ADOMS LAUNCHES ANTIGUA & BARBUDA YACHT REGISTRYMonday 21st November 2011
At a very elegant and professional ceremony held at the Copper and Lumber Hotel in Nelson's Dockyard on the evening of Thursday, November 17, the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping (ADOMS) officially launched the Antigua & Barbuda Yacht Registry (ABYR). Present at the ceremony were the Governor General, Her Excellency Dame Louise Lake Tack, the Honourable Dr. Winston Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, along with other government officials, invited guests and members of the ADOMS team.
Katarina McGhie, Head of Division - International Maritime Policy and Business Development at ADOMS acted as Mistress of Ceremonies and Mr. Dwight C.R. Gardiner, Director/Registrar General of ADOMS provided the welcoming remarks. Mr. Gardiner indicated that while the launch of the Yacht Registry is a new focus of ADOMS, success has already been achieved in the registration of merchant ships, the number of which currently stands at 1,381 reflecting 11.2 gross tonnes. In addition, approximately 275 yachts are presently registered in the yacht registry and about 30 cargo vessels currently fly the flag of Antigua and Barbuda.
Mr. Gardiner indicated that requests and inquiries from mega yachts regarding registration in Antigua have grown considerably in recent times and with the recent growth of his department, with the full support of the Prime Minister, ADOMS is now prepared to expand its yacht registry.
Several reasons for registering a yacht in Antigua and Barbuda were cited including that ADOMS has been in the ship and yacht registration business for 24 years and the registry is listed in the top eight of the world fleet. Antigua and Barbuda is a party to all relevant IMO Conventions and the country has in place modern comprehensive maritime legislation. Various registration options are available - provisional, permanent, bareboat, and under construction, for example - and the steps to register a yacht are simple.
The ceremony, in addition to presentations by various officials, included several short video clips which brought to the attention of attendees the very recognizable and renowned reputation of Antigua and Barbuda's beautiful flag which ranks in the top 20 international ship registries in the world.
It is believed that the launch of the Antigua & Barbuda Yacht Registry will provide new opportunities in tourism and may help to boost the economy. The government continues to strive to improve its mega-yacht industry product and is confident that it is prepared to take on both new opportunities and the challenges that currently exist within the industry. As a part of the official launch of ABYR, the government continues the ongoing process of streamlining clearance procedures and customs regulations.
To end the official proceedings, Joan Augustine, Business Development Coordinator/ Registration Assistant of ADOMS offered the vote of thanks following which those present were invited to enjoy some refreshments and light entertainment.
For more information on the Antigua & Barbuda Yacht Registry see www.antiguamarine.com.
By Kathy Lammers, Editor of Antigua's Yachting Insider.
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