Belize yacht registration
Belize yacht registration
All vessels registered in Belize are registered with the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE). For the purposes of registration, yachts are divided into three categories and codes:
- The Super Yacht Code – for yachts of 24 metres or more and 500 Gross Tons (500 GT) or more.
- The Large Yacht Code – for yachts of 24 metres or more and less than 500 GT).
- The Small Yacht Code – for yachts of less than 24 metres.
Each of these separate classifications has its own code of standards.
Belize yacht registration – Commercial and private
Within each of the codes, the vessel can fall into two distinct categories – a commercial yacht or a private yacht. Each Code contains a set of standards applicable to vessels registered under it and sets out a set of standards for the construction and operation of yachts in the associated size classification. These standards are mandatory for commercial yachts covered by the code and, although not mandatory for private yachts, are strongly suggested for them as well and IMMARBE reserves the right to require compliance in areas where it deems that appropriate.
Belize yacht registration – Small Yacht
In this topic we consider the initial assumption that the yacht to be licensed will be less than 24 metres and so attach the Small Yacht Code. This provides the full IMMARBE Code applying to yachts of this category.
Within the category there are also “Operational Limitations” (see Section 3.2). Different standards are applied to yachts depending on how far they intend to travel from a ‘Safe Haven’; that is, depending on their intended operating range in the open sea. Note that this does not restrict the yacht to a distance from its home port, only from any safe port.
As noted earlier, yachts are divided into Commercial and Private categories. However, IMMARBE has recognised that many ostensibly private yachts may be chartered out for short periods from time to time, in part defray the cost of private yacht ownership. Consequently IMMARBE allows private yachts to be chartered for up to a total of 112 days in any period of 12 consecutive months (that is, 1/3 of the time), providing they satisfy the additional requirements for personal yachts of their size and stay within the operating range during the rental period.
Provisional Registration can be done very quickly. Once Provisional Registration is completed, the details of which are set out on the application form, the owner will normally proceed to Permanent Registration.
With Provisional Registration in place, valid for six months, Permanent Registration can then proceed. The main additional items required are the original Deletion Certificate from the former Registry (if applicable – not required for new vessels) and a survey of the vessel by a Recognised Organisation including the relevant certificates required by the applicable Code (as above). Lists of the Recognised Survey Organisations, what they are authorised to do and their contact information will be provided upon request.
Belize yacht registration – Initial Government fees:
- Provisional Registration – $725 (including registrations fees, Certificate of Registry, Radio License Annual Tax and Annual Call Letter fee)
- Permanent Registration – $250 additional
- Permanent Patents have a usual validity of two years, at which time the Permanent Registration must be renewed.
- Renewal of the Permanent Patent – $100
- Annual taxes – $350
- Alternatively, the Permanent Patents can be extended for a period of up to five years, if annual taxes for the entire period are paid at the same time (and at a reduced rate per year). In this case:
- Renewal of the Permanent Patent at the end of its term – $100
- Annual taxes, paid in advance for up to five years when the Permanent Patent is renewed – $250 per year of two or more years (up to five) are paid in advance.