Benefits relating to ship and yacht registration
The International Shipping Register of Madeira – MAR is Portugal’s international shipping register and is a credible alternative to other international registers with the highest quality, having guaranteed technical discipline and safety as long as other adequate measures to ensure an efficient surveillance of all of the registered vessels.
"MAR" is the portuguese word for "Sea". All of the vessels registered under MAR navigates with the Portuguese flag and all international conventions ratified by Portugal are complied by MAR.
Because MAR registered ships have the Portuguese flag, they can be used for coastal shipping, navigation, trade or transport (cabotage) in EU countries.
All vessels and yachts may be registered at MAR under the Portuguese flag according to the MIBC Legislation, provided that their activities do not amount transportation of goods between Portuguese ports.
Only transportation between Portuguese ports and foreign ports are allowed.
Fishing boats cannot be registered at MAR.
Non resident entities can register a vessel with MAR.
In this case, it is mandatory to appoint a local legal representative of the foreign owner as required by law.
It is also possible to set up a Madeira IBC Shipping company, transferring the ownership of the vessel to this entity.
The wide range of tax and financial incentives available to shipping companies duly incorporated and licensed to operate within the legal framework of the IBC, will apply, when operating outside Portuguese territorial waters, on the income obtained from the activities of the vessel.
How to register
The Technical Comission of MAR analyzes all of the information and documentation obtained regarding the ship.
The nature of these will depend on wether it's a permanent or a temporary registration.
The functions are delegated in the shipping registry which recognises certificates issued by specified classification societies.
Among these functions are the supervision and enforcement of the rules concerning stability, bulk cargo, on board security, as well as the issuing of international certificates concerning conventions and resolutions of the International Maritime Organisation and the OLO.
Currently, the following classification societies are recognised in Portugal and certified to carry out their functions in the framework of MAR:
- Lloyd's Register of Shipping (LRS);
- Det Norske Veritas (DNV);
- Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NKK);
- Registro Italiano Navale (RINA);
- American Bureau of Shipping (ABS);
- Rinave Portuguesa (RINAVE);
- Bureau Veritas (BV).
The purpose of the registry technical comission in assessing crew composition and minimum crew requirements is to guarantee both safety and preservation of the quality of life aboard and at sea.
It is required that the captain and 30% of the crew must be nationals of Europe or of PALOP countries (Portuguese Speaking countries), however Spanish owned vessels are also authorised to have crew from official Spanish-speaking countries. The crew composition requirements do not apply to yachts.
There is a complete exemption of taxation in any income received by the crew of ships registered in MAR.
Crew members and the employers of ships registered in MAR may adopt a social security system or a voluntary insurance. They are exempt from paying social security taxes within the normal Portuguese system.
The legal system of a particular country that shall govern the terms of the mortgage can be chosen by the mortgagor and the mortgagee, as long as there is a written agreement.
If not, the Portuguese law shall be applied.