The law governing ship registration in Malaysia is the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952.


Registrar General may register a ship as a Malaysian International Ship, if it owned by a corporation that satisfies the following requirements:

  1. Incorporated in Malaysia.
  2. An office of the corporation is established in Malaysia.
  3. The majority of the shareholding, including voting shares, of the corporation are not held by Malaysian citizens.

The owner of the ship shall, before applying for a ship to be registered, appoint a ship manager whom shall be :

  1. A Malaysian citizen having his permanent residence in Malaysia or
  2. A company incorporated in Malaysia and having its principal place of business in Malaysia.

The port of registry for Malaysia International Ship is Labuan.

Vessels are generally first registered on provisional basis by the Registrar of Ships and the certificate of Provisional Malaysia International Ship Registry is valid for 6 month. The following documents must be submitted for registration of the vessel:

    1. Application form.
    2. Certificate of Approval Name (issued by Registrar).
    3. Bill of Sale or Builder’s Certificate, as the case may be.
    4. Certificate of Survey Provisional (issued by Surveyor or Ship Malaysia).
    5. Statutory declaration of ownership which must include:-The following details:
      • The name of the ship and its existing tonnage.
      • Statement of the date when and place where the vessel was built, or if the date and place of the building not known, a statement that the declarant does not know the date and place of the building of the ship.
      • Statement as to the owner of the ship and the citizenship of such owner, and if the vessel is owned by more than one person, the number of shares each is entitle.
      • Statement as to the ship manager or mention ship, including the name, the identity card number or the corporation’s registration number, the address, the telex number and the cable address.
      • Statement of the name of the master of the Vessel and his citizenship.
      • Statement that no other person (other than those declared) is entitled as owner of any legal or beneficial interest in the ship or any share thereof.
      • Declaration that the particulars stated in the form are true to the best of his knowledge and belief.
    6. Notes of Name Proposed – whereby the applicant must indicate the form whether the vessel is newly built or previously registered under another flag.
    7. Corporation:
      • Certified true copy of Memorandum of Articles of Association and Certificate of Incorporation.
      • Certification under common seal that the majority shareholding including voting shares of the corporation is held by non-Malaysian citizens free from trust or obligations in favour of Malaysia.
      • Authority Form – appointing the public officer authorized to make declaration on behalf of the owner.


    1. Memorandum as to registration of managing owners;


Upon due acceptance of the above documents, the Registrar will allocate an official number to the vessel.

No ship shall be registered under Malaysia International Ship Registry unless:

  1. It is fitted with mechanical means of propulsion.
  2. It is not less than 1,600 gross tonnage.
  3. The age of the ship is not more than 15 years if it is tanker or a bulk carrier or not more than 20 years if it is of type other than a tanker or a bulk carrier.


Marine surveys are conducted by Surveyor of Ships working under the direction of the Surveyor-General who may also authorized classification societies to conduct surveys on his behalf.


The following are recognized classification societies for Malaysia International Ship Registry;

  1. American Bureau of Shipping.
  2. Bureau Veritas.
  3. Det Norske Veritas.
  4. Germanischer Lloyder.
  5. Lloyd’s Register of Shipping.
  6. Nippon Kaiji Kyokai.
  7. Korea Register of Shipping.
  8. Registro Italiano Navale.
  9. China Classification Society.
  10. Russian Maritime Registry of Shipping.
  11. Indian Register of Shipping.

The schedule of fees are as follows:

Initial Registration
Vessels up to 50 tons gross – RM10.00
Vessels over 50 to 100 tons – RM15.00
Vessels over 100 to 200 tons – RM20.00

With RM5.00 for every additional 100 tons or fraction of 100.

An annual tonnage fee of RM0.30 per gross tonnage shall be paid by the owner of a ship at the time of the intial registration or renewal of registration of the ship and thereafter annually on or before the anniversary date of the initial registration or renewal of registration, as the case may be.

The forms below can be downloaded from the marine department webpage.

  1. Application for Name of Ship
  2. Application for Reserve Prefix/Suffix Name of Ship
  3. Application to Register a ship
  4. Declaration of Ownership and Nationality
  5. Appointment / Cancellation / Change of Ship Manager
  6. Appoint / Cancellation of an Authorised Officer
  7. Application for Allotment of an International Call Sign