The process for registering a small vessel or boat for use at sea is simple. But, you will need to use the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Small Ship Register online service.
This help guide explains the steps for part III registration, part I registration, and how to register a commercial vessel over 100 gross tonnes (GT).
Important: Some of the previous rules may have changed following the end of the Brexit transition period. We will update this page as soon as new information becomes available.
There may be instances where you need to prove the nationality of a boat you sail outside the waters of the United Kingdom.
You can achieve this by registering the vessel on the UK Small Ships Register (SSR).
The SSR UK Online Registration Service provides you with a simple form of non-title registration.
SSR registration is only available if all the owners are 'ordinarily resident' in the United Kingdom. You can use the Small Ships Register UK for pleasure vessels less than 24 metres in length.
The current cost of registering a recreational vessel on the Small Ship Register is £35 for five (5) years. UK SSR registration criteria depends on the:
You can edit an existing SSR registration online. This is useful if you change the legal ownership or address of the boat keeper.
The same service allows you to make your Small Ships Register search for renewal. MCA Cardiff would send you a renewal notice when it's time to renew Small Ships Registration.
Your boat must have a unique name for registration on the Small Ships Register Part I. The cost is £153 for five (5) years. Part 1 of the British ship registry covers you in circumstances where you need to:
Note: Search the Small Ships Register guidance notes for further eligibility criteria and technical information (e.g. measuring the vessel).
Following that you need to send the following supporting documents:
When you pay the registration fee you can use several methods:
You will receive a renewal notice when it is time to renew your registration. The renewal fee is £49 for another five (5) years.
Note: Further forms, guides, and notices are available for ship owners and bareboat charterers registering with UKSR under the UK flag.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency can help with the small vessel register. Contact MCA to register merchant ship and bareboat charter >100GT.
The UK Ship Register search tool has information and guidance for merchant ship and bareboat charter. Contact SSR registration for small commercial vessels under 100 gross tonnes (GT).
Part III Registration (MCA Small Ships Register UK)
Telephone: +44 (0)20 3908 5201
Part I Registration
Telephone: +44 (0)20 3908 5204
UK Ship Register (The Registry of Shipping and Seamen Cardiff Contact)
Email: [email protected]
Telephone number: +44 (0)20 3908 5200
Check the cost of phone calls in the United Kingdom
UK Ship Register (The Registry of Shipping and Seamen)
Note: The short YouTube video explains more about the World Register of Ships and how it simplifies an online search for ships at sea.
Small Ships Register Search Procedures in United Kingdom