MCA – British Yacht Registration Goes Digital

Going Digital at the MCA – UK Ship Register – the way forward for British yacht registrations.

At Williams & Smithells Ltd we specialise in British Yacht Registrations with decades of experience of the process working in the height of the finance/registration industry late 1990’s and early 2000’s for two prominent British Banks.

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The UK Ship Register has released a new look Red Ensign alongside its complete online registration system. The upgrade is part of the continued modernisation of our services to ship owners and operators worldwide and bolsters our international offer.

From this week customers will be invited to use the digital UKSR portal which offers self-serve capability for registering a new vessel and renewing registration. Owners can also provisionally check a vessels name and request transcripts online.

The launch follows months of development and testing, throughout which customers were consulted and helped to shape the tool, which will add real value to their operations.

In the long term it reduces the amount of administration and speeds up all processing for owners with ships registered on the UK Flag. Users will be able to upload associated documents all to one place, as well as make payments for services online.’,


It is available for all parts of the register. Commercial and Fishing vessel operators as well as pleasure boat owners and Bareboat Charters will all benefit.

Last year the UK Ship Register was integrated into a wider directorate delivering world class maritime services to the UK Fleet, headed by director Katy Ware. The updated logo unites all services under the Red Ensign and reflects the modern international service.

Katy said “We made a commitment last year to become the best performing international ship register and digitalising our services was an important next step for our customers. We have collaborated with them throughout the process and I am confident we have delivered a commercial tool which supports and adds value to their operations.

“As we modernise and improve our services we’ve updated our brand to reflect our international ambition and commitment to grow. We’ve united the services flag bearers have access to under the Red Ensign, so ship owners and seafarers receive a consistent, world leading service.”

Customers already registered with the UK Ship Register will be contacted as part of their usual renewals process to set up an account and provided with guidance on the system.

The approach is part of a wider modernisation program at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency which will benefit customers of the UK Ship Register.

What are the main benefits of the Digital UK Ship Register for vessel owners?

Vessel owners will benefit from a much faster and simplified registration and re-registration process. The system provides clear step by step instructions and an overview of where you are in the process. Much of the administrative work of filling out and sending hard copy forms has been eliminated. The new system will accept electronic copies of documents.

Customers will receive electronic copies of their certificates as well as hard copies to assist with the smooth operation of their fleet.

Offline services will still be available and commercial ship owners will continue to be supported by their Key Account Managers.

Why has the logo been updated?

The UK Ship Register Red Ensign logo is changing to reflect the modernisation of its services and its integration into the wider UK Maritime Services directorate at the Maritime & Coastguard Agency. The new logo unites all these services under the Red Ensign and shows it as a modern international service.

Bearers of the UK Flag have access to unrivalled world class services provided by the UK Maritime Services directorate at the Maritime & Coastguard Agency. When ship owners use any of these services, they will experience one consistent brand and customer focused approach.