Frequently Asked Questions


All vessels operating in Jamaican Waters must be registered unless exempted. Non-Jamaican vessels operating commercially in Jamaican waters must be certified for Local Trade Operations.

Provided all forms are fully completed and submitted along with relevant supporting documentation  and the vessel is successful in the mandatory safety inspection, registration is typically effected within One  (1) week of receipt of the Application by the MAJ. Delays are inevitable where the forms are not properly filled-in, supporting documentation is missing or during seasonal peaks in requests for registration. Applicants may request an expedited service which guarantees completion of the process of registratoin within Three (3) Days, providiing all requirements are satisfied.

Registration is a one-time process which lasts the life of the vessel provided the Owner does not change or the vessel does not otherwise become ineligible to remain registered. Safety inpsection and re-certification is however, an anual requirement for commercial vessels and a biennial activitiy for certain classes of Pleasure Craft.

The documents to be submitted when applying for any service provided by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica are listed at the back of the Application Form.

To expedite the registration process, all fees must be paid in advance, forms received by the Maritime Authority must be complete with supporting documents and properly filled-in and the vessel be fully ready for a successful safety inspection. An expedited process reduces the inspection time to

Where a Pleasure Craft fails to meet the requirements for Biennial Inspeciton or a non-pleasure craft the requirements for annual inspections,  back fees will be payable when next the vessel is brought in for inspection as it will be assumed that the vessel was engaged albeit illegally, as the certificate would have expired.  Where however, the MAJ is advised in advance that the vessel will be taken out of service and the Safety Inspection Certificate returned to the Maritime Authority, back fees will not apply.  Further, where the vessel is returned to service within the period of validity of the Safety Certificate, consideration will be given to the fact that she was laid-up for a period.

It should be noted that where a vessel is taken our of normal service, the Certificate of Registry may be replaced by one endorsed “Not for Operation” in which case, the vessel will not be required to fulfill technical obligations.

Typically,  re-certification is possible within  Seven (7) days.  A safety re-certification may be expedited  for completion within  Three (3) Days .  

Safety Certificates for commercial vessels are valid for a period of up to One (1) year whereas that for Pleasure Craft is valid for periods of up to Two (2) years.

The Inspection Fee cannot be shared.  The respective Transport cost is a recoverable expense that may be shared by several Owners with vessels for inspection at one location at the same tme. The Applications for inspection must however be received at the MAJ as a single package.

Yes. Safety Certification issued to a vessel is based upon the state of the vessel at the time of inspection. The equipment onboard at inspection must remain on the vessel at all times and must be marked with the Official Number of the vessel to which it belongs.  Equipment for one operational vessel may not be used on another vessel and must always be identified with the markings of the vessel on which it is used.

No.  A Passenger Vessel is inspected to a higher standard of safety than a Fishing Vessel.  A Fishing Vessel does not meet the safety requirements of a Passenger Vessel and should therefore not be used it the carriage of passengers unless it has been inspected to and has been successful at the higher standard of safety.

Re-inspections will be necessary if and when a vessels fails its initial inspection. To avoid re-inspection, ensure the vessel is in a safe condition at the initial inspection and all safety equipment have not exceeded their validity periods .  Do not hesitate to contact the MAJ for guidance in preparation for an inspection.