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.
What types of vessels can be registered 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.
Requirements for private and commercial registration of boats in Malta
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:
- – yachts between 15 and 24 meters long,
- – super yachts over 24 meters long and weighing no more than 500 gross tons,
- – super yachts over 24 meters long, weighing over 500 but no more than 3,000 gross tons.
Boat registration is a simple process if all documents are in order. Our Maltese lawyers will help you with the boat registration procedure.
Provisory boat registration in Malta
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:
- – an application form;
- – the proof of being allowed to own a boat;
- – the company’s incorporation documents, in the case of legal entities;
- – the international tonnage certificate, if available;
- – a declaration of ownership;
- – documentation proving the boat is seaworthy;
- – a certificate of survey;
- – a cancelation of previous registration, if required;
- – the bill of sale, if the boat was purchase;
- – proof of payment of the ship registration fee.
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 procedure 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:
- – a power of attorney for vessel registration under the Maltese flag,
- – an application form,
- – a declaration of ownership for the Ship Registry,
- – a builder’s certificate for new vessels,
- – for vessels over 24 meters long: an international tonnage certificate (ITC 1969), an international load line certificate and a certificate of survey must be provided,
- – for vessels under 24 meters long, a certificate of survey must be provided,
- – a certificate of compliance for commercial vessels according to the Maltese Commercial Yacht Code of 2006,
- – an application for safe manning certificate,
- – a bill of sale for second hand boats.
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.