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Qualification of Ownership Structure and Proof of Legal Title

To establish whether the owner is qualified to own a Cayman-registered vessel, depending on the ownership structure and list of qualifying countries, and whether the owner has legal title or will have legal title in the immediate future contact Registration.

The following ownership structures qualify to own a Cayman-flagged vessel:

Individual And Joint Owners

Who Can Register a Vessel?

Nationals or individuals who are citizens of an approved country, see Guidance Note 03/2024 Section 2.2.

An individual/s who does not qualify as set out above, can be part-owner/s of a Cayman-registered vessel if a qualified owner owns a majority interest in the vessel. Therefore a person/s not qualified as set out above may still own up to 31 of the 64 shares in a vessel (either individually or collectively).

Companies and Shipping Entities

Who Can Register a Vessel?

Body corporate, shipping entities or foreign companies incorporated, established or registered in an approved country. see Guidance Note 03/2024 Section 2.2.

Companies formed in other countries (and not qualifying as set out above) but registered in Cayman as foreign companies and having a place of business in the Cayman Islands may also qualify to own Cayman-flagged vessels. A place of business means the place where meetings of the directors of the body corporate are regularly held.


A shipping entity includes –

  • a partnership and a limited partnership as defined in the Cayman Islands Partnership Law
  • an exempted limited partnership as defined in the Cayman Islands Exempted Limited Partnership Law
  • their equivalent if formed in other qualifying countries or their overseas countries, territories and dependencies


There are four basic types of registration for companies under either the Local Companies (Control) Law or the Companies Law -

  • Resident Company (Local Cayman Islands Company)
  • Non-Resident Company
  • Exempted Companies - Transfers by Continuation, Exempted Limited Duration Company, Segregated Portfolio Company
  • Foreign Company


The Cayman Islands General Registry is responsible for the registration of corporate and other ownership entities in the Cayman Islands.

Local Representative (Cayman)

If the owner of the vessel (individual/joint-owners or company/entity) is not resident or incorporated in the Cayman Islands, then a Representative Person resident on the Islands must be appointed to act on behalf of the owner(s) on matters within the Cayman Islands. This appointment must be made before submitting the vessel registration application to Cayman. There are several Cayman maritime service providers that offer this service.