There is no statutory provision which allows historic fishing vessels to display port letters and numbers once they have been removed from the Register. Regulation 113 of The Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Regulations 1993 states that
“If a ship’s registration is terminated, whether by expiration of the registration period or otherwise, the marking prescribed under these regulations must be removed from the ship and written confirmation of that removal must be sent to the Registrar”
Ships that were previously granted Historic Registration status by the Registrar before the 1993 regulations came into force on 21 March 1994 have been allowed to retain the de-faced port letters and numbers provided they can produce the original letter and notification granting such status. New applications are not being considered given the requirement made under regulation 113.