A vessel that is under construction or any related mortgages for that vessel may be registered as soon as its keel is laid. The registration documents are the same as for full registration except that in lieu of the Builder’s Certificate, documentary evidence of ongoing construction must be supplied (e.g. Construction Contract and Shipyard Letter). Cayman will then issue a Certificate of British Registry for a Ship Under Construction. At this point, there will be no registration survey.
The two main advantages of registration under construction are:
- A title is ascribed to the registered owner of the vessel under construction ensuring that it remains separate from the general assets of the shipyard. This depends on the wording of the contract between the registered owner and the shipyard. It can be useful in the event that the shipyard files for bankruptcy.
- A registered mortgage on a vessel under construction has, like a full registration, the same priority as a recorded mortgage and shall continue to be treated as such until it is discharged, even if the ship under construction ceases to be registered.