offshore solutions since 1988

 PORTUGAL - Madeira


PortugalThe International Shipping Register of Madeira is aimed at giving the island a predominant role in shipping. Everything was well put in place in order to make of MAR a credible alternative to other international registers and yet keeping the technical discipline and safety which characterizes conventional shipping registers. With its digital telecommunications systems and European time zone location, Madeira is ideally positioned to provide speedy registration of vessels and vessel mortgages. Assuming that cost factors play a great role in the feasibility of the maritime industry, when Portugal created MAR-its own second as well as international shipping register, by offering favorable and competitive conditions such as those from other international registries, it aimed at ceasing the country' s "flagging out" process as well as attracting new ship owners and vessels to the new register.

MAR is a high standard quality register with appropriate measures having been provided in order to assure good surveillance systems of all vessels registered. All vessels registered fly the Portuguese flag. It is expressly provided that all International Conventions ratified by Portugal shall form part of and be complied with by the International Shipping Register. All well reputed Classification Societies acknowledged by Portugal are entitled to undertake surveys and other services in respect of vessel registration. Commercial vessels including platforms may be registered in MAR. Registrations in MAR shall benefit from the Private Deeds Registry Office in Madeira. This assures a speedier process of registration without bureaucratic delays. Vessels may also be temporarily registered at Portuguese Consulates. Entities formed within the legal framework of the International Business Center of Madeira and whose business is that of maritime industry shall for all effects and purposes form part of the same, subject to obtaining the license to operate therein. Such companies whose vessels are registered in MAR shall benefit entirely from all the tax and financial incentives.

Recently, some legislative amendments were introduced in order to further develop MAR as a truly competitive register at the international level. These legal amendments, enacted by the Portuguese Government, have in fact increased the register's attractiveness to international ship owners. These deal with three main issues, namely:

Nature and purpose of entities able to register ships in MAR
Citizenship requirements for the crew
Mortgage regime.

Among the important aspects that characterize the Madeiran Register, we can highlight the following:

  1. Nature of entities applying and their forms of representation in Madeira.

  2. How to register, permanently or temporarily.

  3. Purchase and sale of ships.

  4. Classification Societies recognized by MAR and their functions.

  5. Crew and its composition (manning).

  6. Applicable system for mortgages.

  7. Applicable tax incentives in the legal framework of Madeira's Free Trade Zone.

1) Nature of the Applicants:

1.1 Those whose purpose is that of maritime transportation of persons and goods, as long as that transportation is not carried out between Portuguese mainland ports and ports located in Portuguese autonomous regions. Applicants may be companies or other forms of partnerships, branches, agencies or legal representations, licensed or not to operate in the legal framework of Madeira's International Business Center.

1.2 Owners of Yachts.

2) How to register:

Certain documents and information regarding the ship shall be submitted to the Technical Commission of MAR for analysis.

The information and documentation to be submitted shall vary depending on whether it is a temporary or a permanent registration. If permanent, the name of the ship will be submitted with two alternative names, and the Bill of Sale must be the original document. If temporary, a certified copy of the bareboat chartering contract shall be submitted.

The provisional registration has been established by law and can be carried out at Portuguese consulates or in any other departments that have received proper authority to do so. In the latter, the consul registers the ship issuing the respective certificate, provided all necessary documents from the ship owner have been approved by MAR's Technical Commission. There is a maximum period of 30 days to allow the provisional registration to be changed to a permanent one. The registration process is exempt from any form of taxation. The Private Deeds Registry Office of the Madeira Free Trade Zone will be used for that purpose and will assure a speedy process of registration without bureaucratic delays.

3) The purchase and sale of ships:

This type of operations is not subject to any prior authorization. The sale becomes effective through a Bill of Sale.

4) Classification Societies:

Madeira´s International Shipping Register can delegate some of its Technical Commission's functions on recognized classification societies as well as recognize certificates issued by them. Portugal presently recognizes eight classification societies who are certified to carry out their functions in the framework of MAR.

They are:

  • Lloyd´s Register of Shipping (LRS);

  • Bureau Veritas (BV);

  • Det Norske Veritas (DNV);

  • Registro Italiano Navale (RINA);

  • American Bureau of Shipping (ABS);

  • Germanischer Lloyd (GL);

  • Rinave Portuguesa (RINAVE);

  • Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NKK).

Other classification societies may in the future be recognized by the Portuguese government.

Among the functions that may be delegated are: supervision, definition of norms concerning stability, bulk cargo, on board security as well as other documents such as the issuing of international certificates concerning conventions and resolutions of the IMO and ILO.

5) Mortgage Law:

The mortgagor and the mortgage by written agreement may choose the legal system of a particular country that shall govern the terms of the mortgage. Should such agreement not be reached, then the Portuguese law shall apply.

6) Tax Incentives:

All tax incentives applicable within the legal framework of the Madeira's International Business Centre are extended to ship owners registered in MAR.

These incentives are namely:

Exemption until the year 2011 from corporate income taxes on the income from operations in the centre.

Exemption until the year 2011 from municipal property taxes.

Exemption from withholding and income taxes on dividends declared, and on interest on shareholder's loans.

Exemption from taxes on capital gains and on the sale of fixed assets.

Exemption from transfer tax, gift and inheritance tax for all transfers of shares or other forms of participation in the capital of the companies operating exclusively in the Centre and on the acquisition of real estate for the purpose of setting up in the Centre.

Exemption from rates and local taxes.

Other tax advantages may be available through the operation of Portuguese double taxation treaties.


for pleasure yacht registration with MAR

Yachts with less than 24m



This survey must be carried out by a Classification Society or by a Maritime Authority of a State signer of the IMO Conventions (MAR accepts all the entities acting in delegation of these authorities);
The Portuguese Government recognizes eight foreign Classification Societies.

The survey report must contain (itself or in report attached), clear an exact information concerning:

  1. Hull and Structures, Stability: maintenance and upkeep conditions of the hull and structures, including the date of the last inspection on ground;

  2. Information about stability in case of a non standard approved model;

  3. Machines and Assistance Facilities: upkeep and operating conditions of the propulsory engines, electric generators, drain pumps, fire devices (Reference to quantities and distinctive signs)

  4. Navigation, Rescue and Assistance Facilities: list of this facilities including radio communications facilities (Reference to mark, model serial number)




If the pleasure craft is equipped with the radio communication devices, it will have to present, beside the last radio license, a Survey report on radio and auxiliary navigation equipment issued by an expert of the IMP or by a similar entity such are:

Germany: Bundesamt for Post und TeleKommunikation, Deuts Telekom A.G. - General Direction - Bonn
Denmark: Danisch Maritime Authority
Holland: Ministerie Van Verkeer en Waterstaat, Scheepvaartinspectie - Rotterdam
Italy: Ministero delle Post e delle Telecomunicazioni
Spain: Dirección General da la Marina Mercante
Norway: Norvegian Maritime Directorate - Oslo
Brasil: Ministério das Comunicações, Secretaria da Administração das Radiofrequências, 
Coordenação Geral de Gerenciamento de Frequências
France: Agence National des Fréquences, Sercice Regional de Marseille, Station Radioelectriques des Navire


          The Portuguese Government accepts the following entities:

BE 02 - Sait electronics (belgium)
GB 08 - The Marconi International Marine co. ltd. (uk)
PO 19 - Portugal Telecom
IU 03 - Compagnia Generale Telemar (italy)
DP 05 - DH Intercom (germany)

PHOTOS of the yacht: Two 6X9 cm, took from an angle that it can be possible to show it all and at the same time showing the stern with the expression “Madeira” behind the yacht name.



If the craft has radio communication equipment, it must have a Radio Station License issued by the Portuguese Administration according to the International Radio Communication Union (this License is obtained by MAR)
The inspection and resulting security certificate will be carried every five years (at least). The lack of this certificate can imply the Deletion of registration at MAR.


 1)  Registration                                              Euro 1.750

 2)  Local representative annual fee                   Euro  1.000

 Apart from our fees there are register fees  for yachts under 24 meters which are as follows:

 1)  Registration fee                                         Euro 500

 2)  Annual Register fee                                   Euro 500

 3)  Issue of radio station license                      Euro 300

 In order to Register the Yacht we will need the following legal documents:

  1. Power of attorney to represent the owner

  2. Bill of sale with the seller signature duly recognized (if a company  recognize in the quality of its representative) duly endorsed with the Apostille of the Hague Convention 5 October 1961, alternatively legalized in the local Portuguese Consulate.

  3. Previous register certificate (if any) duly endorsed with the Apostille of the Hague Convention 5 October 1961, alternatively legalized in the local Portuguese Consulate.

  4. If  3. Deletion Certificate duly endorsed with the Apostille of the Hague Convention 5 October 1961, alternatively legalized in the local Portuguese Consulate.

  5. Permission of the mortgages if any. 

fax: +1 917 4648381, +44 870 1387648, +385 51 214355