Yacht and Ship registration Malta Procedure 2024

Yacht and ship registration procedure under Malta flag 2024


Building on its long and varied maritime tradition, Malta, a member of the European Union, has today established itself as one of the leading maritime hubs and service centres in the Mediterranean region.

Malta offers a whole range of international maritime services and facilities as part of a comprehensive package for the maritime industry.

Malta has also developed a very strong maritime legal and regulatory platform that has enabled the Malta flag to become a reputable international ship register, which is now established as one of the largest in the world.

Vessel registration under the Malta flag and the operation of Maltese ships is regulated by the Merchant Shipping Act of 1973.

Those owners, whose decision is to register their boat under Malta flag enjoy with the advantages both of Maltese legal and of tax systems.

Online Solution
For The Ship Purchasing And Malta Flag Registration:

The constantly developing technologies, software and internet facilities trigger the humans’ life progress and digitalization becomes an integral part of the everyday life.

Following the progress many businesses even those, which seems would never been supposed to operate online turned to the digital format.

The ship registration procedure in Malta has been happening “online” for a long time.

To register their yachts all non – Maltese residents are obliged by law to appoint a resident agent in Malta. There is no need for the client to come personally and follow the process. The client would need to provide an agent with the Power of Attorney that allows same to act on client’s behalf. Thus, the process of the registration itself is not impeded because of the lack of possibility to travel by the client.

However, the registration procedure is the last step of the purchasing process.

The number of the ship owners just recently had been growing steadily as the number of the Sailing schools, giving the opportunity to get the Day skipper licence easily.

Having the skipper licence encourages the new mariners to purchase their own boats, as this is one of the most considerable investments they can make.

The chartering companies have been also growing their fleet to supply clients who were eager to hire them for travelling on board.  However, the chartering segment has been hit hard and went down due to the lockdowns and restrictions on travelling. This fact made certain mariners to make a choice in looking at the purchasing a boat instead of hiring.

Having the possibility to travel for the purpose to purchase a boat/yacht, the ship owner could choose the one which completed to his requirements.

The current pandemic forced ship owners to make non – standard, but modern solutions to use online technologies as for the reason to purchase and to inspect the boat online as well.

The virtual solution is very possible nowadays since the digital technologies became available, such as live video 360°, yacht tours – walkthrough, Zoom live video conferences, etc.

In spite of the wide range of the new online facilities, client would still need help of the professional agent, who follows the procedure and manages to coordinate the operations.

Some of the ship owners may believe that agent or consultant are there to put extra expenditure on them. However, such a consideration would be erroneous. Dealing with the experienced agent/broker may help clients to avoid mistakes and extra expenses in the future.

The agents/brokers/sales persons may also advise the ship owner when considering to register his vessel; to make a right choice that finally helps to reduce the overall expenses.

Many of the selling agents recommend Malta as a prime European jurisdiction to get the boat registered.

Griffiths + Associates deals with the number of agents/brokers/sales persons on reciprocal terms being introduced to the ship owners. The firm can help to follow the registration procedure assisting the ship owner it may also be appointed as resident agent for the non – Maltese residents as well.

Advantages Of Registering The Ship Under Malta Flag
In Comparison With The Other Jurisdictions:

The pandemic restrictions have also concerned the ship operating and berthing in different marinas and ports.

The European authorities control the vessels operating in the EU waters with the prejudices to avoid vessels registered in third part jurisdictions to be moored in ports in controversy to the international marine law.

Besides, particular European jurisdictions cancelled the possibility to register the pleasure yachts in the individual name of the non – resident ship owners. For instance, the International Certificate for Pleasure Crafts is a so called unofficial proof of ownership is no longer available for the non – residents of Holland as per January 1, 2021.

The Dutch ICP is actually a document of ownership but in that capacity, is accepted in most European countries (not ship registration certificate). This however is not accepted in Spain, Portugal and Italy.

The same situation had happened in Belgium, where since 1 September 2019 the registration in the individual name of the ship owner is only possible to Belgium residents or in the name of the corporate entity, which owned for at least 50% of Belgium share capital.

In this scenario, we would like to emphasise an advantage to register the boat/super yacht in Malta since the registration under Maltese flag is possible in the individual name of any European citizen regardless of his residence.

In case of registering the ship in Malta on the corporate body it is required to open a body corporate in Malta.

Some of the European jurisdictions offer opening UK Ltd/Irish)/off shores entities, which fall under UK/other legislation. That means that being an owner the company is registered in one jurisdiction and with the boat/yacht registered in other jurisdiction; the ship owner hence depends on the legislation of different countries. It may cause the difficulties in the future for ship owner, if the legal bases changes in one of those countries.

If both Certificates of the company incorporation and the ship registration are issued in the same country it promises the stability to the ship owner of such a vessel.

Yacht owners will not depend on the legislation of different jurisdictions, if they register their ship under Maltese flag and own a company to operate such a yacht in Malta.

Reputation And International Maritime Law:

The jurisdiction of the country of the ship registration is a very important element that should not be disregarded. If the country has a bright international reputation the crew and the ship itself are able to move freely around the world without encountering significant legal and bureaucratic obstacles.

Malta has flawless reputation in maritime community and follows international laws and conventions.

Maltese jurisdiction is a priority in the European Union, ranked sixth in the world and accepted by Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (MoU) and Tokyo MoU.

Malta is also white-listed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and FATF has also no claims against Malta.

The latter are facts, which emphasise that flying Malta flag is very prestigious. Maltese ships have privileges such as no trading restrictions and preferential treatment to Maltese ships in certain ports in the world.

Entering to the Maltese fleet is a prestigious step for the ship owner that strengthens the position of such a ship in the commercial or tourist market.

Following the above we may underline the importance to get ship registration, which complies with the international law, in order to avoid possible difficulties when sailing in international waters or visiting foreign ports.

Taxation And Conditions
Of Ship Registration:

Malta’s geographical location and infrastructure always attract investors from different spheres and marine industry is one of them.

Being an international financial centre, the island has a very flexible tax system, which is aimed to take off an extra finance burden from the ship owner.

⚓   The registration fees for any vessel are paid at the first time registration and then annually and depend on the gross tonnage of the vessel, its type and the age.

⚓  Tonnage tax ships (over 1000 net tonnage), which operate commercially are tax exempt.

⚓  For the other categories, the Maltese tax system gives the possibility to reduce the income tax rate from 35 to 5%% in effect.

⚓  The conditions of the registering a ship are very simple and strait forward as well.

⚓  The cost of servicing and maintaining the boat/yacht in Malta is one of the lowest in the European Union. In addition, it is possible to register the vessel older than 20 years, while in Panama or Cyprus this is not possible.

⚓  Low company formation, ship registration and tonnage tax costs.

⚓  No taxation on the transfer of shares in shipping companies.

⚓  No taxation on commercial yachts and tonnage tax ships registered in the name of Maltese company flying Maltese flag.

⚓  Attractive incentives to owners, registered charterers and financiers of Maltese ships of over 1,000 net tonnage;

⚓  Progressive reduction in registration and tonnage tax costs for younger ship.

⚓  Possibility of obtaining a low-VAT paid status on pleasure yachts flying the Maltese flag.

⚓  Participation Exemption allows tax neutrality throughout for the holding companies.

⚓  Benefits from extensive double taxation Malta’s treaty network.

Maltese Legal System
Provides Various Advantages As Follows:

⚓  Ships may be registered in the name of legally constituted corporate bodies or entities irrespective of nationality, or by the individual name of EU citizen.

⚓  Option to register as a commercial or private pleasure boat, which is equipped already or under construction.

⚓  No restriction on the sale and transfer of shares of a company owning Maltese ships.

⚓  No restrictions on the nationality of the master, officers and crew.

⚓  No restrictions on the sale and mortgaging of Maltese ships.

⚓  No trading restrictions and preferential treatment to Maltese ships in certain ports.

⚓  Procedure for temporary admission of private yachts, registered by non-EU citizen and flying the non-EU flag, which makes possible to operate in the EU territorial waters for a period of not more than 18 months from the date of entering the EU waters without payment of VAT duty.

Process Of Yacht Registration In Malta 2024:

Download the Guide to Ship Registration Malta

The registration process for any type of ships are very simple and straight forward provided all documentation is in order.

This process consists from 2 steps:

  • Provisional registration
  • Permanent registration

On the first stage of the ship registration owner applies for the provisional registration.

He is given of 6 months to have all documentation completed.

If not in time this period can be extended for a period or periods not exceeding in the aggregate six months.

Provisional registration in terms of the law has the same effect as the so-called permanent registration and can be obtained effected very quickly.

Requirements for the provisional registration for ship and superyachts are similar in general case and presented in the table below:


Commercial ships: Superyachts:
1. Application for registration, signed  by the owner or an authorised representative, including, if required, application for change of name of ship. Application for registration, signed  by the owner or an authorised representative, including, if required, application for change of name of yacht.
2. – Proof of qualification to own a Maltese ship (builders certificate and bill of sale, including the completion of a declaration of ownership);

– Memorandum of Articles of association in case of corporate entity.

– Proof of qualification to own a Maltese ship (builders certificate and bill of sale, including the completion of a declaration of ownership);

– Memorandum of Articles of association in case of corporate entity.

3. In case of non-resident owners, appointment of a resident agent**** In case of non-resident owners, appointment of a resident agent****
4. A copy of the ship’s International Tonnage certificate* A copy of the current yacht’s  International Tonnage certificate*
5. Declaration of ownership made in front of the Registrar by the owner or an authorised representative Declaration of ownership made in front of the Registrar by the owner or an authorised representative
6. Application for Ship Radio station Licence Application for Ship Radio station Licence
7. Evidence of seaworthiness – this is done via an inspection. Guidelines attached – attachment 1. ** 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* For Commercial yachts of more than 24 metres, application for Minimum Safe Manning Certificate
9. Payment of initial registration fees and annual tonnage tax. Payment of initial registration fees and annual tonnage tax.
10. Request for Administration to authorize the appropriate recognized classification society to issue the ship’s certification

* Documentation provided where applicable.

** Ships of 10 years and over, but under 15 years must pass an inspection by an authorized flag state inspector before or within a month of provisional registration;

Ships of 15 years and over are required to pass an inspection by an authorized flag state inspector prior to being provisionally registered.

As a rule, trading ships of 25 years and over are not registered.

*** The Certificate of Compliance is renewable every five years and survey may be carried out by an Appointed Ship Surveyors or by a Recognised Organisation.

**** In case the resident agent is appointed, the ship owner has to provide this agent with the Power of attorney authorising the agent to act on ship owner’s behalf in all matters relating to the registration of the yacht.

The second step towards the permanent ship registration and obtaining the registration Certificate is to submit the following documentation within 6 months of the provisional registration:


Commercial ships: Superyachts:
1 – Builder certificate in the applicant name if the vessel has not been registered previously;

– Bill of sale or other document showing the vessel was transferred for registry.

– Builder certificate in the applicant name if the vessel has not been registered previously;

– Bill of sale or other document showing the vessel was transferred for registry.

2 Deletion Certificate from the previous registry, showing vessel is free from mortgage or vice versa. Deletion Certificate from the previous registry (if applicable).
3 In cases of SOLAS ships, 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, copy of the last updated Continuous Synopsis Record issued by the Administration where the ship was last documented.
4 Certificate of Survey and a copy of the international Tonnage Certificate issued by an approved surveyor of ships – for minimum requirements of the appointed surveyor follow the attachment 2. Certificate of Survey and a copy of the international Tonnage Certificate* issued by an approved surveyor of ships.
5. Evidence that vessel has been marked in accordance with the law – Carvings and Markings Note, completed by surveyor.  This is first issued by TM and then completed and stamped by the Surveyor. Evidence that vessel has been marked in accordance with the law – Carvings and Markings Note, completed by surveyor. This is first issued by TM and then completed and stamped by the Surveyor.
6. Copy CE Marking Certificate (manufacture certificate)*

* Documentation provided for the yachts over 24 metres.

** Maltese registry is only accepted the ship surveyors, who are registered and licensed by any of the following authorities:

  • American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
  • Bureau Veritas (BV)
  • China Classification Society (CCS)
  • ClassNK (NK)
  • Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
  • Germanischer Lloyd (GL)
  • Korean Register of Shipping (KR)
  • Lloyd’s Register (LR)
  • Polish Register of Shipping (PRS)
  • Registro Italiano Navale (RINA)
  • Indian Register of Shipping (IRS)

Official website Transport Malta: https://transport.gov.mt/ship-registration

All yachts below 24 metres in length have to undergo an intermediate survey whilst yachts larger or equal to 24 metres in length that are commercially registered have to undergo annual surveys.

Once the paper work is provided the registration Certificate is issued directly by Malta Transport.

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

Commercial yacht registration in Malta.
Expert Advice

I. Reasoning for the commercial registration.

It can be said that today the majority of the yachts in the EU fly the Maltese flag.

Following the statistics, the Malta Shipping Register is now the biggest register worldwide for superyachts.

By the end of the 2020 the number of superyachts over than 24m bearing Malta flag reached 860 vessels.

Based on the “quality, reputation and confidence” of the Maltese flag jurisdiction, the Maritime register continues increasing the number of the luxury vessels, including the “green solution” fleet.

On 5th October 2021 the recovery and resilience plan for Malta was approved by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

That allows Malta to access the EU’s recovery fund, facilitating of 672.5 billion Euro aimed to support the energy and ecological transition of the European economy.

The reforms and investments outlined in Malta’s recovery plan are focused on green and digital efforts, growth potential, and health and institutional resilience.

This fact is definitely completing the list of the advantages of the Maltese flag jurisdiction, such as favorable geographical position, infrastructure and workforce.

Once the yacht owner chooses Malta for the commercial yacht registration, he will find here the jurisdiction welcoming investment and easy from a regulatory perspective for his investment; an economically and politically stable jurisdiction supported by the Government allowing for the sustainable development.

Those, who own a corporate entity in Malta already, may enjoy the economic incentives provided by the Maltese Government and actually, can realize how those incentives help to increase profitability.

The Maltese jurisdiction attracts the international business offering beneficial tax schemes to maximise the overall capital outlay. An extensive double taxation Malta’s treaty network with the number of the countries involved helps to provide useful tax incentives as well.

Once a customer makes a decision to purchase a yacht for commercial use, he makes the right step towards a good investment and the Maltese Government facilitates this by offering special tax treatment for those yachts.

Another reason that may encourage the customer registering a commercial yacht in Malta is the fast and streamlined process rated as cheapest in the EU.

Of course, the most meaningful point of the commercial yacht registration is the commercial yachts, which fly the Maltese flag and are registered under the name of the licenced shipping organization are exempt to pay income tax on their profits.

Finally, a yacht purchased by the Maltese shipping company for the commercial purpose is VAT exempt for both reasons the yacht acquisition and the commercial supplies as well.

II.  Eligibility of the commercial registration.

Both sailing and motor yachts can be registered under the Malta flag for commercial use and they are subject to satisfy to the eligibility criteria of the shipowner and the yacht requirements.

Yacht for commercial use can be registered by the following shipowners:

  • EU, EEA and Swiss national residing in Malta;
  • EU/EEA/Maltese corporate entity;
  • Non – EU citizens with the registered business in Malta.

Yacht requirements for the commercial use:

A commercially registered yacht is considered to be a yacht, of 15 metres in length or more, which do not carry cargo, carries not more than 12 passengers and operated by the owner or body corporate owning the yacht for commercial use.

The following classes of yachts will be considered for commercial registration:

  • Yachts in commercial use of not less than 15 metres in length and not more than 24 metres.
  • Superyachts in commercial use of more than 24 metres in length and less than 500 gross tonnes.
  • Superyachts in commercial use of more than 24 metres in length and 500 gross tonnes and over.

You may follow the registration requirements by using the link:


Maltese ship may also be a bareboat charter registered under another flag.

III.   Malta Commercial Yacht Code compliance.

In order to be registered permanently under Malta flag the yacht on commercial use needs to meet with the requirements of the Malta Commercial Yacht Code. 

You can download Commercial Yacht Code here 

Produced by Merchant Shipping Directorate of Transport Malta for better serve the yachting industry’s needs the new Commercial Yacht Code 2020 came into force on the 1st January 2021.

Compliance with the Commercial Yacht Code 2020 is verified through a special commercial pre-registration survey carried out by an Appointed Government Surveyor or by one of the listed Classification Societies recognised by Transport Malta:

  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)

There are no trading or age restrictions when it complies with the Commercial Yacht Code.

Ships of 10 years and over, but under 15 years, must pass an inspection by an authorised flag state inspector before or within a month of provisional registration; and

Ships of 15 years and over are required to pass an inspection by an authorised flag state inspector prior to being provisionally registered. As a rule, trading ships of 25 years and over are not registered, however in the particular cases it may be considered.

The Certificate of Compliance is the subject to renewal every five years and is being issued through the renewal survey, analogous to the initial one.

IV.  Appointed resident agent.

For the NON EU / EEA / Swiss national owners as well as, if the owner of the ship is a foreign corporate entity a registration of resident agent in Malta is mandatory.

Shipowner needs to sign a Power of attorney giving the mandate to the appointed agent to carry out the yacht registration on his behalf.

We assist the international owner in process of the commercial yacht registration carrying out the function of the registered resident agent.

V.  Malta Commercial yacht registration procedure.

The procedure of the commercial yacht registration in Malta is streamlined and time optimized.

The registration process consists from two steps:

  • Provisional registration
  • Permanent registration

To apply for the provisional registration the application needs to be completed supporting by the Declaration of Ownership, MLC compliance, Builder’s Certificate, CE Certificate of Conformity, list of radio equipment.

For the yachts over 24 meters International Tonnage Certificate, Minimum Safe Manning Certificate, Certificate of Survey, Continuous Synopsis Record, etc. are also applicable.

A person is given three (3) months to have all documentation completed to apply for permanent registration. Upon good cause being given, this period may be extended on a month by month basis.

Provided all necessary documentation is in order, the Provisional Registration Certificate is being issued by Transport Malta within 2/3 days of application.

Permanent registration should require original Bill of Sale, Carving & Marking note, Certificate of Survey, original Deletion Certificate in case the yacht was previously registered in other flag jurisdiction.

Transport Malta fees are subject to be paid for the registration and depend on length, tonnage and year of building of the ship.

For the younger ships, the progressive reduction in registration and tonnage tax cost scheme is an advantage.

The full list of the documents, required for the commercial yacht registration can be reached out here. (link to the page https://griffithsassoc.com/publication/malta-ship-registration-ultimate-guide-2021/)

Once we receive all the above details, we prepare all necessary documentation to obtain the provisional Malta registration valid for three months and on the second step – the Certificate of the permanent registration under Malta flag.

VI.  Incorporation of the Shipping Organization.

The process of incorporation of the Shipping organisations in Malta is the same like for the ordinary trading and holding companies.

Maltese company formation is a straightaway process, where the both positions of the shareholder and the director are not restricted by the nationality.

The registered Maltese shipping organisation is a licenced shipping organisation under the Merchant Shipping (Shipping Organisations – Private Companies) Regulations, 2004.

The principal objects of such a company are the ownership, operation (under charter or otherwise), administration and management of a ship registered as a Maltese ship.

Such a Shipping Company may benefit from the Tonnage Tax regime where the company pays a Tonnage tax instead of income tax on its profits.

Minimum issued share capital requirement is Euro 1,200 subject to 20% paid up.

The low company formation fees amounting Euro 245 for the minimum authorised share capital is also considered as an advantage to incorporate a shipping company in Malta.

We assist our clients with the company incorporation and set up of shipping operations in Malta and international shipping structures using Malta as a shore for chartering and other shipping operations.

We provide such a clients with the accounting, auditing and administrative services for their shipping organizations; prepare the payroll for the crew and seafarers.

The company incorporation service also includes the directorship, company secretary, fiduciary shareholding, registered office, payroll provided by us.

VII.  Tonnage tax regime in Malta.

Every shipowner when purchases a yacht for the commercial use pursue a goal that is not only to gain the profit and also, to reduce the operational costs of the vessel.

The Tonnage tax treatment helps the shipowner to achieve those intentions.

To be qualified as a tonnage tax exempt and enjoy of the Tonnage tax regime in Malta the yacht has to be registered under the name of the shipping organization and to be declared as a Tonnage Tax ship.

Such a commercial yachts are Income tax exempt on any income resulting from their activity and operations

In this case, commercial yachts may benefit from having the profits generated on their shipping activities charged with a tonnage tax rather than income tax.

An annual tonnage tax based on the gross tonnage of the commercial yacht, and the annual registration fees need to be paid.

The minimum tonnage for those vessels is 1,000 gross tonnes.

We inform the shipowner of the annual tonnage tax/fees to be timely paid and liaise with the Shipping Directorate of Transport Malta for any matters related to the yacht.

VIII. Income tax incentives for the foreign establishments.

If the commercial yacht does not qualify as a tonnage tax ship, the yacht financiers may still benefit of the low effective income tax rate of 5%:

  • 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, which may be claimed by a shareholder on the tax paid by the Maltese company, upon a dividend distribution. Such a tax refund, which is typically applicable at 6/7ths of the Malta tax paid (35% income tax), is repaid to the shareholder within fourteen (14) days of a submission of a valid refund claim form, and in essence enable an effective income tax rate of 5% in Malta;
  • 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%.

We provide our clients with the tax advisory and tax planning service as for the general conditions and for the particular situations as well; complete and submit the Tax and VAT returns.

IX.  Financial incentives of the Shipping Organization in Malta.

That shipowner, who acquires a yacht in the name of the Shipping organization established in Malta provided such a yacht is fallen under the tonnage tax scheme, may expect more advantages from operating of that Ship organization:

  • No Malta tax is payable on any income, profits or gains derived from the sale or other transfer of the tonnage tax ship or from the disposal of any rights to acquire a yacht, which qualifies as the tonnage tax;
  • No further Malta tax is chargeable on any gain deriving on the liquidation, redemption, cancellation or any other disposal of shares, securities or any other interest, including goodwill, held in any licenced shipping organisation owning, operating, administering or managing the tonnage tax ship;
  • No Malta tax is chargeable upon the distribution of dividends on profits generated by the shipping organization, though the shareholder is a corporate entity;
  • No stamp duty on the registration of the tonnage tax ship under the Merchant Shipping Act;
  • No stamp duty on the sale or other transfer of the tonnage tax ship;
  • No stamp duty on the issue, purchase, transfer, assignment of any security or interest of the licenced shipping organisation.
  • VAT on short-term charters commencing in Malta is charged at reduced rates and depends on yacht’s lengths and the duration of spending within EU waters.

The Malta VAT department has issued guidelines for those charterin.

The chartering period for such a case is limited of 90 days.

Our tax advisory department cares of the financial interest of our clients advising the owners in international taxation, regulatory obligations and Maritime law.

X.  Other benefits and contributions.

On a final note, we would like to welcome to Malta the Ship Organizations, which support the “green solution” greening the existing Maltese commodity shipping fleet also increasing it with the new low emission ships.

Optimizing the efficiency of existing vessels using the new types of fuel is an immediate, significant, profitable, measurable, and repeatable component of marine decarbonisation saving the waters around our precious island.

We invite the shipowners to register their yachts in Malta and apart from the economic benefits to contribute to the sport sector promptly growing nowadays making Malta a popular place throughout the world maritime community.

Every yacht owner may participate in the international yachting annual event – Rolex Middle Sea Race starting in Malta’s spectacular Grand Harbour.

Settling the Shipping Company in Malta and getting the boat registered under Maltese flag, every shipowner can become a member of the Royal Malta Yacht Club, which is luxuriously located in a very fashionable area and enjoy with the additional benefits from the Club membership.

Bareboat charter registration in Malta

A bareboat charter is an agreement for the chartering or hiring of a ship, yacht or boat with no crew or provisions included.

In yachting a bareboat charter is usually for a short period and typically refers to sailing yachts, including catamarans.

A short chartering is considered as a lease of a boat for the arranged period by the agreement, during which the bareboat charter register in the name of the charterer under the Maltese Flag.

Charterer that is eligible to register a bareboat charter can be either corporate entity or other person qualified to own a Maltese ship.

Maltese law provides both for bareboat charter registration of foreign yachts under the Malta flag and also for the bareboat charter registration of Maltese yachts under foreign flag.

To benefit from the bareboat chartering in Malta the foreign yacht shall be registered in a compatible to the Maltese Ship Registry, such as Belgium, Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Panama, Russia Federation, Turkey, Ukraine and some others.

Yachting bareboat charter registered in Malta enjoys the same right and privileges, and has the same obligations as any other yacht registered in Malta.

Yachting bareboat charter is subject to benefit from the VAT finance leasing structure (Item 12 of Part 2 of the Third Schedule to the VAT Act).

The requirements and registration procedure for the bareboat charter registration in Malta are similar to the yacht registration under Malta flag.

You can find more information and the documents need to be produced for the bareboat charter registration by following the link:


Registration fees and annual tonnage tax for bareboat charter registration are the same as applicable for the normal registration.

Maritime service - Malta flag
providing by Griffiths + Associates:

Appointed as a resident agent we help our clients to complete the file of the documentation needed to follow the yacht registration procedure and assist to the ship owners with all the formalities in registering a vessel liaising with shipping Directorate of Transport Malta to obtain the Ship Registry Certificate.

We act on behalf of the non – Maltese resident individual ship owner or corporate entity during the registration procedure as an appointed resident agent.

We deal with the Shipping authority as regards to the annual tonnage tax compliance.

Those ship owners, who register their vessels in the name of the corporate entity, we provide with the following services:

  • We help the ship owner to incorporate a company for the ship owning.
  • We provide the ship owner with services, such as opening the bank account, auditing and accounting services, payroll for captain/crew, and other legal formalities.
  • We advise the ship owner with the respect to legal, maritime tax and regulatory obligations.

Reviewing the advantages of the yacht registration in any country of the European Union the ship owner needs to be aware the procedure of the yacht registration, VAT status and the resident status of the ship owner are obviously different matters, which are independent but at times related.

Our company may provide bespoke advice for the interested clients considering of the requirements of the different ship jurisdictions including VAT status and the residential status of the ship owner.

Griffiths + Associates advises the clients following international and Maltese laws and clients choose Malta to establish or expand their business and to register a yacht and enjoy owning it in Malta or anywhere else.

Author: © By Liudmyla Skryvanek

Our company’s mission – to provide quality financial services to our esteemed local and international clients, keeping their needs at the centre of our ethos; going the extra mile to efficiently and effectively assist them in growing and fulfilling their business and personal needs.

Peter Griffiths – Managing and Tax Director
Peter Griffiths
Managing and Tax Director, Griffiths + Associates

Need Our Assistance With Registration Your Ship Under Maltese Flag?
Get Support From Our Specialised Professionals:

Liudmyla Skryvanek | Malta Yacht registration Expert

Liudmyla Skryvanek

Maritime Connections Worldwide Expert

We provide full array of maritime services:

  • Advisory services to individuals and legal entities who wish to register yachts under the Malta Flag.
  • Services on the adoption of efficient tax structures at maximising the particular needs of the yacht owner.
  • Malta Company Registration.
  • We may act as a resident agent for the registration of a company in Malta to act as owner of the yacht and liaise with certified surveyors as well as the shipping Directorate of Transport Malta in order to have the provisional / permanent registration.

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