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Channel Island Choice

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Tuesday, 14 September 2010 17:25

St Aubin’s Harbour on the south coast

Jersey is the most southerly of the Channel Islands, with its own laws and currency; it is an island of traditional agriculture and modern finance and has one of the best sunshine records in the British Isles. Only about 100 miles from the south coast of England and 14 miles from the French coast, it is a wonderful yet demanding place to sail and, with the close proximity of its sister islands, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm, sailing is varied too. Sailing to Jersey is not for the novice, as it has some of the largest tidal ranges in the world – twice daily ebbs and flows in excess of 40 ft (12m). Be well equipped and have up-to-date tide and current information before you set off – don’t be scared, just be prepared.

St Helier Marina, on the south coast, is the main marina for visitors and is conveniently situated only few minutes walk from the town centre. It has berthing for up to 200 visiting yachts and access three hours either side of high water.

Why choose Jersey as a Port of Registry?
Having had an active Ships Registry since 1803, Jersey has the benefit of some 200 years of experience. Its registry is monitored by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency which takes stringent measures to maintain the respect of its clients, thereby retaining the integrity and reputation already established. With a well-regulated offshore finance centre, Jersey has also the associated maritime legal, company formation and banking expertise to assist potential owners to register at the Island Port.

Why register?
International Law requires registration on a national Register for any vessel going overseas. A vessel must identify its nationality by flying the flag of the country in which it is registered.

Which register?
The Port of Jersey provides full registration under Part 3 of the Shipping (Jersey) Law 2002, as well as Small Ships Registration (SSR) under Shipping (Local Small Ships Registration) (Jersey) Regulations 2004.

What is full registration?
Full registration provides documentary evidence of title/ownership and nationality of a vessel. A mortgage may be entered on the Register, securing the lender’s interest in the vessel until such mortgage has been discharged. When an owner decides to sell his vessel he benefits from having his vessel on full registration as he is able to prove his ownership and also the new owner can establish that there are no outstanding mortgages against the vessel. This is a high comfort factor for both parties involved.  Who qualifies for full registration?
Individuals who are: Jersey residents; British citizens; Commonwealth citizens; British nationals overseas; European Community citizens. Also Bodies Corporate incorporated in one of these areas. In some cases, other nationalities may be registered as minority shareholders.


St Helier Marina is close to the centre of town.

How long will my registration last?
Registration is valid for ten years, after which time a reminder will be sent inviting the owner to renew the registration for a further ten years upon payment of a small fee.

How much does it cost?
There is a one-off charge upon initial registration, and there is no annual charge. The only other expense is the cost of the tonnage survey (required for all vessels applying for full registration). This fee is paid directly to the surveyor. A full list of current fees (including those for subsequent transactions) is available from the Registrar.

Can I choose my vessel’s name?
The Port of Jersey has the freedom to approve or refuse an owner’s chosen name. Being a select register there is a wide range of names available, and once chosen the name is unique to the owner. Names may also be changed at any stage. Names can be reserved in advance of registration for periods of twelve months at a time.

What size of vessel can be registered?
Pleasure vessels up to 400 gross tons
and commercial vessels up to 150 tons.

How long does it take to register?
Registration can be completed inside two weeks, and sometimes earlier if all of the documentation is in order.

Can I transfer port of registry to/from Jersey?
Transfers may be made within any of the Red Ensign Group Registries: Jersey; Guernsey; UK; Isle of Man; Gibraltar; Cayman Islands; British Virgin Islands; Bermuda; Anguilla; St Helena; Montserrat; Falkland Islands; Turks and Caicos.

Does a representative person have to be appointed?
If the registered owner does not have a Jersey address, a Representative Person has to be appointed with whom the Registry can correspond if the vessel has to be forcefully removed from the Register. The Registrar will correspond with the owner directly under normal circumstances.

For more information visit the .

Fuelling point in St Helier Harbour

SSR is a less expensive and simple alternative of providing documentary evidence of the yacht’s nationality, and registration under this scheme or under ‘full registration’ is imperative when visiting abroad with your vessel.
This certificate is valid for 5 years, and must be renewed when any changes take place otherwise it will be rendered invalid. A small ship is classified as one under 24 metres (79 feet) in overall length, cannot be owned by a company or organisation such as clubs and associations, and must not be a fishing or submersible vessel. A yacht may be registered if it is owned by one or more of the following persons who are ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK:
British citizens
Persons who are nationals of a European Union or European Economic Area country other than the United Kingdom and are established in the UK
British Dependant Territories citizens
British Overseas citizens
persons who under the British Nationality Act 1991 are British subjects
persons who under the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order are British Nationals Overseas
A Small Ships Registration Certificate may not be accepted in some foreign ports if you are using your ship for ‘commercial purposes’ e.g. diving or chartering.