Sovereign Marine Services (SMS) is a Gibraltar-based company, formed in 2000, to provide marine corporate and administration services to yacht owners, as well as to maritime law firms, yacht managers and brokers and other professional firms involved in the yachting industry.

As the marine division of Sovereign Group, SMS combines the expertise of a dedicated team focused on meeting the needs of yacht owners together with Sovereign’s 25-years of experience in the provision of corporate management and financial services.

Initially established to register vessels under the British Red Ensign, SMS is now registering, administering and managing yachts – both pleasure and commercial – on a worldwide basis.

Registration is the principal test of a vessel’s nationality. In these days of ever more complex regulations, yacht owners must give careful consideration to selecting the most suitable Port of Registry to ensure that it reflects their profile and needs. Each Port of Registry has different regulations in place, offering their own advantages and, in some cases, disadvantages. SMS can assist yacht owners to make the right decision.

As part of the registration process, we can also apply for and assist with radio licensing and the registration of EPIRB devices or any satellite equipment installed on board. SMS is a fully accredited Accounting Authority as part of the Sovereign Group, which owns and operates GK21, a Gibraltar-registered and internationally recognised Accounting Authority.

Registration of a yacht in the name of a company can provide enhanced confidentiality of ownership, as well as a means to pass assets on to heirs without liability to estate duties or inheritance tax.

Generally some form of legitimate mitigation of potential VAT liabilities is available both for pleasure and commercial yachts, particularly when the yacht is purchased through a corporate structure. The options will depend on a comprehensive assessment of a yacht’s ownership, the operational requirements, as well as the personal financial circumstances of the owner. SMS is able to assist and guide owners as to the most suitable options and, if required, obtain sound VAT advice from independent and reputable advisors within the yacht industry.

For buying or selling a yacht, SMS can liaise on behalf of a client with agents and brokers and will arrange for all the necessary documentation to transfer the title and successfully complete the purchase or sale.

SMS also offers full yacht management services including:

  • Yacht Insurance
  • Yacht Finance
  • Accounting
  • Crew Administration
  • Payrolls, Foreign Exchange and International Payments
  • Banking and Card Facilities


Visit Sovereign Marine Services for further information.

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