Ship & Yacht Registration
Our team has expertise in advising on matters regarding the ship & yacht registrations under the Montenegrin flag and not only. Our services include but are not limited to new vessel registration, change of ownership registration, changes of vessel name, mortgage registration, mortgage release registration, renewals, etc.
Procedure for registering a ship with the Montenegrin Register of Merchant Ships
Law on the manner of registration of ships, floating objects and installations for the production of hydrocarbons in the registers and on real rights on ships and installations for the production of hydrocarbons (Official Gazzete of Montenegro no.34/2019) (the „Law“) provides a comprenhensive set of rules governing procedure for registration of ships in the respective registers.
Pursuant to the Law, depending on types of ships, the following registries of ships exist and are maintained by Harbour Master’s Offices:
- Register of merchant ships;
- Register of fishing vessels;
- Register of ships in public service;
For ships under construction there is a Register of ships under construction.
The following ships can be registered with the Montenegrin Register of ships:
1) a ship that is partially owned by citizen of Montenegro;
2) a ship that is wholly or partly owned by a citizen of a Member State of the European Union if the company or manager is a legal entity registered in Montenegro;
3) a ship that is partially owned by a legal entity with its registered office in Montenegro;
4) a ship that is wholly or partly owned by a legal entity established in a Member State of the European Union if the company or manager is a legal entity established in Montenegro;
5) a ship that is wholly or partly owned by a citizen of a Member State of the European Union or a legal entity established in accordance with the regulations of a Member State of the European Union and established in a Member State of the European Union, provided that the ship is operated from a representative office in Montenegro;
6) a ship that is owned by a foreign natural person, with its residence outside Montenegro or outside the Member State of the European Union, if the company or manager is a legal entity with its registered office in Montenegro;
7) owned by a foreign legal entity with a registered office outside Montenegro or outside a Member State of the European Union, if the company or shipowner is a legal entity with a registered office in a Member State of the European Union and that company or manager has a representative office in Montenegro.
Further and in accordance with Article 6, para. 3 of the Law, a ship which is entirely owned by a natural or legal person who is a Montenegrin citizen with residence or registered seat in Montenegro must be registered with the Montenegrin Register (compulsory registration).
All records concerning a ship are kept within the respective registry. Such records include all the encumbrances over the ship and the rights acquired in respect of these encumbrances, ship lease, time charters, pre-emption rights and other restrictions on ship’s disposal.
It is worth noting that there are no specific requirements reletated to the age of the vessel qualifying for registration with the Montenegrin Register of Ships.
The procedure for registration it is to be initiated by the owners of the vessel or by her managers or operators, as the case may be. Furthermore, it should be noted that the application for registration must be filed with Commercial Court in Podgorica through Harbour Master’s Office. The procedure for registration is usually completed within four or five working days.
The documents required for permanent registration of a ship are as follows:
- Proof of ownership (Bill of Sale);
- Excerpt from the registry of commercial entities for applicant who is a legal entity or document proving fulfilment of the nationality requirements for applicant who is a natural person;
- Resolution on the ship’s name, sign and port of registry;
- Certificate on ship’s seaworthiness;
- International Tonnage Certificate;
- Resolution on the ship’s calls sign according to the International Code of Signals, if applicable;
- Deletion certificate issued by a foreign register, where applicable;
- A written statement from the shipowner to transfer liability for the management of the ship to the company, if the shipowner is not the company,
- Compulsory third party liability insurance policy.
Procedure for registering a yacht with the Montenegrin Register of Yachts
The Law on Yachts of Montenegro is a core legal act regulating nationality, identification, and registration of yachts in Montenegro as well as entering and staying of yachts into Montenegrin territorial waters, and rights and responsibilities for chartering the yachts in Montenegro. Both private and commercial yachts can qualify for registration under the Montenergin flag.
The procedure for registration it is to be initiated by the owners of the yacht or her bareboat charterers, as the case may be.
Any yacht of more than 7 meters in length, intended for longer stays at sea can qualify for registration with the Montenegrin Register of Yachts.
The Montenegrin Register of Yachts is the open registry where the yachts can be registered regardless of the nationality of their owner.
In particular, the following yachts qualify for the registration with the Montenegrin Register of Yachts:
- a yacht wholly or partially owned by a Montenegrin citizen or a legal entity with its headquarters in Montenegro;
- a yacht owned by a foreign citizen or a foreign legal entity;
- a bareboat chartered yacht may be also registered with the Montenegrin Register of Yachts in favour of her lessee (charterer) and subject to written consent of her owner.
Provided that a yacht is wholly owned by a Montenegrin citizen or a legal entity with its headquarters in Montenegro she must be registered with the Montenegrin Register of Yachts (mandatory registration).
The documentation required for yacht registration
The yacht owned by the foreign legal entities can be registered with the Montenegrin Register of Yachts, upon submission of the following documents:
- application for registration along with the proposal of the name of the yacht;
- a copy of identity card or passport for the insight, for establishing of the identity of the party for natural persons or the certificate of registration of a legal entity who ows the yacht;
- power of attorney for representing of the owner, certified in accordance with in law;
- compulsory 3PL insurance policy in accordance with the Law on compulsory insurance in traffic;
- deletion certificate from the previous Register, if she had been previously registered or Builder’s certificate;
- proof of the ownership of the yacht;
- certificate of tonnage measurement, where applicable;
- proof of paid registration fee.
For registering the yacht with the Register, all documents must be submitted in original. However, if the owner submits the copies of the above documents, the yacht will be issued a certificate of provisional registration valid for up to 3 (three) months, within 3 (three) days upon receipt of the copies by the Yacht Registry.
When it comes to newly built yachts, no initial survey is required for the purpose of their provisional registration in Montenegro when the yacht was built in accordance with the Directive 2013/53/EU (which has entirely replaced Directives 94/25/EC), Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of America title 33, parts 181 and 183 or MGN Code 280(M) and MSN Code 1792(M) of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency of the United Kingdom,which shall be evidenced by the Declaration of Conformity with the above regulation(s) (the “Declaration of Conformity”).
Therefore, if the Declaration of Conformity is submitted along with other registration documents, the owner will get the provisional registration valid for up to 3 (three) months (the “Provisional Certificate of Registration”) without initial survey. Should the owner wants to extend the registration for a period of three years, the original documents must be submitted and the yacht shall be inspected in terms of her equipment by the Montenegrin Maritime Administration or authorised surveyors prior to the expiration of provisional registration.