Red Ensign Group

The Red Ensign Group (REG) is a group of British shipping registers.

The registers are operated by:

  • the UK
  • the Crown Dependencies (Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey)
  • UK Overseas Territories (Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar; Montserrat, St Helena, Turks & Caicos Islands)

Any vessel on these registers is a ‘British ship’, and is entitled to fly the British Merchant Shipping flag the ‘Red Ensign’ (or a version of it defaced with the appropriate national colour).

The registers and their categories

The registers are divided into 2 categories under the Merchant Shipping (Categorisation of Registries of Relevant British Possessions) Order 2003, as amended in 2008, and 2013:

  • Category 1 registries (ships of unrestricted tonnage and type)
  • Category 2 registries (commercial and pleasure vessels up to 400GT dependent on signing a Memorandum of Understanding with MCA)

Countries under each category

Category 1:

  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Isle of Man
  • UK

Category 2:

  • Anguilla
  • Falkland Islands
  • Guernsey
  • Jersey
  • Montserrat
  • St Helena
  • Turks & Caicos Islands

The Red Ensign Group