The Red Ensign Group is comprised of the United Kingdom, UK Crown Dependencies (Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey) and UK Overseas Territories (Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St Helena and the Turks & Caicos Islands) who operate shipping registers.

Any vessel registered in the UK, Crown Dependency or UK Overseas Territory, is a “British ship” and is entitled to fly the Red Ensign flag.

The 1995 Merchant Shipping Act provides for British possessions to be categorised according to the tonnage, size and type of vessel which can be registered. Under the Merchant Shipping (Categorisation of Registries of Relevant British Possessions) (Amendment) Order 2008 (Statutory Instrument 2008 No. 1243), these registers are divided into the following categories. Click the link to find out more about that country’s shipping register.

Find out more about the Red Ensign Group Terms of Reference, and the annual conference.

Find out more about the Passenger Yacht Code.

Visit the Red Ensign Group secure document area

Finally, you can also contact us.

Category 1 registers*

United Kingdom
Bermuda
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
Gibraltar
Isle of Man

Category 2 registers**

Anguilla
Falkland Islands
Guernsey
Jersey
Montserrat
St. Helena
Turks & Caicos Islands

* Category 1 administrations may register ships of unlimited tonnage, type and length.
** Category 2 administrations may register ships of up to 150 gross tons (GRT) and pleasure vessels - that is, vessels not operated commercially - of up to 400 GRT

The UK Ship Register

The UK Register is one the oldest and most prestigious shipping registers in the world. The UK Register is operated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (link to website) who provide a flexible, responsive and customer focussed approach to those companies who wish to fly the Red Ensign.

The UK Ship Register is one of the best performing flags in the major Port State Control regimes, with a reputation for maintaining the highest international standards.  

To find out more about the MCA, and the advantages of joining the UK Register, visit the UK Ship Register website.

You can also contact the UK Ship Register at:

UK Ship Register
Spring Place
105 Commercial Road
Southampton
SO15 1EG
United Kingdom

 Tel:  +44 (0) 23 8032 9197

 Fax:  +44 (0) 23 8032 9447

 E-mail: ukshipregister@mcga.gov.uk


Bermuda

The Government of Bermuda has operated a shipping register since 1789. The Department of Maritime Administration operates a Category One, Red Ensign Group British Register that provides for the registration of ships of any size, age or type.

Bermuda’s comprehensive and modern maritime legislation mirrors that of the United Kingdom. In addition, Bermuda is a party to all of the applicable International Maritime and Labour Conventions.

Today the Maritime Administration operates as an independent department within the Ministry of Transport.

Further information on the Bermuda Maritime Administration can be located on their website.

You can also contact them at:

Bermuda Government
Department of Maritime Administration
P.O. Box HM 1628
Hamilton HMGX
Bermuda

Tel:+441 295 7251

Fax:+441 295 3718

E-mail: maradros@gov.bm

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands Shipping Registry, a division of the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands, is a Category One British Registry and is able to register vessels of any size, age and type, from small yachts to super tankers (provided quality standards are met). However, fishing vessels are not currently being registered except those owned locally and operating in Cayman waters.

The Cayman Islands Register provides a prompt and efficient registration service. Some of the advantages of registering in the Cayman Islands are:

  • Competitive registration, survey and tonnage fees
  • Professional marine survey capability
  • Absence of direct taxation
  • Choice of a wide range of ownership structures.
  • A range of available vessel registration options.

Further information on the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry can be located on their website.

Or contact them directly:

Cayman Islands Shipping Registry
2nd Floor Strathvale House
90 N. Church St.
P.O. Box 2256
Grand Cayman KY1-1107
Cayman Islands

Tel: +1 345-949-8831
Fax: +1 345-949-8849
E-mail: cisrky@cishipping.com

Gibraltar

The Gibraltar Ship Register is a Category One Shipping Registry. There are many benefits of the Register, including those which that derive from Gibraltar’s status as part of the European Community and therefore the freedom to transport cargoes under the cabotage system. The Gibraltar Ship Register is fully recognized as an EC Member States’ Register.

With the exception of fishing vessels, ships propelled by nuclear power and ships not classed with one of the recognised Classification Societies, the Register is open to all types of ships irrespective of size though ships over 20 years old will require special approval before being accepted.

Further information on the Gibraltar Register of Shipping can be located on their website.

Or contact them directly:

Maritime Administrator
Gibraltar Maritime Administration
Government of Gibraltar
Watergate House
2/8 Casemates Square
Gibraltar

Tel: +350-200 47771 / 46862 / 50424
Fax: +350 47770
E-mail:
shipregistry@gibtelecom.net
marinesurveyor@gibtelecom.net

Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is a modern flag registry with a strong emphasis on quality, high standards and efficient service, aimed at providing a quality service for today's discerning owner. The Isle of Man operates a Category One, Red Ensign Group British Register that provides for the registration of ships of any size or type.

The Isle of Man Register is a component part of the British Register.

The Island is now a "Centre of Excellence" in the Irish Sea with locally based expertise in:

  • Ship Management
  • Ship Finance
  • Marine Insurance
  • Maritime Law Trust and Company formation with maritime expertise

Today the Isle of Man is also the flag of choice for the most prestigious of the world's superyachts.

Further information on the Isle of Man Ship Registry can be located on their website.

Or contact them directly:

Isle of Man Ship Registry
Department of Economic Development
St Georges Court
Upper Church Street
Douglas
Isle of Man
British Isles
IM1 5EH

Tel: +44 (0)1624 688500
Fax: +44 (0)1624 688501
E-mail: shipping@dti.gov.im

Anguilla

Anguilla is the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean. Anguilla is a member of the British Red Ensign Group and operates as a Category Two Red Ensign (British) Registry, which can register ships of up to 150 gross tons (GRT) and pleasure vessels, that is, those (not operated commercially) of up to 400 GRT. Pleasure vessels, by definition, refer to ships used for sport or pleasure, which are not operated commercially.

For further details visit their website, or contact them direct at:

Registrar of Ships
Coronation Avenue
The Valley
Anguilla

Tel: +1 264 497 2651
Fax: +1 264 497 3651

British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands are members of the British Red Ensign Group and operate as a Category One Red Ensign (British) Registry and is able to register all types of yachts, including mega yachts and super yachts up to 3000 gross tons (GT) and general cargo ships of unlimited tonnage.

For further details visit their website or contact them direct:


Virgin Islands Shipping Registry of Shipping
Sebastian's Building, PO Box 4751
Administration Drive
Road Town, Tortola
British Virgin Islands
VG1110

Tel: +1 284 468 2902/2903
Fax: +1 284 468 2913
E-mail: bsallah@gov.vg

Duty Officer (24 hours): +1 284 468 9646

Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands has operated its own Red Ensign register since 1861.   On 15 September 2003, a four-part register arrangement similar to that operated in the United Kingdom was formed when the Falkland Islands adopted Parts I and II of the UK Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (with modifications).

The Register is usually restricted to merchant vessels not exceeding a gross tonnage of 150, fishing vessels and small ships whose owners or charterers have a connection with the Falkland Islands and except in the case of the latter, all applications to register require the approval of the Governor.

Further information regarding the Falkland Islands Register may be obtained from:

The Registrar of Ships
Customs and Immigration Department
Byron House
3 “H” Jones Road
Stanley
Falkland Islands

Tel: (500) 27340 Facsimile: (500) 27342

e-mail: admin@customs.gov.fk


Guernsey

The Register of British Ships at the port of Guernsey is part of the British Red Ensign Group and operates a Category 2 register for vessels up to 150 GT. Legislation, to be introduced soon will see this tonnage limit increase to under 400 GT.

Guernsey has a long maritime history and holds firmly to its British identity. Over the last 110 years the Registry has enjoyed an active role in providing a valuable service to commercial and private vessel owners.

The Island, which is not part of the UK, maintains its Registry operations as a separate British territory, with the UK providing control over certain operational areas. Since 2000 the Registry has been administered by the States of Guernsey’s Harbour Authority, a division of the Public Services Department.

The Registry maintains a high service standard to applicants for full British Registration (Part I), Fishing Vessel and Small Ships Registration. Specific eligibility requirements relating to residency within the Bailiwick of Guernsey exist for Fishing Vessel and Small Ship registration. However, provided a majority of the shares in a vessel is owned by a British national or British company incorporated in a relevant British territory or dominion, there are few other restrictions on eligibility for full British registration.

For further details visit their website or contact them at:

Registry of British Ships
P.O. Box 631
St Julian’s Emplacement
St Peter Port
Guernsey
GY1 1SR

Jersey

Jersey is a Crown Dependency which has established a unique relationship with the English Crown since 1204. This grounding has facilitated the development of a mature and well-respected regulatory regime which meets international standards. As a leading international finance centre, Jersey can also offer the full range of legal, banking, company and trust services to assist potential vessel owners to register in Jersey.


Being a member of the Red Ensign Group, the Jersey registration system is monitored by the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and is an acknowledged market leader as a choice of port of Registry and has been active for over 200 years.

The Jersey Registry specialises in pleasure yachts up to 400 tons, but is also able to register small commercial vessels up to 150 tons. The popular A3 Certificate is automatically issued, and the registration period lasts for 10 years. This extended period helps the owner reduce renewal costs and causes less inconvenience.

For further information you are invited to contact the Jersey Registry, where applications are also welcome from Members of the British Commonwealth and the European Community. Their website is available here, and their contact details are as follows:

Ship's Registry
Economic Development
Jubilee Wharf
24 Esplanade
St Helier
JERSEY
JE1 1BB

Tel: 00 44 (0) 1534 448128
Fax: 00 44 (0) 1534 448158

E-mail: shipsregistry@gov.je

Montserrat

Montserrat is a member of the British Red Ensign Group and operates as a Category Two Red Ensign (British) Registry, which can register ships of up to 150 gross tons (GRT) and pleasure vessels (vessels not operated commercially) of up to 400 GRT.

For further details visit their website or contact them direct at:

Comptroller of Customs & Excise
HM Customs
P.O. Box 292
Government Headquarters
Brades
Montserrat

Tel: +1 664 491 3816
Fax: +1 664 491 6909
E-mail: customs@gov.ms

St Helena

St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha are three UK Overseas Territories which together form a single territorial group under British sovereignty known as ‘St Helena and its Dependencies’.  St Helena is a member of the British Red Ensign Group and operate as a Category Two Red Ensign (British) Registry, which can register ships of up to 150 gross tons (GRT) and pleasure vessels (vessels not operated commercially) of up to 400 GRT.

For further details visit their website or contact them direct at:

Registrar of Ships
Legal, Lands & Planning Dept.
Essex House
James Town
St Helena

Tel: +290 2270
Fax: +290 2454
E-mail: crown.counsel@legalandlands.gov.sh

Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) form the south-eastern extremity of the Bahamas chain. The Turks & Caicos Islands are members of the British Red Ensign Group and operate as a Category Two Red Ensign (British) Registry, which can register ships of up to 150 gross tons (GRT) and pleasure vessels (vessels not operated commercially) of up to 400 GRT.

For further details visit their website or contact them direct at:

Financial Services Commission
P.O. Box 173
Post Office Building
Front Street
Grand Turk
Turks & Caicos Islands

Tel: +1 649 946 2801
Fax: +1 649 946 1120
E-mail:hwilson@gov.tc