MCI helping shipowners cope with the IMO Nairobi Convention

Maritime Cook Islands has assisted  thousands of vessels to obtain IMO certificates in the run up to the entry into force of the Nairobi Convention on Wreck Removals in April this year.

Since the convention came into force MCI has seen a steady flow of applications for the certificates as many shipowners realised they are required as a matter of course to admit their vessels to ports inside State Parties.

The number of States which have signed to the Convention continues to grow. Six States have recently deposited instruments of accession.

MCI expects the stream of applications to continue for the rest of 2015, with more towards the end of the year and into January, in the lead-up to what is likely to be a frantic February when most P&I Club liability insurance policies are up for renewal.

Maritime Cook Islands’ simple online application process enables certificates to be issued within 24 hours.  We have more than 20 offices around the world from which certificates can be issued directly, further reducing delivery time.

MCI urges shipowners currently without a certificate to apply now or risk their business being substantially compromised as their ships are refused entry to State Party ports.




Commending IMO auditors following successful visit to Cook Islands

The Cook Islands Maritime Administration hosted a team from the IMO, in mid-February. As part of a major IMO audit on the registry

The auditing team, who flew in from Singapore and China, met with officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, Crown Law Office, Ministries of Transport and Foreign Affairs, and the Ports Authority. They also met the National Environment Service, the Hydrographic Office of Infrastructure Cook Islands, as well as all the senior officials at Maritime Cook Islands.

The team had a very long and busy week, and MCI would like to commend them highly for completing the first draft of their report before they departed Rarotonga.

The Cook Islands Maritime Administration, which includes members of all of the above agencies and official bodies, is now at work on a short series of follow-ups to the observations and findings of the auditing team. This work will be completed in the next three months and passed over to the IMO team.



New Maritime Legislation announced

The Cook Islands Government and Maritime Cook Islands are pleased to announces a that new suite of Maritime Rules has come into force giving full effect to the international conventions to which is Cook Islands is party, including but not limited to the following:

  • Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)
  • Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention (NWRC)
  • International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
  • International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)
  • International Convention on Load Lines (LL)
  • International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for

Seafarers (STCW)

This is in addition to the Cook Islands Maritime Transport Act 2008 and the Cook Islands Ship Registration Act of 2007.

The new suite of Cook Islands Maritime Rules are designed to provide an intelligent, simple, user friendly and effective way to give effect to Convention obligations.

Each rule is dedicated to giving effect to a single Convention, and where applicable its relevant codes. The Convention is incorporated into and forms part of these Rules through ‘direct referencing’. Changes or amendments to mandatory IMO instruments from time to time, which are subject to the IMO tacit acceptance procedures, are incorporated into these Rules and automatically enter into force and are applicable to Cook Islands flag ships.

The provisions of the Maritime Rules are enforced through the Maritime Rules (Offences) Regulations 2014 and Shipping (Infringement deficiency) Regulations 2014.



For a full list and downloads of the legislation please visit


For new and update Large Yacht Code, Small Yacht Code, Sail Training Code, and Yacht Masters

Handbook please visit


For further information or clarification please contact the Registrar of Ships at Maritime Cook Islands Email:; Phone: +682 23848 or +682 23846.



MCI Leaders invited to take part in major Shanghai maritime forum – Chinese owners show great interest in the flag

MCI Chairman Mike Mitchell and our CEO, Glenn Armstrong were invited to a forum jointly organised by Sing-Lloyd (China office), British Steamship Mutual and China Taiping insurance in April.. The forum was held at the Ocean Hotel, Shanghai.

More than 80 participants from China maritime industry turned up to for the event. Apart from Shanghai, other participants came from the northern part of China, Dalian and the rest from Fuzhou province from the South of China. Although the initial invitation was meant for 50 participants, the organisers had to cater for an additional 30 which was the maximum the hall could accommodate.

Mike Mitchell began the presentation with a brief introduction covering his vast diplomatic experience and ending with an introduction to the Maritime Cook Islands. This set the momentum for Glenn Armstrong to give a half hour presentation of the Maritime Cook Islands Ship Registry ranging from her location to the advantages of registering the owner’s vessels under the Cook Islands flag.

The participants were impressed with the Cook Islands list of shipowners of which many were public listed companies and the exponential growth of the ship registry in the Asia region which included VLCC, Cape sized bulkers, offshore platforms and newly built passenger ferries.

Although China shipowners are relatively new to Cook Islands Ship Registry, they expressed interest to register their ships as they were aware of the friendliness and the integrity of the maritime legislature of Cook Islands.

Cook Islands Ship Registry will begin in earnest on the marketing process and we hope by this time next year, China will be one of the fastest growing market of the Cook Islands flag.



Our first Mobile Offshore Production unit

Maritime Cook Islands has registered its first Mobile Offshore Production (MOPU) unit, the West Desaru Mobile Offshore Production unit (MOPU) for FPF005 Limited, under the Petrofac Group. Petrofac is a leading international service provider to the oil & gas production and processing industry.

This unit was recently registered via our Singapore office and currently operating off the Malaysian coast.

A MOPU is a production unit that can be relocated from site to site. It includes FPSO, production barges, semi-submersible production units, jack-up production units, and TLPs.

The West Desaru MOPU was built by the Bethehem Steel Corporation in Beaumont, United States in 1976. It was upgraded and converted in September 2012 to a self-elevating hydrocarbon production platform.


West Desaru MOPU is classed with American Bureau of Shipping. Its principal dimensions:

Length: 59.13m

Depth : 81.60m

Breadth: 45.72m

Gross tonnage is 5421 mt. Net tonnage: 1626 mt.


Cooks Islands introduces a new code for small yacht registration.

The new code has been developed for application to commercial motor and sailing yachts of less than 24 metres in load line length for which the minimum length requirement has been waived.

Cook Islands Maritime Rules recommends compliance for private yachts of this size with the code to the extent considered reasonable and prudent.

This code of practice for Small Yachts (the code) makes reference to the Maritime Rules of the Cook Islands. Vessels registered on the flag are required to comply with the various Maritime Rules of the Administration that are relevant to the class of vessel to which they belong.

The code relates especially to the construction of a yacht, its machinery, equipment and stability and to the correct operation of a yacht so that safety standards are maintained.

It should be noted that the Code deals with the equally important subjects of manning and of the qualifications needed for the senior members of the crew.

Compliance with the code in no way obviates the need for yachts and/or skippers to comply with local authority licensing, permit or regulatory requirements where applicable.


Did you know…?

 Cook Islands has been a member of the IMO since 2008?

IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships. It was established by means of a Convention adopted under the direction of the United Nations in Geneva on 17 March 1948 and met for the first time in January 1959.

The Cook Islands became a Member of IMO on the 18th July 2008, and appointed Captain Ian Finley as the Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the IMO. It currently has 170 Member States. IMO’s governing body is the Assembly which is made up of all the Member States.

In an announcement made by IMO earlier this year, the Cook Islands has now paid the annual financial assessment and advised the Secretary-General that its funds accumulated under the Organization’s Contributions Incentive Scheme are to be transferred for use in technical cooperation projects.

As a specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.


Deputy Registrar Focus – Meeting Andy Scheer, Our man in Florida

Who do you work for? 

INTERFORCE Inc.  I founded the company in 1987 as an International Maritime Service Company.

What is your job for that company? 

My office staff and myself promote the Cook Islands Registry under a “one stop shop” concept, meaning we assist clients with ALL their maritime needs, starting with company formation, ship/yacht registry, surveys, management, safety and security consulting, ISM and ISPS training and crew certification, anything the client needs, we can take care of anywhere in the world.  At present we are involved in bringing a cargo ship into “class” and building a 50 Meter yacht to be Flagged Cook Islands.

How did you get involved with MCI? 

In the course of our various maritime services, almost ten years ago, we became increasingly aware of various issues that Cook Islands vessels were confronted with and we were very impressed even back then, when the Cook Islands Registry was in its infancy, at the professionalism exhibited by the Cook Islands staff and how well they helped us and our clients solve problems.

We and our clients enjoyed working with the Cook Islands’ high calibre of people so much that a mutual synergy was formed and we became one of the first Deputy Registrar Offices for the Cook Islands and we quickly established a good reputation with the USCG and other Port State Control authorities in the USA.

What progress has been made since you linked up with MCI?

When we first started promoting the Cook Islands Registry, we acquired an aged fleet of Cargo Ships that needed help staying in compliance.  We assisted them to stay out of trouble and slowly progressed to younger ships, tugs and barges and yachts.  Our fleet fluctuates between majority commercial ships and yachts.  We service both, from two different offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

What do you normally tell Owners and Operators about MCI when you are spreading the word about them? 

Generally we tell them a lot.  We advertise their professionalism, responsiveness and our ability to quickly determine a client’s needs and how together with our Head Office headquarters, we can efficiently register, arrange for surveys and obtain all required documents faster then any of our competitors.  We also advertise the good reputation Cook Islands Flag has with the US Coast Guard and a lot of the EU community.

Do you think MCI has a natural target audience in where you are generally?

It’s always an uphill battle at first, as there are a lot of well-known competitors in our area that have been established a lot longer, however after educating the clients about the many benefits and advantages of working with us and the advantages of having a Cook Islands Flag, we generally convince them to become our audience.

What does MCI need to do to make itself even more attractive to Owners?

We need to complete the process to have Cook Islands on the USA cruising permit list as expeditiously as possible.  We also need to be more flexible with conventions that are not ratified by the USA, so that owners do not feel penalized for having a Cook Islands Flag in US waters.

Where do you see your relationship with MCI in five years’ time?

We are now at a stage where we have a good amount of yachts in our fleet and a handful of cargo ships.  We are actively now concentrating in building up our commercial ship fleet and continuing to build our yacht fleet.  In five years we hope to have increased our overall tonnage to include a much larger amount of both categories of vessels.



MCI managers take part in Singapore Maritime Week 2015

MCI chief executive Glenn Armstrong and technical director Duncan Finlay both made the trip to Singapore to take part in the Republic’s Maritime Week April 21-26.

It was an action packed few days as Glenn and Duncan kept up a busy routine of meetings, events, receptions and parties.

In addition they found time to catch up with Singapore Deputy Registrar TY Cheng and his team as well as meet several other associates.

The highlight of the week came at the First Asia Maritime Casualty Forum, hosted by London Offshore Consultants (LOC) to which Glenn was invited over two days.

This premium event was organised by the industry for the industry and several flag states attended including New Zealand, Australia and several south east Asia nations.

It was an opportunity for MCI to network with a wide range of insurers, salvors and consultants as well as flag state representatives. The two day conference kicked off with a cocktail reception at Eden Hall in Singapore, the residence of the British High Commissioner to Singapore.

Glenn and Duncan also took the opportunity to visit some existing and potential clients and the visit was judged to have been a great success.



MCI at the Singapore Yacht Show 2015

The Singapore Yacht Show provides a first-class platform for regional guests to meet yachting professionals, boat owners, supercar aficionados and a select group of invited participants keen to explore the luxury yachting scene.

The show was held in ONE°15 Marina Club Singapore from 23rd April – 26th April 2015. About 120 yachts were featured at the show and six of the featured yachts were registered under the flag of Cook Islands through our representative, Hilda Loe Associates.

Hilda said: “Despite the heavy afternoon rain, we managed to catch up with some of our clients and tour many spectacular and gorgeous show yachts from Ferretti, Grand Banks, Jeanneau, Pershing, Princess and Riviera.”


30th Annual Palm Beach International Boat Show

 The 30th Annual Palm Beach International Boat Show is one of the top boat shows worldwide which was held in Florida, United States from 26th March – 29th March 2015. Cook Islands was proud to be one of exhibitor in this show featuring together with other businesses and organisations in the industry.

This was a great opportunity for Cook Islands to interact and speak with people in maritime world and we look forward for the next show in 2016.

For more information about the event, visit: