Expert Shipping & Admiralty Lawyers
Gibraltar as a Port and Registry
In 1997, Gibraltar re-established its Ship Registry with Category 1 Status allowing it to register vessels of all types and tonnage other than fishing vessels. Ships registered in Gibraltar are British ships entitled to all the protection and privileges afforded to vessels registered at other British Ports of Registry. Furthermore, Gibraltar’s new Category 1 Status establishes parity with Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and the Isle of Man – with the added advantage that Gibraltar’s unique position within the EU gives its fleet access to EU cabotage trades. It is, along with the UK, the only Red Ensign Group Member within the EU. Standards are high, mirroring those set in the UK and resulting in the achievement of ‘White List’ status in 2006. As a result, vessels that fly the Gibraltar flag, enjoy the reputation which rightly attaches to the maintenance of these high standards. Ship owners and operators can feel safe in the expectation that their vessels will meet international requirements on Port State Control. Gibraltar registered ships fly the Red Ensign defaced with the Gibraltar Arms, – the Castle and Key.
Our Expertise – Shipping & Admiralty
We are at the forefront of Admiralty practice in Gibraltar and we have a well deserved and long established reputation within the shipping industry as Gibraltar’s leading firm of shipping and admiralty lawyers, being top ranked in the sector by all the main Legal Directory publications such as Legal 500 and Chambers. We offer comprehensive advice and specialist expertise in the following areas:
- Ship Arrests – We are involved in the majority of mortgagee led ship arrests here and this has included arrests of fleets. Our expertise lies in the prompt arrest and sale of vessels whether by public auction or by private treaty (a procedure which our firm pioneered) offering a fast and cost effective method by which to resolve the multiple difficulties which arise in the insolvency of a ship owner. We provide support to our clients throughout the arrest process including the payment off and repatriation of crew on board and the monitoring of ongoing issues on board during the period of arrest. We also have experience in other areas of admiralty practice including ownership disputes, collision claims, limitation claims and salvage claims.
- Ship Registration – We assist with all aspects of ship registration in Gibraltar, including vessels registered whilst under construction, provisional registrations, as well as full and bareboat registrations.
- Ship Finance – Our team of lawyers has worked with most, if not all, major international ship financing banks and assist with the drafting and registration of the loan and security documentation.
- Registered Agents – We represent close to two thirds of all vessels registered in Gibraltar and provide a service for the collection and dispatch of all Registry documentation issued for individual vessels.
- Crew Certification – We provide assistance in the application for and collection and dispatch of STCW Endorsements issued for seafarers serving on Gibraltar registered vessels.
- Renewals – We closely monitor the expiry of vessels Registry certificates and assist in their renewal.
- Company Incorporation – We can assist with the incorporation of shipping and crewing companies in Gibraltar as well as advising how to structure these to take advantage of tax concessions available.