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Pleasure Vessel Provisional Registration

When an owner intends to register a ship on Part 1 and the vessel is currently outside of British waters, you may apply for a three-month provisional registration. Whilst provisionally registered, a vessel cannot operate commercially, and provisional registration gives no entitlement to register a ship under the Merchant Shipping Act.

A provisional certificate is valid for three months from the date of issue, or until the ship's arrival in the UK or termination by the Registry on request from the owner, whichever is sooner. It’s important to note that this certificate cannot be renewed.

Once a provisional registration is granted, a ship cannot be provisionally registered again within one year of the date of the original certificate.

If registration onto the UK Ship Register is not completed before the certificate expires, your ship will cease to be recognised as British.

If you want to apply to provisionally register your vessel, you can use the UK Ship Register online service.

You will need to provide supporting documents and pay the appropriate fee. The Application to Register and Declaration of Eligibility forms are not required if submitting your application online. 

Documents needed for pleasure vessel (Part 1) provisional registration

  • Application to Register MSF 4740 (A)
  • Declaration of Eligibility MSF 4727
  • Copy of Certificate of Incorporation (if the owner is a body corporate)
  • A letter signed by the owner confirming the vessel is outside of UK waters
  • Online payment of £175 provisional registration fee via GOV.UK secure payment link (for three month period), premium services are also available

Please note that you will need to print off and sign any documents, as we cannot accept digital signatures.

Any documents used to support your application for Pleasure Vessel (Part I) Registration, if not in English, must be accompanied by a notarised translation.

  • Where to send your documents

  • Send your documents by email to

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 3908 5200 for more information.