Types of Ship Registration

Owner Registration

The interest of a ship may be divided into any number of shares or parts. However, a majority interest in the ship shall be owned by one or more “Qualified Person(s)”, unless it is a Demise Charter Registration. A body corporate should register as an owner of the ship by its corporate name.

Demise Charter Registration

Demise Charter means a charter party by which a ship is chartered or let by demise and under which the demise charterer has the possession of the ship and has control of all matters relating to the navigation and operation of the ship including employment of the master and crew. A body corporate which is a “Qualified Person” may register a ship under Demise Charter Registration. The registration is valid for the period of the demise charter. Any change to the owner or demise charterer may render the ship unregistrable.

“Qualified Person” must be one of the followings:

(a) an individual who holds a valid Hong Kong Identity Card and who is ordinarily resident in Hong Kong; or

(b) a body corporate incorporated in Hong Kong; or

(c) a company registered with the Hong Kong Companies Registry as an Non-Hong Kong company.

In addition to the owner or the demise charterer, a local “Representative Person” shall also be appointed.

“Representative Person” must be:

(a) a “Qualified Person” and the owner or part owner of the ship; or

(b) a body corporate incorporated in Hong Kong engaging in the business of ship management, or acting as agent for ships.

Duties of “Representative Person”

The “Representative Person” appointed in relation to a ship shall represent the owner or demise charterer of a ship in respect of all matters concerning the ship’s operation as a registered ship and in particular, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, shall, on behalf of the owner or demise charterer:

(a) accept service of all documents in respect of legal proceedings against the owner or demise charterer of the ship, which may be served on the representative person pursuant to the Ordinance; and

(b) where the Director or the Registrar by notice served on the owner, demise charterer or representative person requires the owner or demise charterer to take any action or give any information concerning the ship or the operation of the ship as a registered ship, take such action or give such information within the time specified in the notice or, if no such time is specified, within a reasonable time.

Full Registration

Certificate of Registry (with no expiry date) will be issued to a ship on full registration upon successful delivery of the ship and submission of the original title document.

Provisional Registration

Ship registration can be on full registration or provisional registration. However, provisional registration is not a prerequisite for full registration. Provisional registry should be appropriate when the original title documents cannot be produced at the time of registration. Certificate of Provisional Registry with one month validity will be issued to a ship upon successful delivery of the ship and submission of the photocopy/scanned copy of the title document. Original title document must be presented to the Registry within the validity period in order to change the ship to full registration.

For more details, please refer to “Ship Registration Guildelines” (https://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/pub_services/pdf/sr_guide.pdf)