The Maltese International Ship Register is now among the largest globally, thanks to its dependable and reputable regulatory and legal basis. The Maltese Flag has therefore gained an enviable reputation – when measuring by total registered tonnage, the instantly recognisable Maltese Cross comes in sixth in the world and the first in Europe. In recent years, the superyachts business has become increasingly important, and the authorities have reacted by working to produce a suitable framework for yacht registration in Malta, similar to that for merchant shipping.
Thanks to Malta’s status as an International Centre of Excellence and its world-class facilities for the maritime sector, the island is ready to take advantage. With an enhancement of Malta’s existing natural harbours and strong investment in marinas for superyachts, land-based companies have been prompted to create new services in areas such as yacht management and refitting, focusing on the highest possible quality standards.
Maltese-registered vessels may be classed as either Commercial Yachts or Private Yachts:
According to the Merchant Shipping Directorate, to qualify for this status, any type of pleasure yacht must be used only for the owner’s benefit and must not receive a reward(profit) for carrying passengers or engage in trade. The minimum length for such a vessel is 6 metres.
A yacht in this class is defined as being operated by either the relevant company or the yacht’s direct owner for commercial use. It must carry a maximum of 12 passengers and measure at least 15 metres in length.
Any kind of vessel can be registered in Malta, whether it is an oil rig or a pleasure yacht.
Yacht registration in Malta under the commercial yacht code, or for a pleasure yacht, means that vessels of all ages are eligible.
However, there are a few restrictions:
The Maltese government allows survey, tonnage and convention certificates to be issued on its behalf by:
Below is a list of the documents you will require:
Yachts are registered provisionally under the Maltese flag for six months. This is extendable for another period in which all the documents need to be submitted.
After the documents are submitted and approved, a non-operational certificate will be issued and inspection requested by the classification society.
For a permanent registration under the Maltese flag, further documents are submitted after the provisional registration of the yacht. Permanent registration is renewable annually.
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