Malta Flag Registration

Malta flag registrationRegistering a ship in Malta

All types of vessels, from pleasure yachts to commercial vessel, may be registered in the name of legally constituted corporate bodies or entities, irrespective of nationality, or by European Union citizens; a Maltese ship may also be bareboat charter registered under another flag.

There are neither trading restrictions nor age restrictions however:

  • Ships of 15 years of age and over, but under 20 years of age, must pass an inspection by an authorized flag state inspector before or within a month of provisional registration; and
  • Ships of 20 years of age and over but less than 25 years, must pass an inspection by an authorized flag state inspector prior to being provisionally registered. As a rule trading ships of 25 years and over are not registered.

Provisional registration, which in terms of the law has the same effect as the so-called permanent registration, can be effected quite quickly. Authority to help a vessel, however, will only be given once the Administration is satisfied that the vessel conforms to all the standards required by the relative international conventions. Provisional registration has a validity of six months, although this can be extended by a further six months; by this time all the documentation has to be completed for permanent registration. This includes, in particular, evidence of ownership and of cancellation of former registry. Authority to operate still remains linked to conformity with the relative manning, safety and pollution prevention international standards.

Advantages of Registering a Vessel under a Maltese Flag.

  • The procedure for the registration of vessels in Malta is quite straightforward.
  • Reducing the amount of VAT payment necessary to ensure the vessel is legal to operate in the EU
  • Owners, charterers and financiers of Maltese vessels may benefit from highly favourable tax rates on profits derived from the ownership, sale, operation and charter of Maltese Flagged Vessels.
  • A Maltese flagged vessel has complete exemption in Malta from stamp duties payable on the sale or transfer of a vessel and the allotment of any share or stock of a company owning such a ship, exchange control, capital gains tax or VAT.
  • There are no restrictions on the sale or transfer of shares of a company owning Maltese vessels.
  • There are no restrictions on the sale and mortgaging of Maltese vessels.
  • There are no restrictions on the nationality of the Master, officers and crew of vessels registered under the Malta flag.
  • Maltese vessels benefit from preferential treatment in certain ports.
  • It is possible to register vessels which are still under construction as well as other marine structures which do not fall within the strict definition of ships such as oilrigs, floating docks, pontoons and barges

We are able to advise you on how to register and set up a Maltese Shipping Company. With all the Documentation in place it could only take 48 hours to register the company in Malta

Contact us for more information as well as for a quotation. We will happily guide you through the ship registration, and company formation process and also advise you on the solutions that would best suite your needs.

Our Surveyors are approved by the Finance Ministry in Malta to provide expert advice on the benefits of registering a vessel under the Malta Flag.

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To get more information about vessel registration please fill out the form, we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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