Licensing and Registration

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Licensing and Registration are two separate processes:

Licensing addresses the operational and technical safety standards of the small craft. It is compulsory for all powered craft below 24 metres in length and all other small craft above 5 metres in length. A voluntary safety identification system applies to non-powered pleasure craft below 5 metres in length. Commercial fishing vessels that are solely engaged in fishing are exempt and these vessels are licensed by the Fisheries Division. If engaged in sports, or recreational fishing then these craft still require ADOMS licensing.

Registration is the process by which the right of a craft to fly the Antigua and Barbuda Flag is conferred in order to undertake international voyages.  It is a visible statement of nationality, similar to a passport and confirms that the craft is governed and protected under the laws of Antigua and Barbuda.  Any craft below 24 metres in length even though registered must also be licensed if operating within Antigua and Barbuda waters.

Commercial vessels operating in Antigua and Barbuda waters

A commercial vessel is required to meet a set of safety standards and the full registry cannot be processed until the vessel is confirmed as meeting the requisite standards.  During the period between application for registry and confirmation that the vessel meets the standards she can be provisionally registered, but she may not operate commercially until the safety certification is issued.

If a vessel is a new build or under construction, an owner is encouraged to first ascertain the acceptability of the vessel by submitting an enquiry for licensing or registration to ADOMS at

Application Procedure

1. Complete Application Form

    • Forms can be collected from ADOMS Office or
    • Click Here to download the Application for Registration and Licensing

2. Return application form with supporting documents to ADOMS by:

  • In person submission at the ADOMS Office; or
  • Email application form and supporting documents to
  • The following documents are required along with the completed application form for review:
    1. Proof of Ownership (Bill of Sale, Invoice, Affidavit).
    2. Proof of Eligibility (copy of a passport for nationals and CARICOM nationals, or a copy of the certificate of Incorporation for corporate entities)
    3. Proof of Deletion/Deregistration from the previous registry (if applicable)
    4. Proof of Operator Competence
    5. Vessel Specifications (Builders Certificate, Brochure, etc.)
    6. Additionally, Small Commercial Vessels (SCV) require:
  • Proof of Third-Party Liability Insurance
  • Detailed explanation of the intended use or proposed operation of the vessel

3. Payment of fees based on invoice provided by ADOMS:

    • In person payment at the ADOMS Office (cash, cheque, credit/debit card); or
    • Email submission of Credit Card Authorization (form available upon request); or
    • Wire transfer (bank details available upon request)

4. Vessel Inspection

  1. On submission of application and payment of fees, the Technical Division will schedule an inspection of the vessel to complete the application process.
  2. Vessel will be inspected based on the SCVCCSSSCC Code, Merchant Shipping (Large Commercial Vessels) Regulations.
  3. On successful inspection, vessel will be issued a Safety Certificate and License in accordance with the applicable regulations.

Voluntary Safety Identification

  • Introduction

    • When you are engaged in watersports activities at sea and you get into difficulty and for whatever reason are unable to raise assistance, is there anyone ashore who knows what to do if you fail to return at your estimated time?
    • Would a friend or relative know who to contact and would they know sufficient detail about your pleasure craft and your likely whereabouts to assist ABDF CG and ABSAR locate you?
    • Would it not be a comfort when you set out for your watersports to know that ABDG CG and ABSAR have some details of you, your craft and likely whereabouts on a small craft database, should you get into difficulty at sea?
  • Application

    • The voluntary safety identification seeks to mitigate against the aforementioned concerns and applies to non-powered pleasure craft under 5 metres in length. It is free of cost and is for the benefit of the owners of these pleasure craft.
    • It includes all waterborne craft, such as kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, windsurf/sailboards, kite boards, sailing craft, etc.
    • Complete the form at ADOMS’ office or register online, giving details of the owner/operator, type of craft, length and colour/markings, lifesaving equipment, usual area(s) of operation and details of a shore contact, in order to assist ABDF CG and ABSAR, should search and rescue (SAR) action ever become necessary.
    • The information provided will only be used for SAR and safety purposes.