January 4 is a momentous event in the Shipping Registry of Isle of Man, as it has confirmed that the Gross Registered Tonnage of the country has surpassed fifteen million (15M) for the first time in history. This has been reported after Berge Neblina, one of the world’s largest vessels and ore carrier formalized its registration on the same date.


Muriel Sweetman, the Registrar at the Ship Registry, may have experienced one of the most exciting nights in her life, as she dedicatedly worked late in the evening just to allow the registration of Berge Neblina for it to coincide with the ceremony that would be held in the Far East. The vessel is estimated to have a length of 361 meters, gross tonnage of 184,000, and deadweight tonnage of 388,000 and due to the dedication and commitment of the Registrar at the Ship of Registry, the registration became speedier.


The motivation to attract Berge Neblina to register is the result of the marketing push of the Registry that began in the year 2010. It attended several events with a goal to expand its existing network of contacts, while it creates more awareness about the Registry. Soon, Asian clients found its offer appealing that the Registry has to appoint local surveyors, as well as trained and appointed third-party auditors to hasten the registration process.


In the year 1984, IoM has passed the Merchant Shipping Act with an aim to encourage more owners to register their ships in the island. This is in addition to the zero-tax regime for ship management companies honored by its government. Nevertheless, it has stated an intention to introduce an annual registration fee of GBP 730, equivalent to USD 1,180 and an ongoing annual re-registration that would cost GBP 1000.


Interestingly, it would not be dependent on the ship size and it would even allow grant discounts to multi-vessel owners that choose to register with the flag; however, news pertaining to this matter would have to be anticipated as no formal news had been declared by the Registrar.


Today, the Isle of Man’s Shipping Industry is considered as one of the fastest growing in the world. In comparison to its 2010 and 2011 records, it has seen a double-digit growth in its tonnage term and it is expected to rise continuously, especially with the attraction of more shipping vessels to have their ships registered in the country.