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Yacht Registration in Malta

Malta has established itself as the biggest registrar of choice within the pleasure yacht sector and consequently, the country has the largest shipping registry in Europe.

Malta offers many important draws to register your vessel including; their optimized VAT finance leasing structure which can help minimize the amount of VAT you pay on your yacht in order to gain legal access to EU waters and the ease of setting up your charter business under Maltese registration.

Citizens from any country around the world can register a yacht in Malta, even if they are not a European resident or citizen. Malta makes it extremely easy for both EU citizens or citizens from outside the EU to register a yacht under their flag.

ADVANTAGES OF REGISTERING A VESSEL UNDER MALTESE FLAG

  • EASY MALTESE FLAG REGISTRATION
    Registering a yacht in Malta through a special legal entity known as a Malta Shipping Company is fast and inexpensive. Following company formation, the necessary purchase occurs, and the company is now the direct owner of the yacht. This setup results in a flexible legal entity sanctioned to carry out a variety of shipping activities including chartering of the vessel.
  • VALID FLAG REGISTRATION AROUND THE WORLD
    The Maltese flag is a globally recognised and respected jurisdiction and there are no restrictions while sailing to any ports worldwide.
  • CHARTER YOUR BOAT
    For those looking to operate their yacht on a commercial basis within the Mediterranean, owning the vessel through a Maltese entity provides an EU footprint for obtaining charter licenses, thus removing any limitations and restrictions over charter activity within Mediterranean waters, such as Spain.
  • NO TAXES ON CHARTER INCOME
    There is no income tax on any income generated by the use/operations of a commercial yacht, providing the annual tonnage tax (based on the gross tonnage of the commercial yacht) and the annual registration fee are duly paid.
  • NO NATIONALITY RESTRICTIONS FOR MASTER, OFFICERS OR CREW
    There are no restrictions relating to the nationality of those manning the vessel.
  • ON WHITE LIST OF THE PARIS MOU AND TOKYO MOU
    The Maltese register is known to be a safe, credible and quality register
  • VAT SAVINGS – EU VAT PAID POSSIBLE FOR AS LOW AS 5.4%
    Yacht can become "EU VAT paid" granting unrestricted access to EU waters for as little as 30% of the normal VAT rate (5.4%) via a Malta yacht VAT leasing scheme.
  • NO SALE OR MORTGAGE RESTRICTIONS
    Malta has no restrictions on the sale or transfer of shares of yacht-owning companies. The country also has no restrictions on the mortgaging of local ships. 

WHAT ARE THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR YACHT REGISTRATION IN MALTA?
Boat registration has two stages - provisional and permanent - and implies the following documents to be submitted with the Malta Ship Registry:

The documents required for provisional registration are:

  • - a power of attorney to register the yacht
  • - a prescribed application form
  • - a declaration of ownership
  • - a copy of the International Tonnage Certificate (only for vessels over 25 meters in length)

During the provisional registration, that cannot take more than six months, the owner must obtain a certificate of survey for the yacht.

The documents required for permanent registration are:

  • - the builder’s certificate,
  • - a bill of sale (if the boat was previously owned by someone else)
  • - a cancellation certificate for used yachts
  • - a carving and marking note
  • - an International Tonnage Certificate
  • - the Certificate of Survey
  • - the original provisional certificate
  • These documents must be submitted with the Merchant Shipping Directorate that will issue the yacht’s certificate of registry. This document is valid for one year and can be renewed on a yearly basis.