The Merchant Shipping Act (Chapter 234 of the Laws of Malta) provides for an easy, swift and cost effective procedure for registering a pleasure yacht under the Malta maritime flag. In order to complete the process, an applicant would be required to complete the below listed procedures.
- Executed the necessary power of attorney;
- Complete the application for registry;
- Reserve the desired name for the yacht;
- Make the necessary arrangements if the yacht has any encumbrances;
- Prepare the yacht’s tonnage certificate (a copy of the International Tonnage Certificate if the yacht’s length overall is over 24m);.
- Confirmation of any Radio Equipment on board;
- Settlement of yacht registration fees;
It is important to note that if registration of the yacht takes place prior to the delivery of the yacht, the registration can be declared null and void resulting in bankers (in case of mortgages) requesting re-registration; thus incurring registration fees all over again.
Having received the above information/documentation, a provisional certificate will be issued for a period of six months with a possible maximum extension of another six months (upon receipt of 1, 2, and 3 below). In order to proceed with the permanent registration of the yacht, the following documents are required within the prescribed time allowed (commencing from the date of provisional registration):
- A Deletion Certificate (in original) from last port of registry (within one month);
- A Ship’s Carving and Marking Note (within one month);
- A Bill of Sale in original (within one month);
- Tonnage Measurement Certificate of Survey (within six months) issued on behalf of the Malta Government;
- The return of the original Provisional Certificate of Registry.
The Commercial Yacht Code is drawn up for vessels which do not carry cargo and do not carry more than 12 passengers. Legal Notice 38 of 2006 regulates the certification of Commercial Yachts and Commercial Cruising Vessels. The following classes of vessels will be considered for registration under Malta flag:
- Yachts in commercial use of not less than 15 metres in length overall and not more than 24 metres in length (hereinafter referred to as “Class 1”);
- Yachts in commercial use of more than 24 metres in length and less than 500 GT (hereinafter referred to as “Class 2”);
- Yachts in commercial use of more than 24 metres in length and 500 GT and over but less than 3000GT (hereinafter referred to as “Class 3”).
The present recognised and authorised Classification Societies by the Maltese authorities are listed below. If the vessel’s classification is not among the ones listed below, then this should be changed upon registration.
- American Bureau of Shipping
- Bureau Veritas
- China Classification Society
- Class NK
- Det Norske Veritas
- Germanischer Lloyd
- Korean Register of Shipping
- Lloyd’s Register of Shipping
- Polish Register of Shipping
- Registro Italiano Navale
- Russian Maritime Register of Shipping
Corporate Income Tax for the yacht owning company is the flat rate of 35%. However, a tax exemption (on profits derived from the trading of the yacht) is granted to commercial vessels not trading in Malta.