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How to Register a Kenyan Vessel

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How to Register a Kenyan Vessel by Kenyans247(1): Fri Mar 2020 09:58am
The procedure for the registration of a vessel is relatively straightforward. Provisional registration, which in terms of the law has the same effect as the so-called permanent registration, can be effected very quickly .

Authority to help a ship, however will only be given once the Maritime Affairs is satisfied that the vessel conforms to all the standards required by the relative international conventions.

Step 1
Letter of application from owners of the ship or their agents addressed to the Director General, Kenya Maritime Authority(KMA) indicating the companys interest in registering a vessel in Kenya.

Step II
Letter of Application for approval of vessels name. This is done by completing and submitting the required Form at the Ship Registry.

Step III
Letter of Application for condition survey Application for condition survey shall be made to the Director General, upon payment of a statutory fee fees payable depends on the gross tonnage of the vessel. A surveyor would be nominated by the Registrar of Ships for the survey.

Step IV
Completion and submission of forms.

Declaration of ownership (Form 1) This form shall be completed by the owner of the Vessel and return after declaration before a Commissioner for Oath at the High Court.
Application form for registration of ship (Form 2)- This Forms shall be obtained at Ship registry. Duly completed forms shall be returned to Ship registry department with the attached document

Required Documents
1. Sale & Purchase Agreement, Bill of Sale - or if the Vessel is newly built, then a Builder's Certificate

2. Power of Attorney

3. Deletion Certificate from previous registry (or Builder's Certificate if brand new) Please note: you must also comply with the Radio Operator requirements, in order to register a vessel in Kenya. If the Vessel is more than 20 years old, then it will also be required to undergo a survey and safety inspection.

4. Copy of certificate of incorporation;

5. CTC of Memorandum and Articles of Association;

6.CTC of Form CAC 7 (Particulars of Directors);

7.CTC of Form CAC 2 (Allotment of Shares)

8.Current tax clearance certificate;

9.Bank statement or reference letter; and

10.Duly completed declaration of ownership form

Office Locations & Contacts
Landline : 041-2318398/9

Wireless : 020-2381204, 020-2381203/4

Mobile : 0724-319344, 0733-221322

Email : info@kma.go.ke

Website : http://www.kma.go.ke




General : +254(041)2131100/6

Wireless : +254-020-8007776

Mobile : +254-0721-368313


Fax : 0208007776

INMARSAT Fleet 77(IOR) : 00870-764626657


INMARSAT C (IOR) : 463400071

INMARSAT C (AOR-E) : 463400070

National Maritime Conference 2015 Coming Soon

Kenya Maritime Authority


Landline : 041 - 2318398/9


020 - 2381204

020 - 2381203/4

Mobile : +254-724-319344


Email : info@kma.go.ke

Registration of a ship in the Kenyan registry is eligible to the following ship owners:

nationals of Kenya,
corporations registered in Kenya,
foreign ship owning entity hiring out on bareboat charter to Kenyan nationals and
individual or corporation in joint venture enterprise relationship with Kenyan nationals.

Applicable Registration Tariff
$1,500.00 - if owned by a foreigner
$1,000.00 - if owned by a Kenyan (or a Kenyan corporation which is a nominal expense to arrange)
This tariff must also be paid upon renewal of the Registration.

Valid for 5 years and a renewal is required

A vessel is not eligible to be registered under the Act unless owned wholly by qualified persons, i.e., body corporate registered and owned by Kenyan citizens.

In the case of a national carrier, a maximum of forty per cent equity ownership by non-Kenyan is permitted. The maximum age of vessels for registration, according to the office of the new Government Inspector of Shipping (GIS), is ten years.

All types of vessel engaged in the inland waterways trade in accordance to:

to the Merchant Shipping Act, 2009. A

Required Information
Name of ship ;
Time and place of purchase;
Name of master;
Best particulars in respect of tonnage, building and description of the ship;
Bill of sale;
Deletion certificate;
Evidence of P&I (protection and Indemnity)insurance cover of the vessel ;
Curving and marking sign of the vessel;
Certificate of Tonnage measurement;
Application for approval of vessels name; and
International tonnage certificate.
Name and address of Ship managers;
Condition survey report and tonnage measurement certificate;
Certificate of carving and marking note of the ship;
Call sign certificate;
Load line certificate;
Evidence of ability or experience of the purchasers to operate and maintain ship; and
Log book of the vessel.

Need for the Document
Ship registration is the initial process required for a ship to gain Kenyan identity i.e. flying a Kenyan flag.

Ship registration is a statutory requirement under the Merchant Shipping Act, 2009 Sec. 14(1) whereas ship trading in or out of Kenyan waters is prohibited unless it is registered.

Kenya Maritime Authority administers registration of Kenyan ship in accordance to the Merchant Shipping Act, 2009. A Kenyan ship is that:-

Foreign going vessel
24metres and above
Owned by persons qualifying to own a Kenyan ship as below:-
the Government;
nationals of Kenya;
corporation registered in Kenya;
individuals or corporations owning ships hired out on bareboat charter to nationals of Kenya;
individuals or corporations in bona fide joint venture shipping enterprise relationships with nationals of Kenya as may be prescribed;
The Regulation empowers the Ministry of Transport and Communications to carry out the registration of ships and other related activities. Now, it is the Kenya Maritime Authority (answerable to the Ministry of Transport and Communications) that registers all vessels and any rights relating thereto.

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