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Merchant – Survey & Audit Certification


As a Category 1 British Registry, Cayman is authorised to certify all sizes and types of vessel.

The survey and audit certification requirements for Cayman-registered ships are based on International Conventions that take effect through the passage of Cayman Islands legislation. These survey and audit requirements are also guided by policies and procedures that are agreed upon among the members of the British Registers, the Red Ensign Group.

Our Approach

Cayman maintains a dynamic Survey and Inspection programme for merchant ships to ensure the quality of their fleet is maintained. This includes delegation of Statutory Surveys to the six recognised classification societies through a formal agreement between between Cayman and each of the respective societies as listed:

  • American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
  • Bureau Veritas (BV)
  • Det Norske Veritas - Germanisher Lloyd (DNV-GL)
  • Lloyds Register (LR)
  • Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (Class NK)
  • Registro Italiano Navale (RINA)

Pre-registration Inspection & Flag-In Surveys

Prior to accepting a commercial vessel for registration the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI) will assess that each vessel meets its registration criteria. This is generally undertaken using several key performance indicators which include but are  not limited to age and type of vessel, previous Port State Control (PSC) record, present classification society, current owner or manager, and previous current Flag State. Following this assessment it will be determined if the vessel is suitable for registration, if a pre-registration inspection is required and whether the flag-in survey can be delegated to one of MACI’s authorised classification societies. The suitability of vessels over 15 years old will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Assessment of Commercial Vessels in Service

The Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands monitor the technical performance of each vessel and the managing company. In doing this each commercial merchant ship is assigned its own risk category which will then determine the frequency at which a Cayman Islands surveyor will attend the ship to conduct a Flag State Inspection. Ships which are detained will be inspected by a Cayman Islands Surveyor not later than 90 days after the detention, based on the findings at this inspection a new risk category may be assigned.