection undertaken by an authorised Bahamas inspector and applications are approved on an individual basis. Applications for vessels of less than 1600 net tons may also be submitted to the register and will be assessed on an individual basis.

Vessels which are owned by Bahamian nationals, corporations, or are foreign owned can hold direct title to a Bahamas flagged ship.