Pre-Requisites for Ship Registration

The Vessel

  • Except for fishing vessels, hydrofoils and wooden vessels, registration is open to all types of ships, including offshore vessels such as oil rigs and floating platforms. The vessels should comply with the relevant requirements laid down in the IMO Conventions such as SOLAS 74, Loadline 66, Tonnage Measurement (TM) 69 and MARPOL 73/78.
  • Vessels that are less than 17 years, which meet these requirements and are classed with any of the eight recognised classification societies, are normally accepted for registration. The age of the vessel will take reference from the year its keel is laid.
  • Dispensations may be considered for vessels under special operating circumstances. Equipment and arrangements approved by other maritime administrations that comply with the IMO Conventions are generally accepted.

The Owner

  • Only the following persons may be registered as owners of Singapore vessels:
    • Citizens or permanent residents (PRs) of Singapore; and
    • Companies incorporated in Singapore that are either 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 Singapore-incorporated companies must have a minimum paid-up capital sum of S$50,000.
    • Notwithstanding the minimum paid-up capital requirements, the Registrar may in his discretion, waive them provided that the company and/or its related corporation(s) have registered, applied to register or have informed the Registrar that they will apply to register:
      • 1 ship of aggregate tonnage 40,000 NT
      • 2 ships of aggregate tonnage 40,000 NT
      • 3 ships of aggregate tonnage 30,000 NT
      • 4 ships of aggregate tonnage 20,000 NT
      • 5 ships of any aggregate tonnage
  • A foreign-owned company may register a vessel with the Singapore flag under the following conditions:
    • The company must have a minimum paid-up capital of S$50,000; and
    • The vessel must be at least 1,600 GT and be self-propelled.
  • An exemption from the gross tonnage requirement may be granted by the Registrar in his absolute discretion on a case-by-case basis, if the vessel is operated from or based in Singapore. Owners must apply for this exemption by writing to the Registrar.
  • For tug and barge owning local companies and their holding companies, the paid-up capital will be pegged to 10% of the value of the first tug or barge registered or S$50,000, whichever is the lesser, subject to a minimum of S$10,000.

The Manager

Commercial Manager as the Point of Contact

  • The owner of every Singapore ship must appoint a manager whose residence is in Singapore. The manager may be an officer of the owning company or of a management company.
  • 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 (REG) and the Seafarers Management Department (SMD). All communications relating to the vessel will be directed to the manager.

Technical Manager Responsible for Matters Related to the Ship International Ship Manager (ISM) Code and International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code

  • This manager appointed by the owner will be responsible for matters related to the ship ISM Code and ISPS Code. The technical manager appointed by the owner may not necessarily be a resident in Singapore. The vessel can be technically managed by a “Company” from outside Singapore. “Company” means the owner of a ship or any other organisation or person such as the manager, or the bareboat charterer, who has assumed the responsibility, has agreed to take over all the duties and responsibility imposed by the Code.