After a vessel is registered, any changes that would affect the ‘Certificate of British Registry’ must be notified to the VISR. If registered owners have changed address, they must notify the Registry of the change by written correspondence. As the production of the Certificates is fully computerized any change in the primary details includes the issue of a new certificate. That way no manual alteration appear on the face of the certificate. Therefore in such cases, the current certificate of registry must be returned for cancellation.

The recording of mortgages is an important feature of ship registration. The Registry facilitates the Entry, Transfer and Discharge of marine Mortgages on registered vessels. Lenders (Mortgagees) may also submit a Notice of Mortgage Intent Form and documents, to preserve their priority whilst registration is proceeding. This form may also be used in respect of vessels under construction.


All commercial vessels are subject to requirements of the STCW 78/95 Convention. BVI issues appropriate STCW 95 endorsements recognizing certificates issued by other administrations which are listed in the IMO Whitelist.

Vessels certified under the Caribbean Small Commercial Vessels Code (SCV Code) must carry a master holding a ‘Boatmaster’ licence issued under the SCV Code. Examinations for Boatmaster Licence and Boat Engineer Licence are conducted by the VISR.  


For pleasure vessels of over 24 metres in load line length please refer to UK MGN 195 (M) (Deck Officers) and MGN 156 (M) (Engineer Officers)

  • As members of the General British Registry of Ships, BVI registered vessels are subject to the same safety, security and environmental protection standards and regulations as UK vessels.
  • Commercial vessels are to comply with MCA Codes of Practice for Commercial Vessels of their type, class and size.
  • Vessels operating in the Caribean are to comply with respective Caribbean Codes or Regulations.
  • Certificates issued by the UK are recognized.


Micro, Small & Medium size Enterprises

“Micro Enterprise” means any business where there shall be no more than 5 employees and the gross annual receipts should not exceed $25,000;
“Small Enterprise” means any business where there shall be no more than 10 employees and the gross annual receipts should not exceed $125,000;
“Medium Enterprise” means an already established enterprise where there shall be no more than 20 employees and the gross annual receipts should not exceed $200,000

The Department of Information and Public Relations, the Government Information Service (GIS), is committed to providing the public full and timely information on the functions and activities of the Virgin Islands Government, its departments and divisions, statutory boards and committees.

The Department of Information and Public Relations in an effort to keep the public well informed, publishes a number of periodicals and general information pamphlets, which are available at the office or accessed online.


Town and Country Planning Department, Chief Minister's Office, provides the following services to the General Public:

  • Processing of Development applications;
  • Monitoring and controlling development activities;
  • Preparing development plans
  • Producing maps and presenting graphic information


The Red Ensign bearing the Virgin Islands coat of arms or, un-defaced (without the coat of arms).