Ship registration dictates flag and legal requirements

The yacht's country of registration gives the ship its "nationality" and the yacht is subject to the laws of that country related to vessel operation, safety and crewing, as well as certain legal rights and protections.

From time to time, flags become more or less favorable, with some being white, grey, or black-listed, with white being favorable flags while black represents flags with poor reputations that could lead to problems with ports, lenders, and insurances companies.

Historically, Panama and Liberia have been well-known open registries and remain on the white list, while the Marshall Islands, also having white list status, is gaining popularity and the Marshall Islands Ship Registry could be a good option for a flag state. While the USCG has citizenship requirements, the Marshall Islands Ship Registry has no such requirements and affords right to operate in US waters.

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