The Virgin Islands Shipping Registry seeks to ensure that Virgin Islands ships can safely, securely and efficiently enjoy the freedom of the seas and the support of a vigorous and effective Maritime Administration.

We will achieve this through:

• Implementing the Maritime policies of the Government covering shipping operations, safety of life at sea, security and the prevention of, and response to, pollution from ships;

• Implementing and enforcing the regulations applicable to all Virgin Islands vessels on both domestic and international routes, and for all vessels navigating in the territorial waters of the Virgin Islands;

• Developing and adopting appropriate standards of training, evaluation and certification for Virgin Islands seafarers and on-shore staff in accordance with the respective needs of international and domestic shipping and the BVI maritime industry; and

• Providing timely, accurate and appropriate information and advice to the Government, public and private sector organisations and the general public.


• Political Stability

• A reputable and successful offshore financial centre

• Leads the world in company formation

• Tax neutral

• Outside the scope of EU VAT laws

• Jurisdiction under English Common Law

• Mortgages enforceable worldwide

• Signatory to all IMO conventions

• Internationally recognised Large Yacht Code (LYC) as standard for construction and equipping large yachts

• Entitled to same protection as any other British ship

• Very competitive registration and annual fees

• Highly qualified registration and technical team.

Core Values

• To develop and operate an efficient, reputable and viable registry of ships and seafarers.

• To collaborate with public and private sector interests and institutions in the BVI, the Caribbean region and overseas.

• To strive to lessen the burden of obsolete regulations and the cost of compliance on BVI ship owners.

• To set an example of clear, consistent and open leadership of an effective team.

• To fully comply with the spirit and letter of international conventions, national regulations and the procedures of the Shipping Registry Quality Management System.

Service Standards

• To issue registration certificates within four working days (for small vessels under 24 metres) after the receipt of satisfactorily completed documents.

• On receipt of the signed carving and marking note, to issue the registration certificate within two working days (for merchant ships, pleasure vessels, fishing vessels and bareboat charter ships).

• Within seven days of the receipt of an application, to carry out an examination for a Boat Masters’ License (BML) – and to issue an appropriate certificate to any successful applicant.

• To issue the renewal BML within two working days.

• To commence surveys and inspection on the day requested if a minimum of one week’s notice is given.

• To complete approval of plans or stability information documents within 28 days.

• To respond to letters, faxes and e-mails within three working days.

• To answer the telephone by the third ring. To carry out Port State Control (PSC) Inspection more than the target of 15% assigned under the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on PSC in the Caribbean Region.

Department Contact Information

To make contact with Virgin Islands Shipping Registry, see below for contact information:

Virgin Islands Shipping Registry

Cutlass Towers 3rd Floor 
Wickhams Cay 1
P.O. Box 4751
Road Town, Tortola
Virgin Islands (British) VG1110

Business Hours:

Monday - Friday  
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Email Address: vishipping@gov.vg

Telephone: 1(284) 468-2902
Fax: 1(284) 468-2913

Physical Map Location: