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Types of ships

The following commercial vessels can be registered in MAR:

1) Cargo Ships (bulk cargo carriers, general cargo carriers and container ships);

2) Passenger Ships (cruise ships and "ro-ro" ships);

3) Barges;

4) Tugboats and other assistance-providing vessels

5) Platforms/Rigs (Stationary and Floating)

Fishing boats are not permitted.


  • Any entity (companies, branch offices, legal or other judicial form of representation) operating in the field of maritime transport, with its own vessels or charter vessels, can register vessels in MAR
  • Registration can be requested by entities with or without registered office in Madeira, licensed or not to operate in the International Business Centre of Madeira

A client selecting an entity operating in IBC will have full access to its favourable tax system.

Entities non-resident in Madeira must appoint a local legal representative.

Types of registration

  • Permanent Registration;
  • Temporary /Dual Registration under a bareboat charter.

1. Requirements/Information

  • Shipīs intended name, and two alternative names;
  • Name of owner, address of registered office of applicant together with memorandum and articles of association;
  • List of proposed crew (vesselīs safety manning) duly justified;
  • Classification Society;
  • Name of authority responsible for payment of radio accounts, recognised by Portuguese authorities;
  • Commercial navigation area of ship;
  • Indication of port where flag will be hoisted or exchanged;
  • Description of communication system;
  • Shipīs propulsion system, including makes, models, power and serial numbers;
  • Shipyard where ship was built and year;
  • Manufacturer and model of automatic pilot and gyrocompass, as well as other navigation equipment not mentioned in the shipīs station licence (GMDSS);
  • Year and place of manufacture of the main machinery system, indicate if UMS (unattended machinery system) or not;
  • Hull and superstructure colours;
  • Make and model of automatic pilot;
  • Make and model of internal communication system (bridge-bow and bridge-stern);
  • Makes, models and bow and stern numbers of cranes, capstans and other means of mooring;
  • Auxiliary machinery (make and power of generators);
  • Manufacturer/Model/Serial number/MMSI number/call sign/AAIC of MES (accounting authority);
  • Tonnage measures of vessel, in accordance with the 1969 conventions (net and gross tonnage, total length, hull width and draft);
  • On registration, the name Madeira must be placed on the vesselīs bow and on all life boats and buoys.

2. Documents that must be duly legalised by the Portuguese Consulate or bear a Hague Convention Apostille:

  • Power-of-attorney, a standard draft of which can be provided on request;
  • Bill of Sale;
  • Official translation to English of the shipīs excerpt issued by the relevant Authorities of the previous Register;
  • A certificate issued by the Authorities of the previous Register stating that the applicant has already applied for the cancellation of registration and that the Cancellation Certificate will be issued as soon as registration in MAR is completed;
  • Certificate issued by the Administration of the previous Register declaring whether the vessel has mortgages or other encumbrances contracted against it;
  • Written declaration issued by the mortgage holders authorising registration in MAR;
  • The signatures must be duly legalised by a notary public and the notary public must certify the signatoriesī capacity and that they possess sufficient powers for such. In the case of the Bill of Sale, certification must be performed before MAR.

3. Other documents (copies can be sent)

  • Confirmation of the Classification Society that the vesselīs machinery is UMS, if it actually is;
  • Declaration from the authority responsible for the payment of radio accounts, assuming this responsibility (to be provided as soon as the letters of the new call sign and other numbers and signs have been attributed to the vessel);
  • Names and copies of the seamen certificates of the crew and captain;
  • Crew membersī individual employment contracts;
  • General plan of the ship;
  • Fire control and life-saving devicesī plan (safety plan);
  • Preliminary Stability Booklet (approved);
  • Copies of the shipīs certificates:
    • International load line certificate;
    • Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate;
    • Class Certificate (machinery);
    • GMDSS shore based maintenance certificate;
    • Vesselīs radio station licence, including list of communications equipment;
    • International tonnage and measurements certificate;
    • Inspection Certificate (Classification Society);
    • Classification Certificates;
    • Statements attached to classification certificate;
    • Provisional registration certificate.

The vesselīs new documents will be drawn up and issued by the authorities of Madeira and handed over to the shipīs captain when the flag is changed.

Please note that the requested inspections must be performed by one of the MAR-approved Classification Societies.


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