Cayman Islands Registry


The Cayman Islands – the flag of choice for owners of superyachts. A market leader in ship registration

The Cayman Islands Shipping Registry (Cayman Registry) is proud to be celebrating 120 years of maritime tradition and business in the Cayman Islands. With a presence in more than 20 locations throughout the world, including the United Kingdom, United States and Southeast Asia, the Cayman Registry has a global reach covering all the main shipping hubs and in
all time-zones.

The Cayman Islands maintains a high profile in the yachting sector and with premier shipping companies – the Cayman flag can be found on some of the most prestigious yachts and ships due in the main to a compact but highly effective body.

Established in 1903, this world class entity is built upon the Cayman Islands’ strong maritime history, developed out of necessity to support a small island group in the heart of the Caribbean. With comparatively few natural resources to compete with the world’s leading sailing destinations, the Cayman Islands came up with an innovate approach to attract business, tapping into the niche, yet profitable, market of yachting.

Today, the Cayman Registry, a division of the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI) as the entity is now known, boasts a Register of 2,350 vessels, with the greatest proportion (around 90%) being yachts. The Cayman Islands have applied their strong history in seafaring and ship building heritage and translated it into the development and operation of a modern, world class, international registry, with the vision of growing as an international shipping centre.

The registry has played a vital role in the development of the Cayman Islands and continues to do so by attracting luxury yachts and other quality vessels to its register, and conducting safety, environmental and other regulatory inspections. Known for its expansive expertise and quality focus, the registry is involved in the construction of more than 50% of all the superyachts currently under construction.

Steering the ship is Joel Walton, CEO of the Maritime Authority, who has been at the helm since 2004.

“Our primary focus is on quality, ensuring that the yachts on our registry are designed, built and operated to the highest safety and environmental standards.” He says, “This is reflected in our “white-list” status at all the top port state control regimes around the globe, which aim to eliminate substandard shipping, promote maritime safety, protect the marine environment and to safeguard working and living conditions on board ships.”

The Cayman Islands has continually achieved the top performing flag in the annual reports for the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Port State Control, as well as maintaining top performances on the Tokyo MOU and United States Coast Guard Qualship 21 program.

The Cayman Registry plays a significant role by being the market leader from the regulatory perspective; helping to lead the way for the development and upkeep of regulatory frameworks and codes to ensure they can adequately deal with new design-ideas and to ensure yacht designers and builders can meet or exceed owner’s expectations. Unlike many other regulating bodies, the Cayman Registry prides itself in taking a pragmatic approach to new and novel designs. Safety of passengers, crew and protection of the marine environment is always paramount. The Registry team are known for being able to think outside of the box (and standard rulebook) when these novel designs for the “latest and greatest” are presented and have the necessary tools and expertise to deal with these concepts.

The Cayman Registry plays a pivotal role in developing the yachting codes and has learned that is it is vital to listen to the yachting industry to ensure these codes keep pace with innovation.

Mr. Walton says, “We continue to invest, considerable resources into developing the best possible team of people who understand the product and who offer the best possible advice and service to the market.”

He continues, “Our focus will always be on the quality of the flag and the needs of our clients. As we look to the horizon and continue to sail through the next 120 years, the Cayman Registry remains dedicated to maintaining an outstanding safety and quality record for the Cayman flag,” he added, “Quality service by tradition, leadership through innovation. I have no doubt that the organisation is well-placed to continue to do that for another 120 years.”

For more details Tel: +1 345-949-8831 or visit