Under the Shipping Act of 1998, all vessels less than 24 metres in length operating in or from Jamaican waters, are required to be licenced. For the vessel to be licensed it must be registered by the MAJ.
Vessels operating as a commercial vessel such as commercial fishing, watersports, Entertainment and conveying of passengers, are required to have safety inspections conducted annually, whilst privately owned vessels such as yachts and sports fishermen are required to have safety inspections conducted every two years.
No boat or vessel licensed under or required to be licensed by the Harbour Rules shall be under way in any harbour or in the channel approaches thereto unless the boat operator is in the possession of a national certificate of competence and proficiency to as issued by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica. The Maritime Authority of Jamaica will provide certified vessel and boat operator examiners at a time of mutual convenience.