The Jamaica Ship Registry (JSR) will register all eligible ships in the interest of any qualified owner submitting an application for registration providing the application can fulfil the requirements of the Shipping Act, 1998, which provides the framework for registration. For simplicity, vessels are grouped as:

  1. Commercial ships
  2. Pleasure Craft (Yachts)
  3. Ships Under Construction

Within this grouping, distinction is made between vessels that are below 24 metres, and others, whether or not Convention ships.

All vessels being registered, must fulfil certain administrative and technical requirements.  Ships being registered under construction, are required to provide evidence of technical compliance under construction rather than technical compliance for operation.

Why Register in Jamaica?

  • Accessibility: Whether or not there is an Office of the JSR in your region, the JSR remains accessible and offers 24/7 responsiveness:
  • Legal Framework: Registration in Jamaica is based upon English Common Law
  • Ownership:  Foreign companies and foreign maritime entities having the authority to own ships (including existing entities) and in good standing, may be registered as owner of a Jamaican Ship. Such non-Jamaica entity will need to appoint a Jamaican individual or entity as  “Managing Owner or Agent”, “Authorized Representative” with an Address in Jamaica. Alternatively, a company may be incorporated in Jamaica.
  • Mortgages:  Mortgages and Priority Notices registered by the JSR, finds acceptance by leading international financial institutions.
  • Inspection: Jamaica recognizes all International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) Members. Two non-IACS Members have also been appointed as Recognized Officers (ROs). ROs and Non-Exclusive Surveyors (NEs) appointed the world over, are consistently assessed to ensure that they maintain the desired standard of technical service.
  • Manning: There is no restriction on the nationality of crew accepted for service onboard a Jamaican ship.  The JSR is however guided by existing UN Sanctions.
  • Vessels:  All ships and ships under construction are accepted for registration; each on its own merit. Fishing vessels engaged in international fishing may however not be registered.
  • Restriction on Vessels:  Vessels may be considered for registration on their own merit.  There is however considerable benefit to be had in the registration of newer vessels.
  • Discounts: A range of incentives are available to ships flying the Jamaican Flag in particular those maintaining a good safety record or employing Jamaican Seafarers.  Large passenger ships Home Porting in Jamaica, may also benefit from flying the Jamaican Flag.

What type of ships may be registered?

Jamaica welcomes all types and categories of ships, including commercial ships, research ships, private ships, ships under construction, single voyage ships (for delivery/trial). Ships engaged in international fishing or export of fish products to the USA or Europe, may not be registered.

What conventions have been ratified by the Jamaican Registry?

Jamaica has ratified all major conventions pertinent to the administration of the registration of the ships (see:

How do we register in Jamaica?

Registration in Jamaica is a simple three (3) step process

Prior to submitting an application, an owner is encouraged to ascertain the

To ascertain the acceptability of a vessel, an enquiry for registration may be submitted to the Registrar of Ships (at, providing the:

The ship must be served by one of the JSR Recognized Organizations.

  1. Establish the acceptability of the vessel
    • acceptability of the vessel for consideration as a Jamaican ship
    • availability of the name desired for the vessel, although this is not a prerequisite.
    • Fee to register the vessel.
    • year of build of the ship
    • gross tons
    • type of ship
    • IMO Number
  1. Submission of the Application and Fees
  1. Fulfilment of technical requirements for registration

Notwithstanding being with a JSR approved RO, all ships intending to be registered in Jamaica, must successfully undergo a technical assessment/ safety survey to be admitted onto the Jamaican Flag.


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