Shipping Company Registration in Singapore
The Port of Singapore is a leading international maritime centre with more than 6000 active shipping companies with connections to over 600 ports in more than 120 countries.
Given its high reputation as shipping hub and global port, Singapore is a great option for many wanting to conduct shipping or maritime business operations based in Asia.
Why Base your Shipping company in Singapore?
There are a number of financial, manpower and research & development schemes available to Singapore-based shipping companies.
The Singapore Maritime & Port Authority implemented assistance schemes for SMEs to facilitate the growth of Singapore's maritime industry; this benefits many SMEs in their first years of incorporation. For more information about any of the below mentioned schemes, contact us:
1. AIS: Approved International Shipping Enterprise
This scheme offers tax immunity on certain income for shipping companies in Singapore for 10 years.
2. MFI: Maritime Finance Incentive
This scheme gives shipping companies that are loaning ships, vessels, containers and equipment tax concessions for 10 years on their leasing income.
3. ASL: Approved Shipping Logistics
This scheme offers shipping companies providing freight and logistics services a reduced tax rate of 10% on incremental revenue.
4. MSF: Maritime Seed Fund
The scheme offers financial assistance to start-ups or growing maritime companies who are innovating or trying to introduce new products or services into the maritime industry in Singapore.
5. Maritime Cluster Fund for Scholarships
This scheme offers scholarship schemes and educational programmes, course fee subsidies and attachment programmes for employee development, local training infrastructure and capabilities within the maritime industry.
Step-by-Step guide to Setting up a Shipping Company in Singapore
Step 1: Incorporating your Singapore Shipping Company
Once you have decided to start a shipping company in SIngapore as a statutory requirement, you must incorporate the business. Incorporating a Private Limited Company (PLC) in Singapore requires many hoops to be jumped regarding statutory requirements, although the process is relatively straight forward.
Step 2: Applying for the Necessary Licenses & Permits
Depending whether they apply to your business, the relevant licenses and permits should be applied for. The basic licenses and permit for a Singapore shipping company include:
- Ship Registration Certificate: To transport good or passengers.
- Port Clearance Certificate: To operate vessels beyond the port of Singapore.
- Harbour Craft License: To run standard vessels within the port of Singapore.
- Port Limit Manning License: For crew members to work as employees’ on-board ships.
- Launch a New Vessel Permit: To launch a new vessel over 15 metres long in the port.
- Ship Station License: To operate radio-communication equipment on your Singapore registered ship.
- Ship Sanitation Control Certificate: is required to certify your vessel’s conditions on board (for both goods and people).
- Permits for other activities such as loading, docking, transit and carrying dangerous goods.
Step 3: Hire Office Staff & Ship Crew
You may intend to hire a crew to work on board or employees to work in your shipping company office. For an overview of your Singapore staffing requirements click here. Employees hired to work on-board your vessel need to hold a valid Port Limit Manning License.
Step 4: Find Office Space for your Singapore Shipping Company
After incorporating your business, you should find suitable premises to set up your shipping company office. Your office space is of utmost importance, it will not only be the first impression for clients, but also where your office employees will spend their working day. Contact us for leasing premises suitable for your requirements in Singapore.
Ship Registration Certificate with the Singapore Registry of Ships
It is compulsory to register all ships in Singapore with the Singapore Registry of Ships (or SRS). As in most ports and harbours, ships fall under two categories: 1. Under a foreign flag for foreign ships or a 2. Singapore Flag for local vessels.
- Fully completed registration application form.
- Singapore Harbour Craft Lisence.
- Vessel Manager Appointment Form with the details of the individual in charge of managing the ship.
- Agent appointment form (if the individual signing the Form other than the Director/Secretary of the company.
- Business Profile Printout as lodged with ACRA.
- Proof of vessel ownership – Copy of receipt of purchase, manufactorers certificate or similar.
- Approximate value of vessel in SGD.
- Tonnage certificate for empty and loaded weight of the ship.
- Vessel classification certificate.
1. Satisfy the following owner & ship pre-requisites
The ship owner and the vessel need to satisfy certain pre-requisites prior to ship registration in Singapore.
Only the following can legally own a vessel in Singapore:
- Singapore citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents.
- Foreign owned companies incorporated in Singapore (with a 50% shareholding is owned by foreigners).
- Locally owned companies incorporated in Singapore (with a 50% shareholding is owned by Singapore citizens or another local company).
If the vessel is owned by a non-Singapore company, more stringent rules apply. The vessel can only be registered in Singapore only if:
- The company has a minimum of SGD $50,000 capital without credit.
- The vessel weighs over 1,600 gross tonnes.
If the vessel is owned by a Singapore company, it may be registered in Singapore if the company satisfies the minimum SGD $1 capital requirement.
As long as the vessel is 16 years old or younger, it will be suitable for registration submission.
2. Obtain a Vessel Number & Approve your Vessel Name at the Registrar of Ships
After all the documentation has been prepared, it’s time to submit them for the approval of your ship name and an official vessel number by writing to the Singapore Registrar of Ships.
3. Payment of Fees and Receiving the Certificate of Registry
After submitting the relevant documentation and have paid the initial registration fees and tonnage tax, you should receive the following:
- A Certificate of Registry.
- A Carving & Marking Note.
Contact us for any further questions or a comprehensive incorporation plan.
Crypto-currency Start-ups Buying False Reviews is Destablising Reputable Investment Sources
When cryptocurrency issuers want reviews for their coins, reports have surfaced that several prominent companies have been found offering money to advertisers in exchange for positive appraisals.
Is the Era of Shell Companies Coming to an End?
The Honourable Dr. Orlando Smith, Premier and Minister of Finance has announced that the BVI Government will take all reasonable steps to address European Union concerns about economic substance and a new Legislation is intended to be in force by the end of December 2018 in order to avoid the European Union Black List of Tax Heaven Jurisdictions.
Regulatory Update: BVI Economic Substance Act 2018
In 2016, the Council of the EU pledged to start advocating tax transparency and fairer taxation within Europe and consequently worldwide. After the EUs Code of Conduct Group (COCG) on taxation investigated BVI practices, they found a number of concerns regarding legitimate substance requirements for companies and limited partnerships doing business in and through BVI.
Information on the Payment of Cyprus Taxes for Pensions & Rental Income
Cyprus employees who are considered to have tax resident status, pay tax on their global income. Employees not considered to be tax resident are only charged for specific types of income that are originating from Cyprus-based sources.
Cyprus Regulatory Update: Shell Company Definition & Exceptions
The Central Bank of Cyprus has released new guidance for all credit institutions on the island, refining the definition for shell companies and subsidiary entities; coming into effect from November 2018, which are detailed as follows:
Singapore Variable Capital Company VCC: New Features & Benefits
The introduction of the VCC is a significant positive for the Singapore funds industry. Its aim is to retain Singapore as an attractive business destination and to keep investors wishing to domicile locally.
Consolidated Accounts for Hong Kong Companies: Subsidiary Requirements
As per Hong Kong company’s ordinance subdivision 3 section 379 subsection 1, a Company Director will have to prepare year-end financial accounts that comply with sections 380 and 383.
Challenges of Our Time: Cryptocurrencies & Their Regulation
The very concept of cryptocurrencies derives from technologies and the creation of alternatives to existing payment systems, which for the most part is caused by the negative consequences of financial crises and the injustice within the sphere of financial and legal regulation. Many people are convinced that the cryptocurrency is likely to become an alternative to the established global financial system and open new opportunities to those segments of the population and citizens of those countries that are deprived of the opportunity to work with the banking financial system.