Registration of a vessel upon the Cook Islands Ships Registry is governed by the Ship Registration Act 2007; vessel ownership requirements state that a ship is or will be owned (in the majority of shares) by, or on a demise charter to, a “qualified person.” This is defined as a person who is resident in the Cook Islands; or an entity which:
- Is incorporated in the Cook Islands;
- An existing international company registered in the Cook Islands;
Both such corporate entities are exempt from taxation in Cook Islands
Or the Company owning the vessel is member of:
- For yachts Cook Islands Yacht Squadron – CIYS
- For other vessels Cook Islands Ship Owners Association – CISOA
Cook Islands Ship Owners Association
The easiest and fastest way to fulfil ownership requirements is via the Cook Islands Ship Owners Association (CISOA). A member of the association is a qualified person in accordance with s2 the Cook Islands Ship Registration Act.
Members of CISOA are eligible to have their vessels registered in the Cook Islands without having to register a company in the Cook Islands. A member may be an individual, existing company registered in another country, or a trust.
To become a member of CISOA, an application Ext Form 8 may be made at the time of application to register a vessel.