In this article you will find all the necessary information in order to understand whether the Maltese flag is is the best option for you yacht registration. We believe that Malta is the best jurisdiction in Europe. Indeed, the Malta registry is the largest register in the whole of Europe especially as the Dutch Flag is no longer advantageous.
Let us find out whether our solution will help you with your requirements.
This web site, is translated in multiple languages as we have members of our team who speak in these languages. Furthermore, should you proceed with Maltese yacht registration, we will arrange for professional, certified translators to assist during the process. This
Who can register Yachts in Malta?
Firstly, any citizen or any company registered in an EU member state has the right to register a yacht in Malta.
A Maltese company is a good option as the ownership vehicle for yachts. A Maltese company can be established by any person (whether a Maltese or EU national or not) for the purpose of yacht ownership. We can help a person of any nationality to use Malta for yacht registration and ownership.
The one criteria is that the owner of the vessel must be easily and clearly identifiable. For non-Maltese owners, we will have to show the authorities certified copies of official identification documents. Non-Maltese owners are required to appoint, in writing, a Maltese resident.
Once ownership is established. For instance:
– There are no ownership restrictions regarding the nationality of the owner(s);
– There are no restrictions relating to the nationality of crew of the vessel; &
– There are no restrictions as to sailing to any ports in the world.
Malta has a long standing reputation for quality, efficiency as well as and a number of fiscal benefits which will be explained below.:
– EU compliant legislation;
– Clear laws relating to yacht mortgages;
– Low registration costs;
– A fast registration system and efficient Yacht Registry; &
– A globally recognised and respected jurisdiction.
Lending institutions favour Maltese rules, as they are protected, as are the owners themselves. The mortgage system is clear equitable.
Bareboat Charter Registrations
The law provides for bareboat charter registration of Maltese vessels under both the Malta flag and foreign flags.
The main principles adopted are the compatibility of the two national registries regarding title of the vessel, mortgages and encumbrances.
For more information of Bareboat charter registrations please contact us.
Yacht Registration Procedure In Malta
If all the correct documentation is available at registration, the process will usually take just two working days.
We first issue a provisional registration that is valid for six months. This makes possible the issue of full documentation (such as a deletion certificate from the previous register) to be completed. After which, a permanent registration is put in place with the Maltese Registrar of Ships when all documents are provided. (This six months term may be extended for a further period of six months but no more than that.)
To make your provisional application, the following documents will be needed:
– a declaration of ownership;
– a completed application form for the registration of a yacht in Malta;
– a copy of the international tonnage certificate – This only applies to vessels over 24 metres in length;
– technical data if required or requested.
– a completed application form for a radio licence, when relevant.
Once the entire process has been completed, a Certificate of Malta Registry is issued – this can also act as proof of title to the vessel.
What About Larger Yachts?
Some vessels are designed to take more than twelve people for charter.
They may not be cruise liners but they are too large to be classed as a yacht. These are Passenger Yachts and are governed by the SOLAS Convention.The registration process is similar to ones previously described in this article. But it has to shown that there exists a coordinated effort between the yacht managers, flag state officials and the appointed Class representatives.
Are There any Financial Benefits To A Malta Yacht Registration?
- Companies operating commercial yachts are exempt from income tax on any income generated by the operation of their yachts.
- Additionally, commercial yachts operating on the high seas and carrying paying passengers (lessee is using the yacht for an economic activity) are exempt from VAT on any supplies, including maintenance costs, to the yacht, and no VAT is chargeable on revenue from chartering .
- When a commercial yacht does not qualify for the exemption from income tax, they may take advantage of the low effective income tax rate of 5%. In some cases the Maltese tax can be reduced to 0%.
If you have any further questions about the procedure or if you would like to delve deeper into your particular circumstances please contact me for an off the record chat.
About The Author
Peter Mattey is an advocate with several years of experience in maritime and corporate law in Malta.