an introduction

The Register is operated by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region through the Marine Department which has over 150 years of experience in ship registration, inspection and survey. A ship which complies with international standards for safety and protection of marine environment would be able to meet the requirements for registration in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Shipping Register offers you:

  • Readily available technical support and advice by highly qualified and responsive professional staff
  • One of the lowest tax regimes in the world
  • No profits tax levied on overseas trade
  • Double taxation relief arrangement with major trading partners
  • No nationality restrictions on manning
  • A clean, efficient and business friendly civil service
  • Excellent ship management, financial, communication, legal and other support facilities
  • An independent, well-established common law system
  • Gateway to the Mainland of China

Services Provided by the Hong Kong Shipping Register

  • Provisional and full registration
  • Registration of mortgages on full and provisional registration
  • Demise charter registration

A Ship is Registrable if

  • A majority interest in the ship is owned by one or more qualified persons, or operated under a demise charter by a corporation that is a qualified person
  • Not registered elsewhere
  • A representative person is appointed in relation to the ship


Charges are set primarily to recover operational costs. In this connection, a registration fee and an annual tonnage fee are levied for ships on the Register.


Income derived from the international operation of Hong Kong registered ships is exempted from profits tax. Hong Kong has also entered into double taxation relief agreements with countries or income derived from international operation of ships, and more countries are expected soon: