Differences between boat registrations

Are you interested in a boat registration? Then it’s important to know the differences between the various available boat registrations.

Registering a boat is important so port authorities, customs agents and maritime law enforcement will know the origin of your boat or yacht. Also it is good to know that there are some differences between the procedure of boat registration for commercial and pleasure yachts or boats.

What boat registration do I need?

Depending on your boat or yacht and the use of it, you can make a considered choice. As European market leader in boat registrations, we advise one of these trusted boat registrations:

  • Polish EU Registration
  • UK Part 1 Registration
  • Dutch Worldwide Registration
  • Greek EU Commercial Registration
  • EU ICP Light Registration


In addition to a boat registration, it is often necessary to register your radio equipment. For this you need an MMSI radio license with an MMSI number, an AIS number and a call sign.

Don’t know which boat registration to choose? Let us explain you the differences between the above mentioned boat registrations.

Polish EU Registration

A Polish EU Registration will let you sail your boat or yacht with the Polish flag. This is one of the most popular and affordable boat registrations at this moment. Because of the registration time for a lifetime and other benefits such as no yacht taxes nor yearly costs and it’s worldwide validation, the Polish boat registration is one to consider. It can be used for both private or commercial purposes. All the benefits of a Polish boat registration:

  • Valid for life!
  • No yacht taxes
  • No yearly costs
  • Paris MoU White Listed
  • Valid around the world
  • Official Polish EU flag registration
  • Possible for all nationalities
  • Quick registration in 3-4 weeks
  • Ultra-Fast procedure of just a few days available (at an additional cost)
  • No yacht survey required (max. length 24m)
  • Available for commercial yachts (max. length 24m, under 15m no survey required)
  • No maritime restrictions
  • No Polish translations needed – English is just fine

UK Part 1 Registration

The UK Part 1 Registration will let you be able to use the well-known and prestigious British flag. This boat registration is given a Class AA ration by almost all nautical authorities around the world. Also this boat registration can be used for both private and commercial purposes. One of the main benefits of this type of boat registration is that there is no restriction of the length of your boat. Even if your boat or yacht exceeds 24 meters. All the benefits of a UK part 1 registration:

  • Available for non-EU passport holders
  • Available for both private and commercial boats
  • Renewal only after 5 years
  • No restriction to the length of the boat (even if your boat exceeds 24 meters)
  • Quick registration within 3-4 weeks
  • Ultra-Fast procedure of just 3 days available (at an additional cost)
  • Online registration process

Dutch Worldwide Zeebrief Registration

The Dutch Worldwide Zeebrief Registration lets you sail your boat or yacht with the Dutch national flag. The Dutch Worldwide Zeebrief Registration is the highest level of boat registration The Netherlands has to offer. It is issued by the Dutch Ministry of Transport and the Dutch government in the name of the King of the Netherlands. Sailing with the Dutch flag will give you a warm welcome in any country, worldwide. Benefits of the Dutch Worldwide Zeebrief Registration are:

  • Fully accepted by the nautical authorities and government of any country in the world
  • Yacht gets the formal nationality of the Kingdom of The Netherlands and which is issued by the Dutch government in name of the King
  • Only 1 initial “non-technical” inspection for marking and carving of the yacht
  • No recurring annual inspections of the yacht
  • No yacht taxes
  • No demands or annual inspections on flares and lifesaving electronics or equipment
  • Valid as long as the yacht owner decides – no end date
  • No limitation in miles from shore
  • CE certification is no issue for the issue of the registration
  • No questions asked about the VAT status of the yacht for the issue of the registration
  • Available for EU citizens or NON EU citizens in combination with an EU company
  • No third party insurance needed when making the registration request

EU ICP Light Registration

The EU ICP Light registration is issued by The Netherlands. This type of boat registration can be used for boats, yachts and even your jet ski. This provides a passport with which you can prove who the owner of the boat is.

It’s important to know that other than the previously mentioned boat registrations, this boat registration will not allow you to sail with the Dutch flag. It will not give your boat a nationality. It does gives your boat a passport to show authorities who’s the rightful owner of the boat.

Benefits of the EU ICP Light Registration:

  • Register now, pay when ready
  • Fast registration procedure of 3-5 working days
  • Ultra-Fast procedure of just 1 working day available at additional costs
  • Low costs of € 350,-
  • Additional costs for the Ultra Speed procedure is € 250,-
  • Valid in most EU countries*
  • Accepted in many countries outside of the EU without any problem
  • No necessary yearly boat taxes
  • No yacht survey needed
  • No VAT questions
  • No CE approval needed
  • No limitations of area from shore
  • Simple and fast online registration

MMSI radio license, AIS number and call sign

If you go around with your boat or yacht, you need an MMSI radio license. This means your boat needs to be registered in the MMSI register. After registration you will receive a unique identifying number called an MMSI number which will be transferred digitally by your ship’s radio.

Besides that you will receive an AIS number for your AIS equipment. This will provide your yachts identification, location, course and speed among other things. Furthermore you will receive a call sign which is a unique identifier of your boat.

Both the MMSI radio license, the AIS number and call sign will be provided in one package and can be fully requested online. The costs for a MMSI radio license are one time costs of € 250,-. If you combine the MMSI radio license package with a boat registration, you will receive a discount of € 100,-.

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