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FAQs – Registration of a Ship Mortgage

Q: Where can I find the Cook Islands legislation governing ship and ship mortgage registration?

A: Cook Islands Ship Registration Act 2007 which provides –

  • For registration with the Cook Islands Ship Registry of registerable interests in a ship;
  • A registerable interest includes ownership of a ship;
  • A registerable interest includes a ship mortgage;
  • A mortgage can be over the ship its equipment and earnings;
  • Registration of a ship mortgage takes effect from the date and time of registration;

A copy of the act is available in the Document section below.

Q: Can a ship mortgage be registered if the ship is not registered?

A: A ship mortgage cannot be registered if the ship is not registered.

Q: Can a ship mortgage be registered against a ship that is provisionally registered?

A: A ship mortgage can be registered at the same time that a ship is provisionally registered.

Q: Are there any documentary formalities for a ship mortgage?

A: – A mortgage instrument must be in English;

There is no prescribed form for a mortgage instrument however in order for the mortgage to be registered the following information must be contained in the mortgage deed

  • Mortgagee address
  • Mortgagee name
  • Mortgagor address
  • Mortgagor name
  • Property charged
  • Obligations secured by the mortgage
    • Value of loan / repayment obligations
  • Date of mortgage

Signatories to the mortgage who are entitled to sign on behalf of mortgagee / mortgagor.

Q: What documents are required to register a ship mortgage?

A: – An application to register completed by the mortgagee – Form 11; and either

  • The mortgage instrument signed by the mortgagor and mortgagee; or
  • A notice of mortgage particulars (Form 18) if the mortgage instrument cannot be presented at the time of application for registration;
  • If a notice of mortgage particulars is used for registration then the mortgage instrument must be lodged within 14 days of registration;
  • Persons signing on behalf of a mortgagee or mortgagor must show proof of authority by power of attorney

Copies of the Application forms are available in Document section below:

Q: Who can sign a ship mortgage instrument and registration forms?

A: – The mortgagee and mortgagor;

  • An authorised officer of the mortgagee and mortgagor;
  • An attorney of the mortgagee and mortgagor;

Proof of authority must be submitted at the time of registration.

Q: How is a mortgage transferred?

A: – By memorandum of transfer signed by the mortgagee and the transferee

Q:  How is a mortgage discharged?

A: – By memorandum of discharge executed by the mortgagee – Form 17

A copy of the Application Form is available in the Document Section below:

Q: When are apostilles required?

A: A bank / mortgagee may require that the Certificate of Mortgage registration be apostilled, this can be arranged by Maritime Cook Islands Head Office. Please contact info@maritimecookislands.com or moeroa@maritimecookislands.com for further information.

Q: Can registration of a ship mortgage be completed electronically?

A: Yes 

Q: Should a ship mortgage be registered elsewhere in the Cook Islands?

A: – Yes – if the ship is owned by an entity incorporated, established or created in the Cook Islands;

  • Registration fees are applicable;
  • Failure to register a ship mortgage against the entity can have detrimental legal consequences;
  • You should consult a Cook Islands lawyer 

Q: Do I need to submit a power of attorney?

A: A power of attorney (PoA) must be submitted wherever the signatory is signing on behalf of the Mortgagee or Mortgagor; the PoA must be notarised, by a recognised notary with in your jurisdiction.

Q: What language must the documents submitted to Maritime Cook Islands be in?

A: all documents submitted to Maritime Cook Islands must be in English; if preferable documents may be submitted in dual language, English and the working language of the mortgagor and mortgagee

Q: How much does it cost?

A: The cost of registering or transferring a Mortgage is 375 USD. Discharging a Mortgage carries a fee of 375 USD. Both fees exclude costs of lawyers, translations, and apostilles.

Q: Legal Services: Where can I get legal advice about mortgages?

A: The Registry is not authorized to provide legal opinions. Cook Islands legal opinions may be obtained from Cook Islands attorneys who may be located either in Cook Islands or outside of Cook Islands.  A list of attorneys licensed to practice in Cook Islands will be provided upon request.

DISCLAIMER: MCI accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or validity of the legal advice obtained from attorneys and is not involved in any way with the attorney-client relationship between these attorneys (whether obtained from a list of attorneys or through a preferred provider) and their respective clients. This information is provided purely as a courtesy and convenience.

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