legal system in Jamaica is based on English Common Law, with the
Shipping Act 1998 being the primary legislation governing the
regulation and development of domestic and international shipping.
Shipping Act 1998 established the Maritime Authority of Jamaica
as a statutory body with separate legal existence to administer
the registration of ships, regulate matters relating to merchant
shipping and seafarers and to administer policy for the development
of shipping in general. The Shipping Act specifically incorporates
provisions relating to the registration of ships, ownership requirements
and mortgage registration and enforcement, which allow for the
commercial operation of an international ship registry within
a sound legal framework. The Shipping (Registration of Ships)
Regulations 2006 makes provision for Bareboat (In) and (Out) Registration.
the Shipping Act implements the IMO and ILO conventions which
Jamaica has ratified and special provisions have been incorporated
which allow for the timely incorporation of new conventions and
amendments to existing conventions.
ensures the continuation of Jamaica's determination to actively
promote the safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine
Shipping Act is supported by modern legislation governing admiralty
jurisdiction and a cadre of Attorneys-At- Law, specializing in
commercial and maritime law.
Shipping Act has the advantage not only of being attractive to
professionals in the international shipping community but also,
of being administered by a Maritime Authority, committed to the
highest levels of flag state responsibility and the operation
of a high quality ship register.
has also entered into Double Taxation Agreements with major shipping
countries namely; USA, Canada, UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany,
China, Israel, France, Spain and Caribbean Communities Countries, and
continues to negotiate agreements with other leading Maritime
agreements which provide the framework for co-operation in the
area of shipping including the facilitation of maritime traffic
and the welfare of crew employed on ships calling at the ports
of those states have also been established. These states include
Ukraine, Norway & Cuba.
The recently signed European Partnership Agreements also entitles Jamaican registered ships to receive preferential treatment for the payment of port dues when calling at Italian Ports.
Yachts flying the Jamaican flag will also enjoy preferential treatment at U.S.A and French ports.
2005 the Companies Act was passed which provides for the incorporation
of Limited Liability Companies with a single document known as
Articles of Incorporation. Companies may be managed by a sole
director and there are no nationality restrictions on the share
ownership of Jamaican Companies.
The Jamaica Ship Registry (JSR) however recognizes the need to
give its ship owners the freedom to use the corporate vehicle
of their choice so the use of a Jamaican company is optional.
Owners may therefore use Foreign Maritime entities and foreign
corporations to own and operate Jamaican ships.
of life at sea is given the highest priority and agreements have
been entered into with members of the International Association
of Classification Societies (see below). An agreement has been
also signed with Hellenic Register of Shipping Company and Isthmus Bureau of Shipping to carry
out specified Statutory Certification Services.
of Classification Societies
American Bureau of Shipping
2. Bureau Veritas
3. China Classification Society (exclusive to Chinese-owned ships)
4. Det Norske Veritas
5. Germanischer Lloyd
6. Isthmus Bureau of Shipping
7. Korean Register Of Shipping
8. Lloyd's Register of Shipping
9. Nippon Kaiji Kyokal
10. Polish Register of Shipping (PRS )
11. Registro Italiano Navale
Russian Maritime Register Of Shipping
13. International Naval Survey of Bureau