Who can can register their yacht in the Dutch ship registration?

A question we very often get is who can actually register their yacht in the ship registration in the Netherlands. Are there any restrictions and what criteria you have to meet?

To answer this question it is first of importance to determine who the owner is of the ship. Is it a private person(s) or a company.


Yacht registration as as a private person

Any private person in possession of a EU passport or ID card can register their sailing boat or motor yacht. Apart from EU nationals, passport holders of any of the EFTA countries, being Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, can also register their yacht in the Netherlands.

A question that is asked very often is whether a non-EU passport holder with a EU residence permit can apply for yacht registration. The answer is short and simple, yes if it is a permanent residence permit.

Is there any other way a non-EU passport can apply for registration? Yes there is. If and when the non-EU passport holder is owner of a company registered in one of the EU or EFTA states.



Yacht registration in the Netherlands as a company

Boats owned by a company which is registered within the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, can register their yacht in the Netherlands.

Which passport the owners of the company holds, is of no importance, as long as the company is formally registered within the EU or any of the EFTA countries.

For example : A Russian passport holder with a registered company in Milan, and his boat is registered to the company he owns, can register the yacht. So basically the boat is owned by the company, and the company is owned by the Russian passport holder.

All he/she has to do is supply, besides the other required documentation, a copy of the companies registration and copy of his/her passport or ID.