Yachts and vessels must comply with the regulations of the country where they are registered. Conventional flags usually impose strict regulations and restrictions on the owners, thus leading them to register their yachts and vessels in offshore jurisdictions that provide flexible tax benefits, advantageous maritime laws and a legal environment.
More than 50% of the world´s merchant ships and private yachts today are registered under flags of convenience. However, the flags of convenience are being replaced by flags of various countries that offer significantly lower registration costs and taxes. Other benefits offshore jurisdictions offer include lower VAT rates, flexible crew requirements, international recognition, prestige and protection. Another advantage of offshore yacht registration is that it makes it easier for the owner to sell the yacht and transfer the ownership to another person or business. All profits earned will be retained with no taxation losses. Renting or chartering a yacht in an offshore jurisdiction is another choice for those who seek to run tax free commercial operations.
Yachts and vessels can be registered under a natural person or an offshore company. If the yacht or vessel is registered under an offshore company, the owner will own it through the company, thus limiting personal liabilities and risks. The owner can use the yacht or vessel privately and not have his identity disclosed on official ownership documents.