World-class shipowners from across the globe now eligible to join UK flag

Published: 16/05/2019

Outstanding shipowners from across the globe now have access to the UK Ship Register (UKSR), one of the best performing flag registries. The UKSR has expanded its ownership eligibility, allowing more exceptional shipping companies to flag to the UK and take advantage of our 24/7 customer services and no annual flag tax.

The criteria has been widened beyond the current areas of the UK and Europe to include Commonwealth countries and bring the UK in line with our Red Ensign Group partners (annex B). The UK Flag is an International Register (not limited to nationally based companies).

Director of the UK Ship Register Richard Parkes said, “This change will now allow the UK flag to attract first class ships and owners who have their company based outside of the UK. They too will be able to benefit from exceptional service and a global reputation”.

Benefits that UK flag customers receive include: 24/7 dedicated account managers, (for those eligible) the Enhanced Authorisation Scheme which allows all survey/audits to be delegated to one of our approved Recognised Organisations and flexible package fee options for registration, inspection and certification, designed to suit customer needs and the demands of worldwide shipping.

The UKSR has also introduced a system for bareboat charter-out, so that ships can temporarily reflag for the period of a charter-party before returning to the UK flag when that agreement ends.

Annex A


To be able to apply for a new registration, you must meet and declare your eligibility to join the UK Ship Register. The requirements are set out below:

The following persons are qualified to be the owners of ships to be registered on Part 1 the Register:

  • UK citizen
  • British dependant territories citizen
  • British overseas citizen
  • company incorporated in one of the European Economic Area (EEA) countries
  • citizen of a EU member state exercising your rights under articles 48 or 52 of the EU Treaty in the UK
  • company incorporated in any British overseas possession which has its principal place of business in the UK or those possessions
  • company in an European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG)
  • Commonwealth citizens
  • citizens listed in Schedule 6
  • non-United Kingdom nationals who are settled in the United Kingdom
  • bodies corporate incorporated in a Commonwealth state
  • bodies corporate incorporated in a country listed in Schedule 6

If none of the qualified owners are resident in the UK, a representative must be appointed who is either of the following:

  • an individual resident in the UK
  • a company incorporated in one of the EEA countries with a place of business in the UK


Annex B

Countries to be added to eligibility (bringing UK in line with REG Members)









United Arab Emirates



United States of America

Canary Islands

Marshall Islands





Faroe Islands




South Korea