The Cayman Islands has a long and rich seafaring history of which it is justly proud and for more than a century, one of the guardians of this tradition is the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry (CISR), a division of the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI).
The Cayman Islands Shipping Registry (CISR) is a first-class organisation with a world-wide reputation for excellence and efficiency in global shipping. Its pragmatic approach ensures maximum responsiveness to the needs of ship owners whilst maintaining international standards at the highest level as demonstrated by its "white list" categorization by the European Port State Control system and by the U.S. Coast Guard. MACI maintains its headquarters in George Town, Grand Cayman, and operates through offices and representatives in UK, Greece, USA, Monaco, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
As a Category 1 British Registry, the Cayman Islands Registry is qualified to register vessels of all sizes and classes, from yachts to supertankers. The Port of George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, is the Port of Registry, and the basic legislation governing ship registration in the Cayman Islands is based on the Merchant Shipping Acts of the United Kingdom, various shipping conventions as extended to the Cayman Islands and by local legislation.
To qualify for registry in the Cayman Islands, the majority shareowner of a vessel (British flag ships are divided into 64 shares) must be either a British Subject, a national of a European Union state, or a company incorporated and having its principal place of business in the Cayman Islands, in the United Kingdom, certain other designated British Dependent Territories, or the European Union.
With the advent of global uniformity in maritime standards, MACI has kept abreast of these changes by continuously modernising its structure and updating the necessary maritime legislation to reflect the international conventions. At the same time, common characteristics with UK maritime law have been retained, but with account also taken of the Cayman Islands context.
Growth in business has been particularly marked in the past 10 years, as more and more ship owners recognise the benefits of flagging into the Cayman Islands. Registration across the whole spectrum has grown rapidly with the "mega-yacht" range particularly impressive. Today, some 350 commercial ships and 1,550 pleasure vessels – representing a total tonnage of 3.4 million – are registered with MACI.