Maritime and yacht registration
Malta has encouraged the registration and use of the Malta flag by both commercial ship and yacht owners, through the investment and improvement of both administrative services and the maritime infrastructure on Malta.
In fact, Malta has recently surpassed Greece in the number of vessels being registered under its flag.
Under the Malta flag, a vessel may be provisionally registered for six months — this may be extendable for up to one year — during which time all documents and full registration must occur.
A permanent registration is renewable annually along with an annual fee to the Malta Marine Association (MMA). All application and renewal fees are reasonable in amount.
Acumum can provide you, via our dedicated Malta maritime specialists, with a range of services:
• Malta yacht and ship registration
• Malta bareboat charter registrations
• Incorporation of ship owing and ship management
• Acumum can also assist you in the fiscal arrangements associated with your vessel:
• Mortgage registration and discharge
• Security documentation
Financial benefits of a registering your vessel in Malta:
• Exemptions from Malta income tax on income from shipping activities of Malta vessels weighing more than 1,000 tons
• Exemptions from duty on documents on the sale or transfer of a Malta vessel weighing more than 1,000 tons
• Exemption from income tax, donation and succession duty on Malta vessels weighing less than 1,000 tons
VAT scheme for yacht finance leasing:
It is possible to reduce the VAT levied when vessels are under finance lease arrangements, provided that the vessel is owned by a Malta-registered company and the lease agreement is less than three years.
In addition, the lease agreement must contain an option to purchase the yacht at the end of the lease and such agreement must be approved by the Malta VAT authorities beforehand.
The applicable Malta VAT rate levied is dependent upon the type of vessel and its deemed use within the EU. The applicable VAT band varies from 5.4 per cent to 16.2 per cent, resulting in savings of between 1.8 per cent and 12.6 per cent.
Some additional advantages of registering a Malta ship or yacht:
• No nationality restrictions for master, officers and crew
• No trading restrictions on Malta vessels
• Vessels under construction may be registered
• Reputable and internationally recognised register
• Excellent international relations
• European flag with a long maritime tradition
• Yachts may be registered under the Malta flag by corporations 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
• Availability of technical assistance from a team of qualified and experienced mariners
For more information on maritime and yacht registration click here.
Briefings from Acumum — Legal & Advisory
A new Malta residence programme for foreigners (non-EU) has been launched, replacing the permanent residence scheme that was amended in 2012.
Malta encourages registration and use of the Malta flag by both commercial ship and yacht owners.