Domestic Vessel Services


The Antigua & Barbuda Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping (ADOMS) is the Authority with full responsibility for the Registration, Licensing and Regulation of all small pleasure craft and small commercial vessels.

Small commercial vessels are regulated by the IMO Small Commercial Vessel Code (SCV-Code) which applies to vessels operating commercially within in the Caribbean area, which are between 5 and 24 metres in length, with the exception of fishing vessels.

Small pleasure craft are regulated by the Antigua and Barbuda Small Craft Control Regulations (SCR) which apply to all craft operating for pleasure, operating in Antigua and Barbuda waters, less than 24 metres in length. These regulations, that make reference to the Code of Safety for Small Craft (SCC-Code), include also commercially used craft of less than 5 metres in length, and all powered sports- and recreational fishing vessels.

For more information on the respective provisions, the definition of craft and the specific application of the respective regulations see our Legislation Section.

In recent years there have been several serious incidents involving such small vessels, operating in Antigua and Barbuda waters and also engaged in trading between other islands. As competent Authority, ADOMS has been subsequently designated by the Antigua and Barbuda Government in order to have in place enforceable regulations to ensure that all operations, both commercial and pleasure, in Antigua and Barbuda waters, are carried out safely and that all small craft are fit for their intended purpose.

THEREFORE, ALL SMALL CRAFT BELOW 24m – with the only exception of commercial fishing vessels that are used solely for fishing for profit and non-powered non-commercial (=pleasure) craft below 5mMUST BE LICENSED.

For non-powered pleasure craft below 5m in length a voluntary scheme is provided too.

Enforcement of these regulations is through Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force Coast Guard, Port Authority, Local Police Force, Customs and ADOMS itself.

Further information can be obtained directly from ADOMS Technical Department:

Telephone +1 (268) 462 1273