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About Us

The Registry’s Philosophy


To be the leading maritime administration in the provision of exceptional service to the global shipping community.


To facilitate the development of the Cayman Islands as a premier international maritime centre, whilst promoting compliance with international standards, regional agreements and domestic legislation in the areas of maritime safety and security, pollution prevention, and social responsibility.


The CISR is a member of the Red Ensign Group and holds Category 1 status. The CISR is committed to providing quality service and striving toward excellence. CISR has shown its excellence by maintaining white-listed status on the Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding, as well as Qualship 21 status. Its excellent ship safety and pollution prevention record translates into efficiency for Cayman vessel owners who save time and administration on inspections. The CISR is focused on delivering quality maritime administration services by experienced and knowledgeable personnel, operating in several countries across the globe. The Cayman Islands also offers a stable operating environment. Cayman-flagged vessels also have full British Consular Services and Royal Naval assistance and protection worldwide.

Cayman Islands Shipping Registry (CISR)

The original Cayman Islands Shipping Registry (CISR) maritime administration structure, the main forerunner to MACI, was established in 1903 when George Town was formally recognised as a British Port of Registry. The CISR obtained British Registry Category 1 Status on 25 July 1991. The Category 1 Group of British Registries includes Bermuda, British Virgin Islands (BVI), Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Isle of Man and the UK. As a Category 1 Register, the Cayman Islands can register vessels of any size and type as long as they they meet international standards.

Today, the CISR covers the full spectrum of vessel types, including commercial ships and private pleasure yachts alike.  The CISR maintains its Head Office in Grand Cayman and has global representation in the USA, UK, Italy, France, Netherlands, Greece, China, Singapore, Japan, Philippines, Panama and Brazil.
As a division of MACI, the CISR offers a variety of services, including:

  • Registration - The Cayman Islands is strongly represented in both pleasure yachts and commercial shipping.
  • Survey and Certification- Professional survey services to Cayman-registered vessels globally, and to “new builds” irrespective of flag, to ensure that these ships are built and maintained in accordance with international and domestic legislation. 
  • Crew Compliance- Ensuring that a ship is safely manned and the crew is properly trained, certified and medically fit while working on Cayman Islands-registered ships.
  • Vessel Construction Supervision- Attendance at key strategic points during the new build phase of construction to ensure compliance with approved plans and to provide additional guidance as needed.
  • Maritime Consultancy- Employing innovative solutions to deliver consulting services on various maritime issues utilising informed and efficient expertise.
  • Vessel Plan Approval- Detailed services and guidance to review vessel plans to ensure  the Survey and Certification for vessels irrespective of choice of flag.

The Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI)

The Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI) is recognised as a leading maritime administration, providing exceptional service to the global shipping community.  MACI is a statutory corporation formed as a separate entity under the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands Law (2005), made effective on 1 July 2005.  MACI is wholly owned by the Cayman Islands Government and it is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Cabinet.  MACI reports to the Cabinet of the Cayman Islands through the Ministry of Financial Services and Commerce. It is also responsible to the UK Secretary of State via the UK’s Department of Transport to ensure effective implementation of relevant international maritime and related conventions that have been ratified by the UK Government and extended to the Cayman Islands. 
The MACI Head Office is located in George Town, Grand Cayman and the European Regional Office is located in Southampton, United Kingdom.  

  • The CISR is now a division of MACI. However, MACI also maintains a number of other critical responsibilities. The entire MACI body is responsible for: 
  • The CISR's vessel and mortgage registration, advisory, and marine survey and audit services;
  • The implementation of  Cayman's maritime safety and security, marine pollution prevention and social responsibility obligations under international Conventions and Codes, and under Cayman legislation for Cayman-flagged vessels;
  • The Cayman Islands Government (CIG) delegated responsibility for the implementation of Cayman's obligations under the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (CMOU PSC) for foreign-flagged vessels entering Cayman ports;
  • The CIG delegated responsibility for marine Casualty Investigation activities in relation to Cayman-flagged vessels;
  • The CIG delegated responsibility for national maritime policy formulation, the provision of advice on maritime-related matters, and the development of Cayman's maritime-related legislation;
  • The CIG delegated responsibility to represent Cayman at international fora and to protect its maritime interests;
  • The CIG delegated responsibility to help facilitate the development of the Cayman Islands as an international maritime centre.

MACI functions as the maritime administration of the Cayman Islands and as such discharges, on behalf of the CIG, the range of responsibilities and services normally associated with such a maritime administration.
Although MACI reports to the Cabinet of the Cayman Islands through the Ministry of Financial Services, Commerce and Environment, the UK Secretary of State retains oversight to ensure  that appropriate standards are applied and maintained with respect to the implementation of international conventions, treaties and related instruments. This oversight is largely exercised through the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) on behalf of the Secretary of State. Such Conventions are extended to the Cayman Islands by the UK and take effect through Cayman Islands legislation or the adaptation of relevant UK legislation.
International Regulatory Environment

One of MACI’s primary roles is to stay abreast of international developments in the shipping industry, particularly the numerous international Conventions and related Instruments affecting ships and their operation and, where appropriate, to give input in their development. To this end, MACI participates in various international bodies through liaison, attendance at the meetings of such bodies, as well as engagement with the UK delegations to these meetings, where policy and standards are agreed.  The main bodies include:

  • The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the main international body and is responsible for prescribing international standards and requirements with respect to safety of life at sea, maritime security and the protection of the marine environment. 
  • The International Labour Organisation (ILO) establishes internationally agreed upon standards for employment and working conditions for seafarers.
  • The Caribbean Port State Control Committee (CPSCC) of the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding (CMOU) on Port State Control.

Other organisations whose activities significantly impact international shipping in regards to Cayman-flagged vessels include: the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), the United States Coast Guard (USCG), the various signatories to other regional Memoranda on Port State Control and, increasingly, the European Union (EU).
National Maritime Legislation Regime

The Cayman Islands implements International Conventions and related Instruments through national primary legislations (i.e. laws) and supporting secondary legislation (i.e. Regulations).  The Cayman Islands has developed its own regime of maritime legislation (See the current main Laws and Regulations).