You’ll be ship-shape in Barbados. Registering your vessel on the Barbados ships’ registry offers many advantages from 24/7 support facilities and tax advantages for operating through a Barbados entity. 

International Maritime Organization

Barbados has been a member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) since 1970.  The IMOs main function is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping. Its remit today includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping.

The Barbados Maritime Ship Registry

Barbados Maritime Ship Registry (BMSR) is one of the world’s best ship registries. The BMSR is white-listed by the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control, and is part of the US Coast Guard’s QUALSHIP 21 Programme designed to identify quality controlled vessels visiting US ports.

The Barbados Maritime Ship Registry is one of the world’s best, with many internationally-owned vessels flying the Barbados flag.


Several internationally-owned vessels fly the Barbados flag including tankers, bulk carriers, container ships and yachts. The BMSR offers competitive initial registration and annual fees and low-cost annual Flag State inspections. The BMSR also operates a 24/7 support facility for ship operators.

Shipping entities and advantages

Investors who want to use Barbadian entities to own and operate ships can do so using one of the following vehicles:

  • A shipping company that owns and operates ships, or acts as a holding entity for such a company. According to section 330 of the Shipping Corporations Act, such companies (and non-resident directors and officers of such companies) are not subject to the Income Tax Act, Stamp Duty Act, or Exchange Control Act. 
  • An approved shipping company under the Shipping Incentives Act. An approved shipping company can enjoy the following concessions for 15 years: 
    • Income tax concessions in respect of profits or gains 
    • Dividends paid to residents are exempt from income tax and when paid to non-residents are free of tax in excess of the rate paid in their country of residence
    • With the Minister’s consent, duty-free concessions for the importation of ships and articles used in the business.


Find out more at the Barbados Maritime Ships Registry website.