MALTA YACHT REGISTRATION
Malta registration of pleasure or commercial yachts
ADVANTAGES OF THE MALTESE FLAG: A FLEXIBLEEU FLAG
- Anyone can own a yacht under the Maltese flag; EU / EEA /Swiss nationals may hold the yacht in their personal capacity whereas non-EU/ EEA /Swiss citizens would need to hold the yacht through a Maltese or foreign company. It is not required that the owner of the yacht resides in Malta, or indeed the EU. The place of residence of the ultimate beneficial owner is absolutely irrelevant . Where the owner is not resident in Malta or the yacht is not owned by a Maltese company we can actas the yacht’s Malta resident agent . This is probably the biggest advantage when compared to other EU jurisdictions which usually require the person to be resident in the country concerned.
- It is relatively inexpensive and straightforward to register a Malta shipping company in Malta. However sometimes it may be more cost effective to register yachts in the name of offshore companies since a foreign body corporate is allowed to register a yacht under the Maltese flag.
- Yacht registration and annual renewal costs are also low.
- Beneficial owner of the yacht may appoint a fiduciary in order to achieve confidentiality on the ownership of his yacht.
- No restrictions on the sale or transfer of shares of a company owning a Maltese yacht;
- No restrictions on the sale and mortgaging of Maltese ships
- No restrictions on the nationality of the master, officers and crew of vessels registered under the Malta flag
- Maltese ships benefit from preferential treatment in certain ports
- Malta is an international maritime centre providing the whole range of maritime services
- Effective mortgage system
- 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
- Simplicity: In terms of regulation 3(5) of LN 224 of 2004, a
shipping company with no income or with income arising exclusively from
shipping activities may elect to submit a tax return in the established
form instead of submitting the tax return normally required in terms of
the Income Tax Management Act.
WHICH VESSELS MAY BE REGISTERED?
All types of vessels, from pleasure yachts to oil rigs, may be registered.
There are no age restrictions on pleasure yachts or yachts registered under the commercial yacht code.
- Shipsof 15 years and over, but under 20 years must pass an inspection by an authorised flag state inspector before or within a month of provisional registration; and
- Ships of 20 years and over but less than 25 years must pass an inspection by an authorised flag state inspector prior to being provisionally registered.
Ships of 25 years and over require express permission by the authorities to be registered.
STEPS TO REGISTER A YACHT UNDER THE MALTA FLAG
The steps to register a yacht depend on the type of vessel in question. We generally ask potential clients to supply us with the following information so that we can advice as to what documentation is required:
1. Length overall of vessel;
2. Usage of yacht; pleasure or commercial;
3. Whether the owner is an EU / EEA/ Swiss national and whether confidentiality is required.
4. Existing or lastcountry of registration
(Yachts in commercial use of over 15 m in length and which do not carry cargo and do not carry more than 12 passengers)
In the case of a commercialyacht, before putting together any paperwork, we generally send over a Maltese surveyor of ships to visit the yacht. This enables theowner to assess the economic cost of bringing the yacht in conformity with the requirements of the commercial yacht code. Sometimes it may not be economically feasible to register under the Code and it better to know this before doing any paperwork or commencing any registration procedures.
In the case of pleasure yachts there are no such considerations and we generally proceed immediately with the provisional registration of the yacht.
Provisional registration has a validity
of six months, although this can be extended for a further six months. By
this time all the documentation has to be completed for the permanent
registration. This includes, in particular, evidence of ownership and of
cancellation of former vessel registry. Authority to operate remains
linked to conformity with the relative manning, safety and pollution
prevention international standards.
Requirements for provisional vessel registration:
- in the case of a newbuilding, we would require a builder’s certificate. If the name of the owner is not mentioned in this certificate, a bill of sale would also be required for us to be able to trace the passage of ownership. In the case of a ship in service, we would require a bill of sale and the certificate of existing registry.
- duly completed application for
registration which ACS will provide upon request. This will be
eventually signed by us as resident agent or by virtue of a power of
attorney. We will also proceed to make the declaration of ownership in
front of the Registrar.
- An application for
change of name – if required;
- A copy of
the ship’s International Tonnage Certificate & Load Line
Certificate (ships of 24 meters or over);
- Proof of qualification to own a Maltese ship. A) If
the owner of the ship is a Maltese company created by us, we will
provide all the required documentation. B)IF the owner of the ship is a
foreign corporate entity, we would require (i) a declaration appointing
us as resident agent (notarised and apostilled), (ii) certified copies
of the certificate of incorporation, statute and good standing
certificate (notarised and apostilled) and (ii) a signed legal opinion
confirming that the records of the entity have been examined and giving
details on the directors and holders of office and of the persons
authorized to represent the entity and to bind it with their signature
and to appoint a registered agent. C)If the owner of the ship is an EU / EEA / Swiss
national, we would require a (i) declaration appointing us as
Malta resident agent (notarised and apostilled) and a certified copy of
owner’s passport (valid) (Notarised and apostilled).
To effect permanent registration we require
- Where the ship was previously registered
under another Registry, proof of cancellation of registry certificate
from the last country of registry, showing vessel to be free from
encumbrances or otherwise.
- A Certificate of Survey (We generally take care of engaging a surveyor ourselvefs on behalf of clients)
- Any other documentation required in
terms of international conventions to which Malta is a party (according
to the type of ship in question); E.g> in cases of vessel over 24m we require a copy of the international Tonnage Certificate certifying that the vessel has been surveyed in accordance with Maltese regulations.
OUR SERVICES & FEESOur Services include
- Registering pleasure and commercial yachts / ships under the Malta flag;
- Engaging technical persons to perform the necessary surveys;
- Resident agent services
- Performing searches (transcripts of registry)
- Deletion of Registry (deletion certificates)
- Endorsement of certificates
- Transfers of vessels
The fees incurred when registering a ship under the Maltese Flag as well as the annual renewal fees depend on the Gross Tonnage of the ship, its length, the type of ship, and its age. Current fees are as per Legal Notice 170 of 2011
Professional fees depend on the type of registration sought and the corporate vehicle used. Our fees for registration range between Eur 500 and Euro 3000 depending on the yacht in question and the services required.
Please contact us for a
specific quote: firstname.lastname@example.org . All requests should be
accompanied with an indication of the length of the vessel, its tonnage,
its age and its envisaged use (pleasure or commercial).