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Shipowner Eligibility

There are no requirements concerning local ownership or participation in ownership.

Provisional Registration

In accordance with The Registration of Merchant Ships Act 1989, as amended by Act No. 5 of 1996, a provisional registration is valid for six months. During this time, the shipowner or his representative is expected to gather all documents necessary for permanent registration.

The following documentation is required:

  • Request for confirmation of availability of vessel's name
  • Application for Registration of Ships form duly completed and signed by the applicant. One application for each vessel is required. This application includes the necessary information for the issuance of a Provisional Ship Station License.
  • Proof of Ownership in the form of a Bill of Sale, Auction Document or Builder's Certificate
  • Power of Attorney appointing a shipping agent in Belize
  • Valid Cargo Ship Safety Radio Certificate in compliance with GMDSS Code (where applicable)
  • International Tonnage Certificate (where applicable)
  • Proof of compliance with ISM Code-Copy of Document of Compliance and Safety Management Certificate (where applicable)
  • Application for Minimum Safe Manning Certificate
  • Letter of confirmation from an authorized radio accounting entity undertaking the payment of vessel's radio accounts
  • Applications for the Endorsements of Licenses for all officers

For provisional registration, the abovementioned documents may be submitted by fax.

Vessels under construction may be granted provisional registration under special conditions.

A Provisional Patent of Navigation and a Provisional Ship Station License may be obtained from Head Office or from one of the Registry's Designated Offices worldwide.

Age Limit

With effect from 1st March 2005, the age limit guideline for new Registrations was reduced from 30 years to 25 years for all vessels except yachts, fishing vessels, non-propelled barges, special registrations and new registrations which are immediately chartered out.At the discretion of the Registry, the age limit of 25 years may be exceeded in exceptional circumstances based on the vessel's detention record, the ship owner/operator's record, the area of intended operation, the intended trade, and provided it is classed with an IACS Recognized Organization.

Fishing Vessels


The registration of fishing vessels is additionally subject to the provisions of the High Seas Fishing Act, 2003. The requirements include the completion of an Application form for a License to Fish on the High Seas as well as the installation of a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) utilizing INMARSAT C or INMARSAT Mini C or INMARSAT D+. Fishing vessels which land their catch at ports of member States of the European Union are required to pass a special sanitary inspection in compliance with the relevant EU/EC Directives.

Fishing vessels are also subject to the international and regional regulations applicable to the area of fishing which are implemented by Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) such as ICCAT, as well as by bilateral or multilateral agreements for the protection of certain areas or endangered marine species. Currently, Belize is:

  • A Contracting Party of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).
  • A Contracting Party of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC).
  • A Cooperating Non-Contracting Party of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATC). It will become a Contracting Party latest by when the IATTC “Antigua Convention” comes into force which is expected to be in 2009.
  • A Cooperating Non-Contracting Party of North East Atlntic Fisheries Commissions (NEAFC).

All Belize registered vessels which are licensed to target tuna or tuna-like species in the Convention areas of the abovementioned Commissions are listed in their respective Regional Vessel Registers.

Belize has also submitted its application for Cooperating non-Member Status of the Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). Our Application will be considered at its 4th Regular Session which will be held in December 2007. In the meantime, our fishing vessels which are operating in the WCPFC Convention Area are allowed to continue fishing there.

 

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BELIZE

THE INTERNATIONAL MERCHANT MARINE REGISTRY OF BELIZE
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