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Home HRAnniversaries Isle of Man Ship Registry celebrates 40th anniversary vowing to drive decarbonisation and seafarer welfare

Isle of Man Ship Registry celebrates 40th anniversary vowing to drive decarbonisation and seafarer welfare

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IOMSR director Cameron Mitchell

The Isle of Man Ship Registry (IOMSR) is to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its founding this year with a series of events as it seeks to cement its position as one of the world’s most progressive flag states.

The IOMSR is planning signature events during the Isle of Man’s Maritime Conference on July 19, and at Trinity House in London in September to thank its clients and partners and present its vision for the future.

IOMSR director Cameron Mitchell said it is vital the registry continues to lead by example as a Category 1 member of the Red Ensign Group, representing more than a third of tonnage under the Red Ensign.  He said safety, seafarer welfare and decarbonization are the pillars of future growth.

“Since establishing in 1984 we have grown by being a quality flag of choice,” he said. “Today, quality is constantly being tested by advanced technology and pressures being exerted on the maritime industry. Shipowners and operators as a result need more from their flag states particularly in how we care for our seafarer’s mental health and well-being. Without ensuring the psychological and physical safety of our seafarers our industry will struggle to implement effective equality, diversity and inclusion standards, policies and procedures. Meeting the IMO 2050 GHG targets will require greater data transparency and collaboration across maritime. Flag states cannot be passive bystanders we must be at the heart of taking positive action as a dynamic partner.  In recent years, we have continued our commitment to innovation, becoming the first flag state to offer reduced registration fees for ships deploying green technology. We are also the first flag state to join the Getting to Zero Coalition which is driving the decarbonisation agenda.”

“We are further the first flag state to launch a seafarer welfare app with partners like Stella Maris, Nautilus International and the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN). Seafarer wellbeing is very important to me and my predecessor Dick Welsh, as former seafarers ourselves. We have more than 7,000 seafarers on IOMSR vessels. It is our duty to ensure that seafarer and vessel safety, whilst embracing the latest technological advances.”

Mr Mitchell said the IOMSR has grown into one of the highest ranked in the world by building trusted relationships with its clients.

“The Red Ensign due to its track record and heritage is synonymous with the highest standards of safety, engineering and navigation in the global maritime industry,” he said. “We take this responsibility very seriously.  We thank all our shipping line clients who we work so closely providing that 24/7 service as a trusted partner. That has been the key to our success and what we intend to celebrate this as we mark our 40th anniversary.”  

Mr Mitchell paid tribute to the Isle of Man’s vibrant maritime industry.

“The last 40 years has seen the IOMSR diversify and grow along with the Isle of Man Maritime cluster around us,” he said. “Our growth would not have been possible without the support of countless people and businesses who make up the island’s maritime cluster including ship and yacht management, crew management, insurance, IT, law, cyber security, professional services and finance. The Isle of Man gets maritime and always welcomes maritime businesses from around the world.”


The Isle of Man became an International Register of Ships in 1984 with the creation of the Isle of Man Marine Administration. The International Register was established to provide a high quality alternative British Register for British and European Ship Owners and Operators. The Isle of Man Government established the Marine Administration to diversify the Island’s economy. The creation of the Marine Administration acted as nucleus for maritime business in the Isle of Man, with many of the Internationally respected blue chip Ship Owners and Operators relocating parts of their respective organisations to the Isle of Man, recognising the key benefits the island nation had to offer.

Key dates:

  • 1984 The Isle of Man Marine Administration was formed.
  • 1997 the Administration was accredited with ISO 9001 for its Quality Management System.
  • 2003 saw the introduction of the registry of super yachts.
  • In 2006 the Marine Administration was renamed and rebranded as the Isle of Man Ship Registry.
  • In 2007 the registry launched its new database “MAVIS”. Between 2007 and 2014 our organisational structure, our processes and procedures and database evolved to meet client expectations and provide our first online services.
  • In 2015 the Ship Registry was accredited with ISO 14001 for its Environmental Management System.
  • From 2017 the Ship Registry fully delegated all statutory audits and survey’s to its recognised Classification Society’s (Recognised Organisations) and implemented the principle of pay once which includes all registration fees and flag state inspection fees – paid annually.
  • 2017 The IOMSR launched “Favoured Nation Status” for ports in China, providing a preferential rate which roughly equates to a 28% port dues reduction and can translate to an effective net increase in time-charter equivalent rates.
  • 2019 Cameron Mitchell appointed new director of IOMSR taking over from Dick Welsh who led the registry for 13 years. Cameron is a former seafarer working with Maersk, Geest Line and Farstad Shipping for over 10 years as an engineer. Cameron previously worked as a surveyor and Deputy Director of the IOMSR.
  • 2019 saw the introduction of digital/electronic certification for all ship and seafarer certification, In June 2019 the registry held No. 1 position on the Paris MOU on Port State Controls “White List” of high performing flag states. 2020-2024 has seen the Ship Registry retain its high position on the Paris and Tokyo MOU on Port State Control “White Lists”.
  • 2021 IOMSR launches first seafarer welfare app ‘Crew Matters’ by flag state in partners with Stella Maris, ISWAN and Nautilus International.
  • 2022 IOMSR became the first flag state in the world to reduce registration fees for ships deploying green technology. The new measure gives ship owners a 15 per cent reduction on their annual registration fee.

The Ship Registry is a division of the Isle of Man Government, Department for Enterprise. The Ship Registry is fully supported by the Isle of Man Government and Department which allows the Ship Registry to operate on a not for profit basis. The sole function of the Ship Registry is to be a quality flag of choice, acting as a nucleus, attracting quality Ship Owners and Operators to register ships in the Isle of Man, thus attracting other quality organisations involved in maritime.

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