top of page
  • Writer's picturePoevai Garnier

Top 5 reasons to register a ship in the Cook Islands

Updated: Mar 6

Surrounded by approximately 2 million square kilometres of pristine ocean, the Cook Islands consists of fifteen small islands located in the South Pacific. There are a lot of advantages of registering a ship in this little paradise.


The Cook Islands have a stable democratic government with a legal system based on English law. Its national maritime legislation, including the Ship Registration Act 2007 and Maritime Transport Act 2008 reflects the most modern standards, enabling the Registry to give full and complete effect to IMO legislation. Maritime Cook Islands (MCI) enforces International Maritime Organization (IMO) Conventions, Codes and Rules to ensure that ships registered in the Cook Islands are in compliance and will not be targeted by Port State Control because of the Flag.


MCI's vessel registration, documentation, and mortgage recording procedures are designed to be simple yet comprehensive making it as user friendly as possible, whilst ensuring that vessels are compliant and owners and mortgagees' interests are protected. The Deputy Registrars are located in 29 countries.


Registration of a ship under the Cook Islands flag can be made to the owner of any jurisdiction (nationality). There are no restrictions regarding nationality of crew. Banks accept the Cook Islands Registry for the purposes of mortgage registration. The Cook Islands has a strong legal profession to assist in mortgage preparation and registration advice if required.


MCI issues Endorsement Acknowledgments the same day it receives the scanned application, with required documents, by e-mail and the acknowledgment is valid for 3 months. MCI's mission is to deliver flexible, quick, efficient, helpful and responsive customer service. Inquiries are addressed within 24 hours. They issue electronic certificates with e-signatures and Quick Response (QR) Codes which can be scanned instantly to verify whether a certificate is valid. In addition the Cook Islands has approved surveyor worldwide.


Ownership requirements for the Cook Islands are easily met by joining the Cook Islands Yacht Squadron (CIYS) - cost effective and hassle-free. No need to form a Cook Islands Company or be a citizen of Cook Islands. Bare boat Chartering is allowed, both in and out.

As part of the services offered by Cook Islands financial centre, an offshore company can be incorporated quickly and efficiently for the purposes of vessel ownership, such companies are currently exempt from tax in the Cook Islands.

Maritime Cook Islands performs all Flag State duties for the Cook Islands government. Visit for more information.

155 views0 comments
bottom of page