Registration of Singapore flagged vessels: How to guide

Registration is open to all types of ships which includes offshore vessels like oil rigs and floating platforms. The vessel should be less than 17 years old and classed with any of the nine recognised classification societies.

Registration of Singapore flagged vessels: How to guide

Step 1: Pre-requisites

The following persons may be registered as owners of Singapore vessels:

(i) Citizens or permanent residents of Singapore; and

(ii) Companies incorporated in Singapore that are locally or foreign owned.

A locally-owned company is a company incorporated in Singapore in which more than 50% of its equity is owned by Singapore citizens or another locally owned company.

A foreign-owned company is a company incorporated in Singapore in which more than 50% of its equity is owned by non-citizens of Singapore.

The companies must have a minimum paid-up capital of S$50,000 which is waived by the Registrar under certain circumstances. In addition the vessel owned by the foreign-owned company must be at least 1,600 GT and be self-propelled.

The owner of every Singapore ship must appoint a manager whose residence is in Singapore. The manager will be responsible for all matters related to ship registration and crew manning such as the day-to-day correspondences, billings including annual tonnage tax (ATT) with the Ship Registry Department and the Seafarers Management Department. All communications relating to the vessel will be directed to the Manager.

Step 2: Write in to the Registrar of Ships to get approval for the vessel’s name via marine@mpa.gov.sg

Step 3: Submit registration documents

(a) Application form

Download and complete the application form for provisional registration. The form can be obtained from www.mpa.gov.sg.

(b) Business Profile

The business profile lists the company’s particulars as lodged with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

(c) Appointment of an Agent

An agent may be appointed to sign the declaration in the provisional registration application form. To appoint an agent, the owner must complete the Appointment of Agent form.

  • Where the owner is an individual, he may appoint an agent. The owner must sign the appointment form in the presence of a witness.
  • Where the owner is a company and if the provisional registration application form is not signed by a Director or the Secretary of the company, then a person must be appointed as an agent for the purpose of signing the form. The appointment of the agent must be executed under the common seal of the company.

(d) Appointment of a Manager

The vessel manager is responsible for all matters related to ship registration and crew manning such as the day-to-day correspondences, billings including annual tonnage tax (ATT) with the Ship Registry Department (REG) and the Seafarers Management Department (SMD). All communications relating to the vessel will be directed to the manager.

The appointment of the manager must be made by the owner by completing the Appointment of Manager form. The original form has to be submitted to the Registrar of Ships.

If there is a change in the manager, the vessel owner must complete a new form and submit the duly completed original form to the Registrar of Ships within seven days of the change.

(e) Evidence of Ownership

The following are required as proof of ownership:

  • For a new vessel/new building, a photocopy of the Builder’s Certificate is required.
  • For existing vessel, a copy of the Bill of Sale is required.
  • For existing vessel without change in ownership, a transcript of its former registry is required.
  • Builder Certificate or Bill of Sale is to be submitted together with a copy of the Power of Attorney (POA) if it was executed under the Power of Attorney.

(f) Evidence that vessel is free from registered encumbrances

  • A clean transcript from former Registry.
  • A copy is to be submitted. The date of issuance of the clean transcript must not be more than 3 days before the date of the change of flag.
  • In the absence of a clean transcript, a letter from the Owner to undertake that the vessel will be free of encumbrances on day of flag change and that no mortgage will be registered with the Singapore Registry until the clean transcript or deletion certificate from the former Registry is provided, will be considered

(g) Value of the Vessel

The owner must declare the value of the vessel in Singapore dollars (S$) on the company’s letterhead if this is not reflected in other documents submitted (i.e. Bill of Sale).

(h) Tonnage Certificate

All vessels must have their tonnage determined in accordance with the provisions of the Merchant Shipping (Tonnage) Regulations (which gives effect to the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969 (TM 69)).

(i) Class Certificate

  • A copy of the vessel’s classification certificate issued by any of the authorised classification societies may be accepted as evidence of seaworthiness.
  • For a new vessel, an interim class certificate or statement of entry is required.
  • For an existing vessel, a statement of class maintained is required.

(j) Acceptance of Provisional Registration

  • Upon satisfying the requirements stated above, the Certificate of Registry and a Carving and Marking Note will be issued.
  • The Carving and Marking Note has to be certified by a surveyor from the MPA’s Shipping Division or one of the authorised classification societies and returned to the Registry within 30 days of its issuance date.

Step 4: Fees

The fees listed below are quoted in Singapore dollars (S$).

Initial registration fee

S$2.50 per NT, subject to a minimum of S$1,250 (500 NT) and a maximum of S$50,000 (20,000 NT).

Annual tonnage tax

S$0.20 per NT, subject to a minimum of S$100 (500 NT) and a maximum of S$10,000 (50,000 NT).

Step 5: Successful Registration

Your vessel is successfully registered and you will receive a Certificate of Registry and a Carving and Marking Note. 


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