Malta’s long maritime tradition and culture have led to the country becoming a well-established  ship register under which all types of vessels, from pleasure yachts to oil rigs may be registered, where the benefits are geographical, reputational and fiscal and the services distinctive and complete. We can assist with each facet of your transaction, covering all legal, registration and financial details.

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Malta’s long maritime tradition and culture have led to the country becoming a well-established and reputable ship register. Dedicated legislation, in conformity with EU Directives and International Maritime Organisation ("IMO") Conventions, have made the Maltese register the sixth largest maritime register in the world, and the largest in the European Union.

Malta offers a distinctive and complete range of maritime services and facilities, including one of the busiest freeport areas in the Mediterranean, major oil bunkering facilities, and a modern cruise passenger terminal. Malta is also on the White List of the Paris MoU, further consolidating Malta’s historic maritime tradition and enhancing Malta’s position as an international register.

All types of vessels, from pleasure yachts to oil rigs, may be registered under the Malta flag, from yachts to oil rigs, including vessels under construction, irrespective of their owners provided that owners who are not EU/EEA resident and owners which are non-EU/EEA legal persons are to appoint a resident agent.

Even though Malta does not impose trading restrictions or age restrictions for registration of vessels, ships that are older than fifteen years are subject to additional requirements and inspections. Furthermore, as a rule, trading ships of twenty-five years and over are not registered under the Maltese flag.

Advantages of registering a yacht under the Maltese Flag are not limited to the reputation of the flag, rather, benefits range from financial and fiscal advantages to employment incentives and quality of service and comprise

  • reputable and internationally recognised register;
  • clear strategic political vision supporting business and the maritime industry;
  • excellent international relations;
  • European flag with a long maritime tradition;
  • dynamic administration with IMO/EU proactive participation;
  • low registration costs and straight forward registration procedures;
  • chartering guidelines for charters commencing in Malta
  • flat organisation structure with direct access to the decision makers offering a 24/7 service in respect of urgent matters;
  • yachts may be registered under the Malta flag in the name of legally constituted corporate bodies or entities irrespective of nationality, or by EU citizens;
  • Malta is on the White List of the Paris MoU;
  • attractive incentives to owners, registered charterers and financiers of Maltese ships;
  • no restrictions on the sale or mortgaging of Maltese registered yachts and superyachts;
  • well-organised and highly responsive flag Administration that values long-term customer relationships;
  • super yachts meant for pleasure carrying more than 12 persons (excluding crew) need not comply with the provisions of the SOLAS Convention and the Passenger Yacht Code;
  • no nationality restrictions for master, officers and crew;
  • Maltese requirements are well known to main shipyards and main classification societies; and
  • marriages can be officiated onboard Maltese ships
How can novolegal assist?
  • Registration with and deletion from the Maltese register;
  • Sale and purchase transactions;
  • Structuring and implementation of tax-efficient yacht-owning structures;
  • Co-ordination of transactions, preparation and review agreements;
  • Legal opinions;
  • Tax and VAT structuring and solutions for yachts and superyachts, both with respect to leases and charters;
  • Temporary importation.

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