In 1989 Belize passed the Registration of Merchant Ships Act and established the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) allowing for the registration of vessels of all class, type, size and weight engaged in any kind of trade, service or international maritime activity, including pleasure vessels, and in 1990 it became a member state of the International Maritime Organization. Belize later repealed the Registration of Merchant Ships Act as amended, the Registration of Merchant Ships (Registration and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations, and the Registration of Merchant Ships (Variation of Fees) Order, 2010 upon the passing of the Merchant Ships (Registration) Act in 2010. Vessels registered with IMMARBE are registered under the Belize flag for navigation in international waters.
ICS acts as an Agent assisting clients with the compilation and preparation of required documents and information for registration. IMMARBE facilitates Provisional Registration, Permanent Registration, Dual Registration and Special Registration of vessels.
Provisional Registration may be processed and granted using copies of required documentation. This type of registration is temporary and valid for six months during which time the shipowner or his representative is expected to gather all documents necessary for permanent registration. Provisional Registration is applied for in cases where the shipowner requires registration but is not yet able to supply all required documentation for permanent registration. Vessels under construction may also apply for and be granted provisional registration under special conditions.
Permanent Registration is valid for five years and is effected immediately upon submission of all required documentation. All documents submitted must be in the English language, and if otherwise must be accompanied by an official English translation thereof. Original documents submitted must be certified by a notary public or other recognized and authorized public official who must certify the authenticity of the signature(s) appearing on the document as well as the authority of the person executing the document. Documents submitted in copy form must be certified by a notary public or other recognized and authorized public official who must certify the authenticity of the signature(s) appearing on the document as well as the authority of the person executing the document and must certify that the document is a true copy of its original.
IMMARBE also allows for Bareboat Charter Registration. Vessels may be registered as a second flag (“Charter-in”) under the terms of a Bareboat Charter Party provided that the original Registry grants its written consent. Vessels may also apply for a parallel registration in another country’s registry without affecting its status in Belize (“Charter-out”). Charter-in and Charter-out registrations may be authorized for a period of up to two years.
Vessels may also apply for Special Registration under certain circumstances such as on delivery voyage for scrap. Applying for and being granted Special Registration allows for documents to be issued with a validity of three months and automatic expiration when this period elapses. This special status does not entitle the vessel to a Deletion Certificate.
The Merchant Ships (Registration) Act, 2010 also provides for the registration of ship mortgages and maritime liens.
For more information and associated fees, please visit our FAQ page.
Application for Registration of Ships (90.7 KiB)
Application Form for Yachts (119.6 KiB)
Power of Attorney (56.1 KiB)