Malta has become a well-established maritime center due to the Maltese flag that has an outstanding reputation. Malta is also a signatory member of major IMO (International Maritime Organization) and ILO (International Labor Organization) conventions that have enhanced the country’s reputation as a maritime center, all ships are required to accede to the provisions of these conventions. According to the Merchant Shipping Act, a boat may be registered as a private or commercial vessel in Malta.
The Maltese Maritime Law allows for the registration of all types of boats. These include yachts, boats under construction and even oil rigs. In the case of vessels being built at the time of the registration, these must be fully owned by companies or individuals registered, respectively residing in the European Union. Malta offers the great advantage of a simple and swift company formation procedure.
Back to ship registration, boats built as long as 25 years ago cannot be registered in under the Maltese flag. 20 year-old boats can be registered only after passing an inspection before the provisional approval for registration. Ships built 15 to 20 years ago must also undergo the inspection one month before the provisory registration.
According to the Maltese Merchant Shipping Directorate, private registration of a boat refers to at least six meters long vessels that do not carry passengers and are not engaged in any trading activities. In Malta, private boats are registered for the owner’s use only.
Commercial registration of boats in Malta refers to vessels weighing no more than 3,000 gross tons and that are at least 15 meters long. Commercial vessels do not carry any cargo, have no more than 12 passengers and are employed by the owner who can be a natural person or a Maltese company for commercial use.
Commercial registration in Malta is available for:
Boat registration is a simple process if all documents are in order. Our Maltese lawyers will help you with the boat registration procedure.
Before the vessel is registered in Malta, it must undergo provisional registration for 6 months. During this period the documents for full registration will be prepared. The documents required for provisory boat registration are:
Other documents, among which a power of attorney for an authorized representative is also required. Additionally, the owner can also apply for a radio station license. The owner or their representative must also file evidence of the boat being marked in accordance with the provisions of the maritime legislation in Malta.
Boat registration for commercial purposes involves establishing a company in Malta as owner of the vessel. However, Maltese companies registering boats benefit from many tax incentives, VAT reduction being one of the greatest advantages. Boats are provisionally registered for six months under the Malta flag before all documentation is finalized.
The documents required for boat registration in Malta are:
All the above documents must be submitted with the Maltese Registrar of Ships that will issue the boat’s certificate of registry.
For details about the provisions of the Maritime Law, you can contact our law firm in Malta.
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