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Ship & Yacht Registration

Malta is an international maritime centre providing the whole range of maritime services.. Its strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea and its British maritime tradition make it an ideal base for locating shipping and yachting activities. Almost all year round sun plus very safe and secure environment provide the ideal ambience for deciding in favour of moving your activity to Malta. 

  • Advantages of the Malta flag
  • No restrictions on the nationality of the ship owner, officers and crew
  • Ships may be registered in the name of legally constituted corporate bodies or entities irrespective of nationality
  • Low ship registration fees and company formation
  • Low tonnage tax
  • Tax exemption for private yachts and ships over 1000 gross tons
  • Reduced rate of VAT on the purchase of Maltese registered yachts to 5.4%
  • No restrictions on the sale and mortgaging of Maltese ships
  • No trading restriction and, preferential treatment to Maltese ships in certain ports
  • 24 hour, 7 days a week service in respect of urgent matters
Ship registration is regulated by the Merchant Sipping Act,1973 as amended. The Act harmonizes Maltese legislation with the provisions of international maritime conventions including among others, IMMARSAT, LL 66/88, the STCW"95,ISM Code, the ILO Convention and applicable EU legislation. The Maltese flag commands respect and trust. 
Eligibility for registration
All types of vessels , from pleasure yachts to oil rigs, including vessels under construction , can be registered in Malta. Vessels are registered as owned by Malta incorporated shipping companies. These companies are registered as any other normal trading or holding company. The only difference is that their objects are restricted to that of owning and operating vessels. Shipping companies enjoy lesser annual compliance and are totally exempt from tax. For tax purposes they submit only a Declaration, popularly known as Declaration In Lieu Of. The formation of a Maltese company is a straight forward operation and there are no restrictions or requirements as to the nationality or residence of either the shareholders or directors. As a rule trading ships of 25 years old and over are not registered. Ships of 20 years and over but under 25 years are required to undergo an inspection by an authorized flag state inspector prior to being provisionally registered. 
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