The registration of fishing vessels is additionally subject to the provisions of the High Seas Fishing Act, 2003. The requirements include the completion of an Application form for a License to Fish on the High Seas as well as the installation of a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) utilizing INMARSAT C or INMARSAT Mini C or INMARSAT D+. Fishing vessels which land their catch at ports of member States of the European Union are required to pass a special sanitary inspection in compliance with the relevant EU/EC Directives.
Fishing vessels are also subject to the international and regional regulations applicable to the area of fishing which are implemented by Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) such as ICCAT, as well as by bilateral or multilateral agreements for the protection of certain areas or endangered marine species.
Currently, Belize is:
- A Contracting Party of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).
- A Contracting Party of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC).
- A Cooperating Non-Contracting Party of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATC). It will become a Contracting Party latest by when the IATTC “Antigua Convention” comes into force which is expected to be in 2009.
- A Cooperating Non-Contracting Party of North East Atlаntic Fisheries Commissions (NEAFC).
All Belize registered vessels which are licensed to target tuna or tuna-like species in the Convention areas of the abovementioned Commissions are listed in their respective Regional Vessel Registers.
Belize has also submitted its application for Cooperating non-Member Status of the Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
Following documents are required for Provisional Registration of fishing vessels:
- Application Form for Registration completed in its entirety and duly signed by the applicant.
- Application Form for License to Fish on the High Seas.
- Application Form for Maritime Ship Station License duly completed.
- Official document proving ownership of vessel, i.e. Notarized Bill of Sale, Notarized Builder’s Certificate or Copy of a Current Certificate of Registry.
- Power of Attorney duly notarized, thereby appointing a Shipping Agent in Belize.
- Letter of Confirmation from the Authorized Radio Accounting Entity undertaking the payment of the vessel’s radio accounts.
Below is the list of documents required for Permanent Registration of a fishing vessel:
- Original or certified true copy of the Power of Attorney duly notarized, thereby appointing a Shipping Agent in Belize.
- Original or Certified True Copy of a Notarized Bill of Sale or Builder’s Certificate.
- Original Deletion Certificate from Previous Flag.
- Copies of all Statutory Certificates issued by an Authorized Recognized Organization on behalf of the Government of Belize including the Fishing Vessel Safety Certificate and International Tonnage Certificate
In addition to the above, all Fishing Vessels regardless of size are required to have on board a vessel monitoring system (VMS). If at the time of registration the vessel does not have a VMS then owner are granted one month to purchase and install a compatible equipment.
Please note that the relative fees for the registration of fishing vessels are dependent of the gross tonnage of the vessel and therefore can be obtained at the time of official application for registration.