Malta Ship Registration | Ultimate Guide 2021 | News

Malta Ship registration – ultimate guide 2021

Procedure of registration under Maltese flag for:

Registration procedure for superyacht in commercial use.

Ships in commercial use, which do not carry cargo and do not carry more than 12 passengers can be registered as Commercial Yachts.

All ships registered in Malta as a Commercial Yachts are issued with a Certificate of Compliance to trade. This certificate confirms that the yacht complies with the standards established in the Malta Commercial Yacht Code.

Compliance is verified through a survey carried out by an Appointed Government Surveyor or by a Classification Society recognised by Transport Malta, which are:

  1. American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
    b. Bureau Veritas (BV)
    c. China Classification Society (CCS)
    d. ClassNK (NK)
    e. Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
    f. Germanischer Lloyd (GL)
    g. Korean Register of Shipping (KR)
    h. Lloyd’s Register (LR)
    i. Polish Register of Shipping (PRS)
    j. Registro Italiano Navale (RINA)
    k. Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS)
  2. Indian Register of Shipping (IRS)

In accordance with the local maritime legislation in case of non-Maltese owners, the local resident registered agent has to be appointed at all time, that is the service our firm provide to the foreign clients.

To act as an appointed agent, we would need to be given a power of attorney (notarised with apostille, and translated in English, if issued abroad) to carry out the registration on behalf of the client. We could draft such document giving us mandate to do so.

Documentation applicable for the ship registration:

Provisional Registration:

  1. Power of attorney authorising us to act on your behalf in all matters relating to the registration of the yacht;
  2. Application for Registration by owner or authorised representative (must include hull identification number);
  3. Proof of Qualification to own a Maltese ship, in case of body corporate the Memorandum and Articles of Association (see further – M&AA);
  4. Declaration of ownership to be sign in front of Registrar by the owner or authorized representative;
  5. Application for Ship Radio station Licence – if you already have a radio on board, a form would need to be completed where the technical details of the radio on board would need to be provided. So it is not a license per se but a registration;
  6. A copy of the current International Tonnage certificate (for the ships over 24 metres);
  7. Certificate of Compliance to Trade for yachts of 15 metres in overall length, not carry cargo and more that 12 passengers;
  8. Application for Minimum Safe Manning Certificate (Ships of more than 24 metres);
  9. Payment of registration fees. This varies depending on the gross tonnage of the vessel.

Upon presentation of the requested documentation, the Registrar will release:

  1. The provisional certificate (valid for 6 months from the date of provisional registration);
  2. Provisional Radio Licence;
  3. Carving and Marking Note (this is first issued by TM and then completed and stamped by the Surveyor).

The following list of documents must be submitted within 6 months of the provisional registration in order for the permanent registration to be processed:

  1. Deletion certificate from previous registry (if applicable);
  2. Carving and Marking Note (This is first issued by TM and then completed and stamped by the Surveyor);
  3. Original Bill of Sale or Builder certificate if applicable;
  4. Copy of the last updated Continuous Synopsis Record issued by the Administration where the ship was last documented, in cases of commercial yachts over 500 gross tons;
  5. Certificate of Survey and a copy of the international Tonnage Certificate issued by an approved ship’s surveyor;
  6. Copy CE Marking Certificate (manufacture certificate) for the yacht, which is over 24 metres;
  7. Return of Provisional Certificate.

Once the yacht is registered, the Surveyor will make contact with Transport Malta and they will communication whether all documents in terms of the Commercial Yacht Code are in order for the registration Certificate to be issued.

A certificate of Malta registry is subject to renewal on the anniversary of the Maltese registration.

Taxes:

Commercial yachts, which fly Maltese flag, and registered under commercial license, are exempt to pay income tax on their profits.

Registration fees paid to Malta Transport:

Tonnage tax – is being paid one time, when register a boat, and then annually to get certificate extended. It varies depending on the length and gross tonnage of the ship (follow Tonnage tax).

Procedure of registration for private boat registered in the name of incorporated company.

All EU/Non-EU nationals may establish a company in Malta and register the boat on behalf of this same company to use it for the sole purpose of the ship owner.

If the ship owner setups a Maltese limited company, the latter can own the boat without problems directly.

If the corporate entity is already established in the EU to acquire and operate sea faring ships and that the legal documents of such company (including a certificate of good standing) the ship may be registered under Maltese flag in the name of this establishment.

In accordance with the local maritime legislation in case of non-Maltese owners, the local resident registered agent has to be appointed at all time, that is the service our firm provide to the foreign clients.

To act as an appointed agent, we would need to be given a power of attorney (notarised with apostille, and translated in English, if issued abroad) to carry out the registration on behalf of the client. We could draft such document giving us mandate to do so.

Documentation applicable for the boat registration.

Provisional Registration:

  1. Power of attorney authorising us to act on your behalf in all matters relating to the registration of the ship;
  2. Application for Registration by owner or authorised representative (must include hull identification number);
  3. Proof of Qualification to own a Maltese ship, in case of body corporate the Memorandum and Articles of Association (see further – M&AA);
  4. Declaration of ownership to be sign in front of Registrar by the owner or authorized representative;
  5. Application for Ship Radio station License – if you already have a radio on board, a form would need to be completed where the technical details of the radio on board would need to be provided. So it is not a license per se but a registration;
  6. International tonnage certificate (for the yachts over 24 metres);
  7. Payment of registration fees. This varies depending on the gross tonnage of the ship.

You would need to advise who will be carrying out the ship’s survey, with full details of person and also location of where the survey will be effected. Maltese registry only accepts surveys registered and licensed with any of the following authorities (other than obviously with Transport Malta itself):

  1. American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
  2. Bureau Veritas (BV)
  3. China Classification Society (CCS)
  4. ClassNK (NK)
  5. Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
  6. Germanischer Lloyd (GL)
  7. Korean Register of Shipping (KR)
  8. Lloyd’s Register (LR)
  9. Polish Register of Shipping (PRS)
  10. Registro Italiano Navale (RINA)
  11. Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS)
  12. Indian Register of Shipping (IRS)

Once you advise on who the surveyor will be, upon application for the Provisional Certificate, we will inform Transport Malta who will write to the said surveyor and give the necessary go ahead.

Upon presentation of the requested documentation, the Registrar will release:

  1. The provisional certificate (valid for 6 months from the date of provisional registration);
  2. Provisional Radio Licence;
  3. Carving and Marking Note.

Permanent Registration:

The following list of documents must be submitted within 6 months of the provisional registration:

  1. Deletion certificate from previous registry (if applicable);
  2. Carving and Marking Note (This is first issued by TM and then completed and stamped by the Surveyor);
  3. Original Bill of Sale or Builder certificate if applicable;
  4. Certificate of Survey;
  5. For the yacht, which is over 24 metres, Copy CE Marking Certificate (manufacture certificate);
  6. Return of Provisional Certificate.

Upon submission of the above documentation, the boat will be permanently registered under the Malta flag.

A certificate of Malta registry is subject to renewal on the anniversary of the Maltese registration.

Taxes:

  1. If the pleasure yacht is registered in EU and used in EU territorial water, it needs to be VAT paid.
  2. If the pleasure yacht is registered in the EU and its use is in non-EU territorial water, it does not need to be VAT paid.
  3. Once, the company with the non-resident shareholding ends the financial year with the profit, Maltese taxation and legal system give those clients the opportunity to apply for the Tax refund, and in essence enable an effective income tax rate of 5% in Malta.
  4. Possibility of tax consolidation for Maltese groups, to eliminate the need to claim tax refunds as aforesaid and wherein to pay directly the effective rate of 5% (when tonnage taxes do not apply)

Registration fees paid to Malta Transport:

Tonnage tax – is being paid one time, when register a boat, and then annually to get certificate extended. It varies depending on the length and gross tonnage of the ship (follow Tonnage Tax section).

Private boat registered in the personal name of the individual.

It is possible to register a boat in the personal name of the EU citizen to use it for the sole purpose of the owner.

In accordance with the local maritime legislation in case of non-Maltese owners, the local resident registered agent has to be appointed at all time, that is the service our firm provide to the foreign clients.

To act as an appointed agent, we would need to be given a power of attorney (notarised with apostille, and translated in English, if issued abroad) to carry out the registration on behalf of the client. We could draft such document giving us mandate to do so.

Documentation applicable for the boat registration.

Provisional Registration:

  1. Power of attorney authorising us to act on your behalf in all matters relating to the registration of the boat;
  2. Application for Registration by owner or authorised representative (must include hull identification number);
  3. Proof of Qualification to own a Maltese ship (builder certificate and bill of sale);
  4. Declaration of ownership to be sign in front of Registrar by the owner or authorized representative;
  5. Application for Ship Radio station License – if you already have a radio on board, a form would need to be completed where the technical details of the radio on board would need to be provided. So it is not a license per se but a registration;
  6. A copy of the current International Tonnage certificate (for the boat over 24 metres);
  7. Payment of registration fees. This varies depending on the length and gross tonnage of the ship.

You would need to advise who will be carrying out the ship’s survey, with full details of person and also location of where the survey will be effected. Maltese registry only accepts surveys registered and licensed with any of the following authorities (other than obviously with Transport Malta itself):

  1. American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
  2. Bureau Veritas (BV)
  3. China Classification Society (CCS)
  4. ClassNK (NK)
  5. Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
  6. Germanischer Lloyd (GL)
  7. Korean Register of Shipping (KR)
  8. Lloyd’s Register (LR)
  9. Polish Register of Shipping (PRS)
  10. Registro Italiano Navale (RINA)
  11. Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS)
  12. Indian Register of Shipping (IRS)

Once you advise on who the surveyor will be, upon application for the Provisional Certificate, we will inform Transport Malta who will write to the said surveyor and give the necessary go ahead.

Upon presentation of the requested documentation, the Registrar will release:

  1. The provisional certificate (valid for 6 months from the date of provisional registration);
  2. Provisional Radio Licence;
  3. Carving and Marking Note

Permanent Registration:

The following list of documents must be submitted within 6 months of the provisional registration:

  1. Deletion certificate from previous registry;
  2. Carving and Marking Note (This is first issued by TM and then completed and stamped by the Surveyor);
  3. Original Bill of Sale or Builder certificate if applicable;
  4. Certificate of Survey;
  5. Return of Provisional Certificate.

Upon submission of the above documentation, the boat will be permanently registered under the Malta flag.

A certificate of Malta registry is subject to renewal on the anniversary of the Maltese registration.

Taxes:

  1. If the pleasure yacht is registered in EU and its use is in EU territorial water, it needs to be VAT paid.
  2. If the pleasure yacht is registered in the EU and its use is in non-EU territorial water, it does not need to be VAT paid.

Registration fees paid to Malta Transport:

Tonnage tax – is being paid one time, when register a boat, and then annually to get certificate extended. It varies depending on the length and gross tonnage of the ship (follow  Tonnage Tax section).

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Liudmyla Skryvanek - Maritime Connections Worldwide Expert
Liudmyla Skryvanek - Maritime Connections Worldwide Expert

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    Managing and Tax Director, Griffiths + Associates
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