1 Introduction to Mauritius
1.1 Geographical Position
Mauritius is an island of volcanic origin estimated to have been formed some 70 million years ago. It is situated in the West of the Indian Ocean between latitudes 19°58' and 20°32' South and longitudes 57°17' and 59°46' East. Its land area of 1865 square kilometres also has jurisdiction over the islands of Rodrigues, Agalega and St. Brandon.
On account of the island's remoteness from large land masses and the influence of the South-East Trade Winds which bring marine air throughout the year, the climate is sub tropical and warm and pleasant all year round.
Cyclones occur during the summer months (October to March). They may be disruptive but an efficient weather system provides forecasts, information and advice.
Mauritius Standard Time is GMT +4.
Formerly uninhabited, Mauritius was discovered in the early 16th century by the Portuguese who, however, made no serious attempt at settlement. In 1688, the Dutch occupied the island but abandoned it in 1710. The Dutch named Mauritius after the Dutch prince, Maurice Van Nassau. The French took possession of the island and called it Isle de France. They developed the island rapidly until 1810 when it was handed over to the British and officially became a British colony in 1815. It became an independent country within the Commonwealth in 1968.
The population of Mauritius stands at slightly above 1 million. The rate of growth of the population is estimated at 0.8 % per annum and population density is 616 persons per square kilometre. Notwithstanding its size, the country embraces a great diversity of people of Indian, African, Chinese and European origin.
The result is a mosaic of racial groups, cultures and religions which co-exist in a peaceful and enviable harmony. Not surprisingly, the languages spoken are as varied as the people, while English is the official language, French is commonly used in everyday life. However, Creole is the lingua franca and is understood by one and all.
Mauritius is internationally recognised as one of the few open and stable democracies among the developing countries. The Republic of Mauritius has a presidential democracy. The President is the Head of the State and Commander in Chief. The Prime Minister acts as Head of Government, with full executive power.
1.5 Transport and Communication
Internal transport is entirely dominated by vehicle traffic. Cheap public transport is provided by bus and taxi services which operate in all areas.
The focal point of sea transport is Port Louis harbour which is situated in the North-West of the island. It is a modern and efficient port which provides a wide range of cargo handling and harbour facilities including the handling of containers, petroleum products, fertilizers, cement, edible oil, etc. Transhipment facilities with a free storage period of 14 calendar days are available. In 2006, over 5 million tonnes of cargo were handled through the port.
There are regular sailings of cargo vessels between Mauritius and the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, the Far East, Australia, the U.S.A. and Canada.
Air traffic operates from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam international airport which is situated in the South-East of the island and is about an hour's drive from Port Louis. The continuing rapid growth of cargo and passenger traffic has necessitated the extension of the cargo terminal and the construction of a new terminal building.
The major airlines serving the island are Air Mauritius, Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air India, Singapore Airline, Cathay Pacific, Zambia Airways, South African Airways, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic Airways.
1.6 Domestic and International Telecommunications
The island is covered by a telephone network which is fully digitalised with computer controlled electronic exchanges. A network of optical fibre cable has been installed. The system provides International Direct Dialling (IDD) facilities to all subscribers and access to the internet. Mauritius is able to provide international gateway facilities to many countries.
Mauritius is not just a tourist paradise. A ride inside the country will show you a nationwide beehive of industries with thousands of skilled men and women busily engaged in a spectacular industrial revolution.
Several key factors have contributed to our industrial development. These are: political stability within a democratic framework on the Westminster model, excellent air and sea connections, sophisticated communication facilities plugged into the world network, an educated workforce, bilingual in English and French. Mauritius is now embarking on the second phase of its industrial programme in order to diversify its economy.
Apart from the industrial revolution, Mauritius has established sector services such as a centre for offshore business and a free port authority. The centre for offshore activities is providing a variety of schemes which can use Mauritius as a base to be involved in investment around the world. The Free Port Authority is becoming a platform to serve the Indian Ocean regions and the African countries with goods not only from Mauritius but from any part of the world.
The Merchant Shipping Act has recently been amended to make the registry most attractive. The salient features of the Register of Mauritius Ships are described in this publication.
2 Why register a Ship in Mauritius?
2.1 The main features which commend Mauritius and the Mauritius flag are:
2.1.1 The Mauritius merchant shipping law follows, in general the English model of the U.K. Merchant Shipping Acts, a system for ship registration and mortgages which is well-tried and respected worldwide
2.1.2 Good offshore company legislation based on English company law
2.1.3 Political Stability
2.1.4 Sound infrastructure, with well-educated bilingual support services and good communication systems
2.1.5 Strategic location and time zone, half-way between Asia and Europe
2.1.6 Mauritius is a member of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and has acceded to all the key international maritime conventions
2.1.7 Mauritius registered vessels are exempt from tax on freight earnings
2.1.8 Dividends paid from a Mauritius shipping company are free of withholding tax
2.1.9 Ship's stores, consumables, spare parts and bunkers are exempted from customs and excise duties
2.1.10 No capital gains tax is payable upon the sale or transfer of a ship or of the shares in a shipping company
2.1.11 No estate duty is payable on the inheritance of shares in a shipping company
2.1.12 There are no restrictions on the nationality of the crew and work permits are not required
2.1.13 Mauritius has ratified the salient international conventions on maritime safety, prevention of pollution and training and certification of seafarers
2.1.14 Bareboat registry in and out is permitted
2.1.15 Government support for shipping
3.1 Inquiries and applications for registration of vessels under the Mauritius flag are made to:
Registrar of Ships
Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping
3rd Floor, Ken Lee Building,
Edith Cavell Street,
Republic of Mauritius
Tel. No.: +230 213 6968
Fax No.: +230 213 7013
Incorporation of Offshore Companies
Financial Services Commission
Republic of Mauritius
Telephone: +(230) 403 7000
Fax: +(230) 467 7172
3.1.2 Outside Mauritius
Any Mauritius consul is authorised to act for the Government of Mauritius in respect of registration of ships under the flag.
4 What are the Qualifications for Mauritius Flag?
4.1 In this Section and elsewhere in this publication:
"Act" means The Merchant Shipping Act 2007;
"Director" means the Director of Shipping, referred to in section 4 of the Act;
"Minister" means the Minister to whom responsibility for the subject of shipping is assigned;
"Proper Officer" means a person whose duty it is to perform, in a foreign country, any duty carried out in Mauritius by the Director, the Registrar, the Superintendent of Shipping or a Surveyor;
"Register" means the register for the registration of Mauritius ships;
"Registrar" means the Registrar of Ships who exercises the functions and powers conferred on him by the Act and performs such other duties as the Director may direct;
"Regulations" means The Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Regulations 2008;
"SOLAS 1974" is the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea adopted by the International Conference on Safety of Life at Sea on 1 November 1974;
"Superintendent" means the Superintendent of Shipping who exercises the functions and powers conferred on him by the Act and performs such other duties as the Director may direct;
"Surveyor" means either a person designated as such by the Director under the Act or a surveyor appointed by one of the approved classification societies listed in Section 4.2.2(b).
4.2 Eligibity of Owners and Ships
A person is qualified to be the owner of a Mauritius registered ship where he is:
(a) a citizen of Mauritius; or
(b) a body corporate incorporated in Mauritius and the place where meetings of its directors are regularly held is in Mauritius; or
(c) a maritime entity including a partnership, société, association or other body of persons which is a business entity; or
(d) where the holders of the majority interest in the ship are not resident in Mauritius but they are represented by an individual or body corporate which is resident in Mauritius in relation to the ship and who may be the managing owner of that ship so nominated for that purpose. For this purpose "majority interest" means where the person or persons hold legal title to 51 or more of the shares of the ship.
It is obligatory for every 'Mauritius' ship of 24 metres in length or more to be registered under the Act.
Non-Mauritius interests wishing to register a ship on the Mauritius ships register may either:
(i) appoint a representative person who is resident in Mauritius in relation to the ship; or
(ii) take advantage of the offshore company legislation to incorporate a Mauritius company licensed by the Financial Services Commission to hold a Category 1 Global Business Licence (a “GBC1” or "GBL1 Company") or a Category 2 Global Business Licence (a “GBC2” or "GBL2 Company"). The procedure for incorporation of such a company is set out in Section 5.
Every type of vessel, including a barge, lighter, dredger, mobile dredging unit, high speed craft or air-cushion vehicle however propelled, intended for use in navigation is eligible for registration, but under the Regulations in order to be registered, whether provisional or permanent registration, it must also satisfy the following:
(a) Age: At the time of first registration, it must not be more than 15 years of age from completion of first construction. The Registrar may, on such conditions as he thinks fit, accept a ship of more than 15 years.
(b) Class: Every ship of 500 gross tons or more seeking registration must maintain class with one of the following recognized classification societies:
American Bureau of Shipping
Det Norske Veritas
Hellenic Register of Shipping
Lloyds Register of Shipping
Nippon Kaiji Kyokai
Indian Register of Shipping
Korean Register of Shipping
(c) Proof of Liability Insurance: Every ship seeking registration must carry insurance against risks of loss or damage to third parties.
(d) International Conventions: Every ship seeking registration must have valid certificates evidencing compliance with the International Maritime Conventions to which Mauritius is a party. Currently Mauritius is a party to the following International Maritime conventions:
(i) United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
(ii) International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
(iii) International Convention on Load Lines, 1966
(iv) International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships (TONNAGE), 1969
(v) Convention on International Regulations to Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREG), 1972
(vi) Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL), 1965
(vii) International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978 as amended in 1995
(viii) The Convention on the International Maritime Satellite Organisation (INMARSAT), 1976
(ix) International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), 1973 as amended by the Protocol, 1978
(x) The International Convention on the Civil Liability Convention for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC), 1992
(xi) The International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund to: Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage (FUND), 1992
(xii) International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR), 1979
(xiii) International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC), 1990
(xiv) Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976 (LLMC 1976)
(xv) International Convention relating to the Intervention on the High Seas in cases of Oil Pollution Casualties, 1969 (INTERVENTION 1969)
(xvi) Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines 1966 (LL PROT 1988)
(xvii) Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS PROT 1988) and
(xviii) International Convention on Salvage, 1989 (SALVAGE 1989)
4.3 Special Cases
The Minister is given power under the Act to exempt any class of ship from any of the requirements of the Act so shipowners are encouraged in special cases to make application for registration in cases which do not fall strictly within the requirements set out in this publication.
4.4 Shares in a Mauritius Ship
The property in a Mauritius Ship is divided into 100 shares.
4.5 Port of Registry
5 How to incorporate a Mauritius Global Business Company and its main features
5.1 Applicable Law
Where a resident corporation, which is a body corporate formed or registered in Mauritius, proposes to conduct business outside Mauritius, it may be eligible to apply for a Category 1 Global Business Licence (a "GBC1" or “GBL1 Company”) or a Category 2 Global Business Licence (a "GBC2" or GBL2 Company). The legal framework for the Global Business sector is embodied in Financial Services Act 2007 and falls within the purview of the Financial Services Commission (the "FSC").
In addition to a GBC1, a corporation proposing to conduct a business for which a separate licence, authorization, registration or approval is required must hold the relevant permission before commencing business.
5.2 Method of Incorporation for a Company
5.2.1 Name of Company The name of the company must be reserved at the Registrar of Companies. An application to incorporate together with the constitution of the company (if required) must then be submitted to the Registrar of Companies. A parallel application has to be made to the FSC for GBC1 or a GBC2 licence.
5.2.2 Category 1 Global Business Licence (GBC1)
In relation to a GBC1, once the name approval has been obtained, two copies of the constitution of the company shall be submitted, together with the application for incorporation and notice of directors, secretary and shareholders. The officers of the company must execute consent forms and these must be filed with the Registrar of Companies.
An application for a GBC 1 licence must be made to the FSC on the prescribed form (Form FS 4.1). The application form must be accompanied by:
(a) relevant documents/information as per Guide to Completing the Application Form for a Category 1 Global Business Licence;
(b) Processing fee;
(c) Annual/Licence fee;
(d) Legal certificate from a law practitioner certifying that the application complies with the laws of Mauritius;
(e) Business plan of the proposed activities to be carried out by the applicant;
(f) Supporting certified copies of Customer Due Diligence documentation; and
(g) Incorporation documents including a copy of the constitution of the applicant and certified copies of the relevant statutory forms required upon incorporation of the company.
5.2.3 Category 2 Global Business Licence (GBC2)
In relation to a GBC2, the applicant must apply for incorporation with the Registrar of Companies.
An application for a GBC 2 licence must be made to the FSC on the prescribed form (Form FS4.2). The application form must be accompanied by:
(a) Processing fee;
(b) Annual/Licence fee;
(c) Legal certificate from a law practitioner certifying that the application complies with the laws of Mauritius; and
(d) Incorporation documents including a copy of the constitution of the applicant and certified copies of the relevant statutory forms required upon incorporation of the company.
5.3 Who may incorporate?
A resident corporation may apply for Global Business Licences. Applications should be channelled to the FSC through a Management Company. With regards to an applicant for a GBC1, a resident corporation includes a trust, société, partnership or any body of persons governed by the laws of Mauritius.
An applicant for a GBC2 can only be a private company proposing to conduct business other than banking or other financial services or any fiduciary services.
A GBC1 is taxed at the rate of 15% on its income, with a deemed tax credit of 80% on foreign source income making an effective rate of 3%.
A GBC2 does not benefit from Mauritius’ double taxation agreements.
5.5 Incorporation Costs and Fees
Fees payable to the authorities are as follows:
Registrar of Companies 250
- Incorporation Fee US$
Registrar of Companies 250
- Annual Fees US$
FSC - Licence 500 100
Processing Fee US$
FSC - Annual Licence 1500 235
5.6 Directors and Secretary
When considering an application for a GBC1 the FSC will determine whether the conduct of business is or will be managed and controlled from Mauritius by having regard to the corporation matters such as having two directors, resident in Mauritius. The company shall at all times have a Management Company as secretary.
A GBC2 must have at least one director, who can be corporate or an individual and need not be resident in Mauritius. The company does not need to have a secretary.
5.7 Registered Office
All companies must have a registered office in Mauritius.
Meetings can be held anywhere, but to determine that the conduct of business is or will be managed and controlled from Mauritius a GBC1 must provide for at least 2 directors from Mauritius to participate in meeting.
5.9 Filing Requirements
A GBC1 must:
(i) file its annual audited financial statements with the FSC within six months of the close of the financial year; and
(ii) notify the FSC whenever a person becomes the holder of 20% or more of the shares or voting powers of the company.
A GBC 2 is not required to file annual audited financial statements with the FSC unless the FSC considers it is required.
A company incorporated outside Mauritius can be continued in Mauritius. It has though to be de-registered or discontinued in the country of original incorporation. Continuation out of Mauritius into another jurisdiction is also allowed.
5.11 Exchange Control
There is no foreign exchange control in Mauritius.
5.12 Capital Requirements
There is no limit to the number of shares that can be issued by Global Business Companies, and the minimum issued share capital is one share of par value – except in case where an unimpaired stated capital is applicable and unless required under a licence, registration, approval or authorization held under any other enactments.
5.13 Restriction on Activity
A GBC1 must at all times be administered by a Management Company. A GBC1 that seeks to carry out financial services activities need to hold the necessary authorization, registration, approval or licence as required under relevant enactments. A GBC1 will still be held to be conducting business outside Mauritius although the GBC1 have the following dealings and transactions with residents of Mauritius:
(i) opening and maintaining a bank account in Mauritius currency for the purpose of its day to day transactions arising from its ordinary operations in Mauritius;
(ii) leasing, holding, acquiring or disposing of an immovable property or any interest in immovable property situated in Mauritius, subject to the relevant laws;
(iii) investing in securities listed on a securities exchange in Mauritius;
(iv) opening and maintaining an account in foreign currency;
(v) having interest in or dealing and transacting with other corporations holding a GBC licence;
(vi) entering into a business relationship with a Management Company or a law practitioner or qualified auditor in Mauritius;
(vii) employ staff resident in Mauritius.
A GBC2 must at all times have a registered agent in Mauritius who shall be a Management Company. A GBC2 may not conduct any financial services activities, provide fiduciary services or engage in insurance or fund-related activities. It will still be held to be conducting business outside Mauritius although the GBC2 have the following dealings and transactions with residents of Mauritius:
(i) opening and maintaining an account in foreign currency;
(ii) having interest in or dealing and transacting with other corporations holding a GBC licence;
(iii) entering into a business relationship with a Management Company or a law practitioner or qualified auditor in Mauritius.
6 Introduction to Mauritius
6.1 The Register of Mauritius Ships (the "Register") is under the responsibility of the Director. The Register is divided into the following 6 Parts:
6.1.1 Part One Ships that are not bareboat chartered may be registered under this Part.
6.1.2 Part Two Bareboat chartered ships may be registered under this Part.
6.1.3 Part Three Ships under construction may be registered under this Part.
6.1.4 Part Four Fishing vessels. Fishing vessels of 24 metres or more in length may be registered after a fishing licence has been obtained in relation to the fishing vessel from the Ministry of Agro Industry and Fisheries in accordance with the requirements of the Fisheries and Marine Resources Act 2007.
6.1.5 Part Five Pleasure vessels. If it is intended that a pleasure vessel that is registered under this Part will be operated within Mauritius waters, a licence to do so should be obtained from the Ministry of Tourism, Leisure and External Communications in accordance with the requirements of the Tourism Authority Act 2008.
6.1.6 Part Six Submersible craft may be registered under this Part.
6.2 A ship shall only be registered under one Part but registration may be transferred from one Part to another as may be appropriate according to the particular circumstances.
7 How to obtain Permanent Registration of a Ship
7.1 What is the difference between first registration, permanent registration, provisional registration, registration anew and interim registration?
7.1.1 'First registration' is where a ship is being registered for the first time in Mauritius whether provisional or permanent registration.
7.1.2 'Permanent registration' is where a ship is permanently registered after fulfilment of all of the registration procedures.
7.1.3 'Provisional registration' is where a ship is at a port outside of Mauritius at the time of application for first registration and this is covered under Section 8 below. Provisional registration is valid for a period not exceeding the earlier of the expiration of 3 months from the date of the certificate of provisional registration or the date of arrival of the ship at the Port of Port Louis.
7.1.4 'Registration Anew' is where the ownership of a ship is changed and the owner applies to the Registrar to register the ship anew. The Registrar follows the same procedure as in the case of a first registration and upon surrender of the existing certificate of registration and compliance with all the other requirements for registration, the Registrar registers the ship anew and issues a new certificate of registration.
7.1.5 'Interim registration' is where there is a written contract for the transfer of a ship or a share in a ship and it is intended that on execution of the relevant bill of sale the ship will be entitled to be registered in Mauritius. The Registrar may register the ship on an interim basis and issue a certificate of registration which is valid for 21 days from its date of issue.
In order to obtain permanent registration of the ship, the transferee of the ship shall deliver the relevant documents required for permanent registration together with the bill of sale executed under the contract to the Registrar within 21 days of the date of issue of the interim certificate. The Registrar shall then make the relevant entries in the Register and issue a certificate of registration.
7.2 Permanent Registration
The requirements to be observed before 'permanent registration' can be effected are as follows:
7.2.1 Application for Registry
Every application for the registration of a ship must be made to the Registrar on the prescribed form. If the owner is a body corporate the Regulations also require production of:
(1) a copy of certificate of incorporation certified to be a true copy by a director or its company secretary;
(2) a copy of resolutions of its board of directors, certified to be a true copy by a director or its company secretary, authorising a director or the company secretary, or an original power of attorney signed by a director authorising one or more named persons, to effect registration of the ship in Mauritius.
7.2.2 Declaration of Ownership
Every application for registration must be accompanied by a declaration of ownership. The declaration must be made by the person who is to be registered as owner of the ship or a share in the ship, or the person authorised to make the declaration on behalf of the relevant body corporate or maritime entity. The declaration must:
(1) refer to the ship as described in the certificate of a builder or a surveyor;
(2) contain a statement of the number of shares in the ship the legal title to which vests in the party making the declaration and whether the shares are held alone or jointly with any other person;
(3) state that the ship is seaworthy;
(4) state the name of the ship's master and particulars of his certificate of competency number;
(5) where the ship was previously registered in another country, to state that the ship has been deleted from such register free and clear of registered encumbrances and provide evidence of same by way of production of a deletion certificate.
7.2.3 Evidence of Title to Ownership
The evidence of ownership normally to be produced consists of:
(1) for a new ship, the builder's certificate; or
(2) for a ship which is not new, the bill of sale or other equivalent document acceptable to the Registrar, evidencing the most recent transfer of ownership.
There is no form of builder's certificate prescribed by the Act.
7.2.4 Foreign Registry An application in respect of a ship which has immediately before the application been registered in the registry of a foreign state shall be accompanied by a certified extract of the register of the foreign registry pertaining to that ship.
7.2.5 Name, Carving and Marking
(1) Name: A ship must be described only by the name under which it is registered. A change in the name of a ship can only be made with the written permission of the Registrar.
(2) Carving and Marking: An official number will be allocated and the ship must be carved. Before registration a ship shall be marked permanently and conspicuously to the satisfaction of the Director in the following manner:
(i) its name shall be marked on each of its bows and its name and port of registration shall be marked on its stern;
(ii) its official number and net tonnage shall be marked on a main part of the ship's permanent structure that is readily visible and accessible in a manner specified by a Surveyor;
(iii) a scale of meters (if the ship was built after 1 May 1998) or feet (if the ship was built before 1 May 1998) denoting its draught of water shall be marked on each side of its stem and its stern post.
Once the ship has been carved and marked in accordance with the requirements of the Act a Surveyor shall inspect the carving and marking of the ship. The Surveyor shall sign the prescribed form (Ship's Carving and Marking Note) and return it to the Director.
The Director has the power to exempt a ship or class of ships from any carving and marking requirements subject to such conditions as he may impose.
Before registration, a ship shall be surveyed and have its tonnage ascertained by a Surveyor. The Surveyor shall thereafter grant a Certificate of Survey for delivery to the Registrar specifying the ship's tonnage and build and other particulars required by the Director.
Where a ship intended to be registered in Mauritius has already been measured according to the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships 1969 in a foreign country, the Director may treat the ship as being of the tonnage denoted in its previous certificate of registration without the ship being re-measured if such a ship is in possession of a valid International Tonnage Certificate.
A Surveyor may determine that a ship should be re-measured and issued with a new tonnage certificate.
7.2.7 Additional Documents to be produced for Registration (See Section 4.2.2)
(1) Certificate of Class Maintenance issued by a classification society recognised by Mauritius;
(2) Proof of liability insurance;
(3) Mauritius Load Line Certificate issued under the provisions of the International Load Line Convention 1966;
(4) Mauritius Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate issued under the provisions of SOLAS 1974;
(5) Mauritius Cargo Ship Safety Radio Certificate under the provisions of SOLAS 1974;
(6) (in case of a passenger ship) Mauritius Passenger Ship Certificate under the provisions of SOLAS 1974;
(7) Mauritius Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate under the provisions of SOLAS 1974;
(8) Mauritius Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973 (as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto);
(9) Any other certificate under any other further convention to which Mauritius has acceded at the time of first registration.
If Mauritius accedes to any further Convention after the date of first registration, the ship shall comply with that additional Convention and procure the issue of the relevant certificates under the additional Convention.
Existing certificates issued by a foreign state which is a party to the Convention to which Mauritius has acceded at the date of first registration may be accepted by the Director for issue of a provisional registration certificate of the ship. New Mauritian certificates issued under the Conventions must be submitted to the Director before expiry of existing certificates and not later than 90 days of issue of the provisional or permanent certificate of registration, whichever shall first occur.
All fees must be paid (see Section 20).
7.3 On completion of the above requirements, the form of permanent certificate of registry is issued by the Registrar.
7.4 On registration of the ship, the Registrar will retain in his possession a copy of any builder's certificate or bill of sale or other evidence of title produced on registration, as well as any certificate of measurement or survey, and all declarations made in connection with the registration.
7.5 If at any time a change occurs in relation to a registered ship and that change affects the eligibility of the ship to be registered, the owner of the ship must notify the Registrar as soon as practicable after the change occurs. The notification must be in writing, signed by the owner and must specify the nature of the change and the name and the official number of the ship.
8 How to obtain Provisional Registry of a Ship
8.1 The requirements in respect of age, class, proof of liability insurance and international conventions (see Section 4.2.2) also apply to any ship seeking provisional registration.
8.2 A provisional registration is valid until the earlier of the expiration of 3 months from the date of the provisional certificate or the date of arrival of the ship at the Port of Port Louis and under the Act has the same effect as a certificate of registration.
8.3 The Act provides for a provisional registry certificate to be issued where a ship becomes entitled to be registered whilst at a port outside Mauritius. It can be issued by a Proper Officer if the Proper Officer is satisfied as to the ownership of the ship which he will normally be on production of application to register (together with the relevant documents of title and declaration of ownership.
8.4 The requirements for survey and carving and marking (see Section 7.2.5 and 7.2.6 need not be fulfilled for provisional registration.
8.5 On receipt of the above documents and payment of fees, the Proper Officer issues a provisional certificate of registry (Provisional Certificate of Mauritius Registry). The Proper Officer is required to forward a copy of the provisional certificate to the Registrar at the first convenient opportunity.
9 How to change the Name of a Mauritius Ship
9.1 Any change in name requires the approval of the Registrar. If the Registrar approves the proposed change of name he shall issue a marking note to the owner. On receipt of the marking note the owner shall cause the ship to be marked with the new name in the prescribed manner. Once the ship has been marked in the prescribed manner the owner shall complete the marking note and return it to the Registrar.
9.2 On receipt of the duly completed marking note the Registrar shall record the change of name in the Register, cancel the existing certificate of registry and issue a new certificate of registry to the owner showing the new name and particulars of the change of name.
10 How to register a Mortgage on a Mauritius Ship
10.1 A registered or provisionally registered ship, a ship under construction or a share in any such ship may be made security for the repayment of a loan or the discharge of any other obligation by means of a deed of mortgage in such form as may be prescribed. The execution of the mortgage shall be attested.
10.2 The form of mortgage in "account current" form has been prescribed by The Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Regulations 2008. There is one form to be used where the mortgagor is a "body corporate" and another where the mortgagor is/are "individuals or joint owners".
10.3 The "account current" form of mortgage follows exactly the British model, except that the Act requires there to be attached to the mortgage form a Deed of Covenants agreed between the parties dealing with any matter relating to the mortgage.
10.4 The Registrar shall register deeds of mortgage in the order in which they are produced to him. The Registrar shall sign on each deed of mortgage a statement to the effect that it has been registered.
10.5 The method of registration of the mortgage depends on whether the mortgage is being executed in Mauritius or abroad:
10.5.1 In Mauritius: On presentation of the mortgage to the Registrar and payment of the appropriate fee, it is recorded by the Registrar who endorses on the mortgage the day an hour of recordation.
10.5.2 Outside Mauritius: The mortgage deed may be deposited with a Proper Officer who shall upon payment of the appropriate fee immediately notify the Registrar, indicating the date and hour of the deposit of the mortgage. Upon receipt of the notice the Registrar shall record the mortgage in the Register as from the date and hour of its deposit with the Proper Officer. The Proper Officer shall forthwith forward the original deed of mortgage to the Registrar who shall endorse it.
10.6 Priority of mortgages – Where two or more mortgages are registered in respect of the same vessel, the priority of the mortgages between themselves shall be determined by the order in which the mortgages were registered.
However, the Registrar may give an intending mortgagee a priority notice which, when recorded in the Register, shall determine the priority of the interest to which the notice relates.
10.7 Every registered mortgagee has under the Act a statutory power to sell the ship or share of which it is the registered mortgagee.
11 How to discharge a Mauritius Ship Mortgage
11.1 The prescribed forms of 'account current' mortgage, both the 'body corporate' form and the `individuals or joint owners' form, has on the reverse side a memorandum of discharge which is itself given in two forms:
11.1.1 'Discharge of Mortgage - By Individuals or Joint Mortgagees'
11.1.2 'Discharge of Mortgage - By Body Corporate'
The appropriate form should be completed by the mortgagee and attested and then produced to the Registrar in Port Louis for registration.
11.2 In order to discharge a mortgage the deed of mortgage, with a receipt for any sum due endorsed on it, must be produced to the Registrar. The Registrar will then make an entry in the Register to the effect that the mortgage has been discharged. The Registrar has a discretion to record the discharge of a mortgage without sight of the deed of mortgage if he is satisfied that the original deed of mortgage cannot be produced to him for a good reason.
11.3 The termination of the registration of a ship shall not affect an entry in the Register in respect of an un-discharged mortgage unless the Registrar is satisfied that a person appearing on the Register who has an interest in a mortgage has consented to the entry ceasing to have effect.
12 How to transfer a Mauritius Ship Mortgage
12.1 Any transfer must be registered with the Registrar. A registered mortgage of a ship or share may be transferred to any person. The instrument effecting the transfer must be delivered to the Registrar. The Registrar shall enter the name of the transferee as mortgagee in the Register and sign on the instrument of transfer a statement that it has been registered by him.
12.2 The prescribed forms of 'account current' mortgage, by the 'body corporate' and the 'individuals or joint owners' form, has on the reverse side a 'Transfer of Mortgage' which is itself given in two forms:
12.2.1 'Transfer of Mortgage – By Individual or Joint Mortgagees'
12.2.2 'Transfer of Mortgage – By Body Corporate'
13 Transmisssion of Interest in a Mauritius Ship Mortgage
13.1 Any transmission must be registered with the Registrar.
13.2 Where the mortgage interest in a ship or share is transmitted to a person by any lawful means without an instrument effecting the transfer, the person to whom the mortgage interest is transmitted is required to provide the Registrar with a statement of the manner in which, and the person to whom, the property has been transmitted together with such evidence as is required for a transmission of the ownership of a ship or share. On receipt of that statement the Registrar will enter the name of the person entitled under the transmission in the Register as mortgagee of the ship or share.
14 How to obtain Parallel Registration in Mauritius
14.1 Mauritius permits parallel registration in Mauritius of a ship which is registered in a foreign register. Where a ship:
(1) is registered under the laws of a foreign country;
(2) is chartered by the owner or by a charterer with the owner's consent to a person who is qualified to own a Mauritius ship;
(3) is operated under a bareboat charter for a period of 2 years or more (or such shorter period as may be authorised by the Director); and
(4) is authorised by the Proper Officer of the foreign country to be registered in a bareboat registry of another jurisdiction and an application for registration is made under the Act,
the Registrar may register the ship and issue a certificate of registration.
14.2 In order to obtain parallel registration in Mauritius of a foreign ship, application must be made to the Registrar by the Mauritius citizen or body corporate established under the laws of Mauritius and having its registered office in Mauritius who is the bareboat charterer. Every application for registration of the ship must be in a form approved by the Registrar and must be accompanied by:
(a) a statement that the ship is subject to a bareboat charter;
(b) a copy of the charter party;
(c) the certificate of registry, or other document, issued by the authority responsible for the registration of ships of the country of primary registration showing the ownership of the ship;
(d) where the charterer is a body corporate:
(i) a copy of the certificate of incorporation, certified a true copy by a director or its company secretary; and
(ii) a copy of resolutions of its board of directors, certified to be a true copy by a director or its company secretary, authorising a director or the company secretary, or an original power of attorney signed by a director authorising one or more named persons, to effect registration of the ship in Mauritius;
(e) consent in writing of the registered owner of the foreign ship;
(f) consent in writing of the maritime authorities of the country of foreign register and a certificate of ownership and mortgages of that foreign register;
(g) consent in writing of all the mortgagees; and
(h) the prescribed fee.
The applicant is also required to produce all other documents required by the Act and the Regulations for a first permanent registration.
14.3 If the application for parallel registration in Mauritius is approved then, on payment of the prescribed fees for the whole period for which the parallel registry is to be in force, the Registrar will enter the particulars of the ship in the Register and issue a Certificate of Mauritius Parallel Registry (Certificate of Mauritius Parallel Registry).
14.4 During the period for which the status of Mauritius parallel registry is in force, the ship will fly the Mauritius flag and is not permitted to use the flag of the foreign country. The port of Port Louis should be marked on the ship.
14.5 During the status of parallel registry the ship will keep the name that it had when application for registration was made. In case of change of name, application for approval must be made by the charterer to the Registrar for approval.
14.6 Registry of mortgages on a ship subject to parallel registration will be effected in accordance with the law of the foreign register, but details should be sent to the Registrar for entry in the relevant part of the Register.
14.7 The Registrar may terminate the registration of the bareboat chartered ship where:
(a) the ship ceases to be operated under the bareboat charter; or
(b) the charterer transfers his rights and obligations under the bareboat charter which causes the registration of the ship to cease; or
(c) the registration of the ship in the foreign country is closed or annulled; or
(d) the authorisation previously granted by the Proper Officer to register the ship in the bareboat registry of another jurisdiction is revoked; or
(e) there is any other reason for deletion of the ship under the Act (e.g. non-payment of fees).
Upon such deletion the Registrar may issue a certificate confirming that the ship has been deleted from the Register and notify the responsible authority for registration of ships in the country of primary registration.
15 How to Parallel Register Mauritius Ships in a Foreign Register
15.1 Mauritius permits a Mauritius ship to have parallel bareboat registry in a foreign register subject to satisfaction of certain conditions (see below). The Registrar may, with the approval of the Minister and on application to that effect made in the prescribed manner (Application for Approval of the Registrar for Parallel Registration of a Mauritius Ship in a Foreign Register), permit the owner of a Mauritius ship to register the ship in the bareboat charter registry of another jurisdiction. The registration of the ship in the Mauritius Registry shall be suspended whilst the ship is registered in a bareboat charter registry of another country.
15.2 The Registrar may grant permission for parallel registration of a Mauritius ship in a foreign register where:
(a) the ship is subject to a bareboat charter pursuant to which the owner is not responsible for the management, operation or control of the ship for the period of the charter;
(b) every mortgagee of the ship has consented to the permission being granted;
(c) the owner has delivered to the Registrar:
(i) a certified copy of the bareboat charter;
(ii) the certificate of registration of the ship in the Register; and
(iii) any other certificate issued in respect of the ship under the Act; and
(d) the Registrar has received confirmation of acceptance of bareboat charter registration from the Proper Officer of the country where the ship is intended to be registered.
15.3 If the application for parallel registry of the Mauritius Ship is approved by the Registrar, he will issue his approval.
15.4 The status of parallel registry is revoked if:
15.4.1 the ship ceases to be registered in the bareboat charter registry at which it is registered;
15.4.2 the bareboat charter is terminated;
15.4.3 on an application from the owner or mortgagee of the ship; or
15.4.4 on the request of the Proper Officer of the other country.
15.5 During the status of parallel registry the ship shall:
15.5.1 be suspended in the Mauritius Register of Ships;
15.5.2 no longer have the Port of Port Louis as its port of registration;
15.5.3 cease to pay any fee that may be prescribed and to be subject to the same financial obligations as other Mauritius ships, except for payment of crew fees and radio fees; and
15.5.4 fly the foreign flag and shall not fly the national colours of Mauritius.
15.6 Any mortgages on the Mauritius ship at the time of parallel registration in the foreign register will continue to exist and be a charge on the ship and are not affected by the parallel registration. During the status of parallel registry in the foreign register, transfers of ownership and mortgaging of the ship will continue to be effected on the Mauritius ship register only and will be notified by the Registrar to the appropriate maritime authorities of the foreign register. Under Mauritius law, any purported transfer of ownership or mortgaging on the foreign register of a Mauritius Ship subject to parallel registry will be treated as null and void.
16 How to transfer a Mauritius Ship remaining on the Register
a) A transfer of a Mauritius ship or a share in it is effected by a bill of sale (Body Corporate) or (Individuals or Joint Owners) containing a description of the ship as in the surveyor's certificate, or some other description sufficient to identify the ship to the satisfaction of the Registrar. The bill of sale must be executed by the transferor in the presence of, and attested by a witness.
b) Where there is a transfer of a registered ship the new owner must, within 30 days of the transfer, apply to the Registrar for the transfer to be registered. The application for the registration of the transfer must be accompanied by a duly executed bill of sale together with a declaration to the effect that the transferee is qualified to own a Mauritius ship and that, to the best of his knowledge and belief, the ship is otherwise entitled to be registered (Declaration of Ownership). The Registrar will enter the name of the transferee as owner of the ship or share in the Register, endorse the bill of sale indicating the date and time of endorsement and issue a new certificate of registration.
17 How to transfer out a Mauritius Flag
17.1 If title to a Mauritius Ship or any share therein is transferred to persons other than a Mauritius citizen or body corporate established under the laws of Mauritius, the ship will cease to be a 'Mauritius Ship'. The Mauritius certificate of registry must be surrendered.
18 What Officers and crew may be employed on a Mauritius Ship
18.1 There is no requirement that the officers or crew of a Mauritius Ship must be citizens of Mauritius.
18.2 The Act provides for the approval by the Director of foreign certificates of competency, where appropriate.
18.3 A crew agreement shall be entered into between each person employed as a seafarer in Mauritius ship and the person employing him. The crew agreement must be signed by each party. The terms and form of a crew agreement must be approved by the Director.
19 How to inspect the Register of Mauritius Ships
19.1 The Register of Mauritius Ships is open to public inspection.
19.2 On payment of the prescribed fee, any interested person may inspect the Register during normal office hours and obtain from the Registrar a transcript of the register of any Mauritius ship.
20.1 Under The Merchant Shipping (Fees) Regulations 2008:
Initial registration fee
|| Annual fee
|| Fishing Vessels
||Initial registration fee
||(a) Up to 1500 GT
||(b) For each GT in excess of 1500 GT
|| Annual fee
||(a) Up to 1500 GT
||(b) For each GT in excess of 1500 GT
||Initial registration fee
||(a) For each GT up to 20,000 GT
|| 0.25 subject to a minimum of 300.00|
||(b) For each GT in excess of 20,000 GT
||Annual fee (Tonnage Tax)
||(a) For each GT up to 20,000 GT
|| 0.20 subject to a minimum of 300.00|
||(b) For each GT in excess of 20,000 GT
||(c) Marine Investigation and International Participation
|| 700.00 + 0.02|
||(d) Marine Inspection
4. Other Fees
||Issue of Provisional certificate of registration
||Issue of Permanent certificate of registration
|| 200 |
||Change of name
||Issuance of Transcript of Register
||Issuance of an extension to a Provisional Certificate of Registry
20.2 Where a ship is registered after 31st January in any year, the annual fees payable are calculated for every month or part of a month at the rate of one-twelfth of the annual fee.