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The Virgin Islands Shipping Registry is a department of the Premiers Office of the Government of the Virgin Islands. It was created in 2005 from the merger of the BVI Maritime Authority and the Shipping Registry function of the Financial Commission. This consolidated the registration and administration of maritime matters under one department.
The Virgin Islands has a vibrant trade by sea with our neighbour’s in the Americas and the Caribbean Region. We also host innumerable pleasure and commercial yachts which bring in the tourists to sustain our economy. Passenger ferries offer mass rapid transportation system between the islands and are essential to connect the islands with one another and rest of the world. The VISR is essential to provide maritime administration service to the local marine industry.
The VISR carries out the registration of ferries, yachts and ships and any mortgage or lien on the vessels which are required by financiers to provide the funds to purchase and operate same. The VISR is the primary government body holding the responsibility to implement and enforce the International Conventions on Safety, Security and protection of the maritime industrial complex. We implement policies through issuing national legislation and guidance, which will assist in the implementation and enforcement of the requirements of all safety and pollution prevention conventions and protocols. We issue certificates to show compliance to these
Furthermore the VISR carry out assessment of competence and certification of seafarers, issue certificates and endorsements that accurately reflect the competencies of the seafarers and we conduct investigations into casualties.
The maritime industry has played, and will continue to play, a vital part in the development of the Virgin Islands economy. The Shipping Registry provides critical advice in maritime matters to the Government, the public and private sector organisations as well as the general public.