Yacht Registration under the Malta Flag
Malta is fast becoming one of the top yacht destinations in the World. As the
southernmost country in the EU, Malta's safe and stable environment, excellent
facilities, and strategic position in the heart of the Mediterranean are only a
few of the many reasons why more and more pleasure yachts and superyachts are
owned under the Maltese flag. Anyone in the World can register a yacht in
Malta even if they are not a European resident or citizen. Unlike most EU
jurisdictions that only allow residents to hold a pleasure craft in the
country, Malta makes it extremely easy for non-EU citizens to register a yacht
under their flag.
Advantages under Maltese Flag
Outstanding Global Status - built on centuries-old British maritime tradition
and enhanced by Malta's membership in the European Union, the Malta flag boasts
a prestigious reputation within the international yachting community.
Easy Local Ownership - registering a yacht in the country through a special
legal entity known as a Malta Shipping Company is fast and inexpensive.
Following company formation, the necessary purchase occurs, and the company is
now the direct owner of the yacht. This setup results in a flexible legal
entity sanctioned to carry out a variety of shipping activities including
chartering of the vessel.
Foreign Ownership Allowed - foreign corporations (including offshore companies)
are permitted to register a yacht under the Maltese flag provided they have a
resident agent in the country.
Anonymous Ownership - it is possible to achieve confidentiality on the
ownership of the boat by appointing a fiduciary.
Low Yacht Registration Costs - Malta has extremely low yacht registration and
annual renewal costs.
No Sale or Mortgage Restrictions - Malta has no restrictions on the sale or
transfer of shares of yacht-owning companies. The country also has no
restrictions on the mortgaging of local ships.
No Restrictions on Yacht Crew - Malta does not place any restrictions on the
nationality of crew members serving on locally registered yachts. This allows
you to employ any ideal candidate as captain, officer, chef, deckhand, or
other crew member position regardless of where he or she is from.
No Age Limits - Malta does not have an age restriction on pleasure yachts.
Ships between 15 and 20 years old must pass an inspection before or within a
month of being provisionally registered, ships 20 to 25 years old must pass an
inspection prior to provisional registration, and any vessel more than 25
years old will require express permission from authorities in order to
register on the island.
Peace of Mind - with fantastic year-round weather, one of the most sheltered
natural harbors in the World, and several large marinas with exceptional
facilities including top-notch security, Malta provides international yacht owners with a sense of safety
and stability regarding their prized possession.
Preferential Treatment - Ships sailing under a Maltese flag may benefit from
advantageous treatment in certain ports.
Reputable Government Authority - Transport Malta, the Government authority
responsible for the administration of yachts registered under the country's
flag, is remarkably well run and provides a solid legal framework for yacht
owners that is both fair and effective.
VAT Savings - a yacht can become "EU VAT paid" granting unrestricted access to
EU waters for as little as 30% of the normal VAT rate (5.4%) via a Malta yacht
VAT leasing scheme.
Low Maintenance Costs - yacht berthing and maintenance costs in Malta are
amongst the lowest in the EU.
Top Marinas in Malta
Camper & Nicholson's Grand Harbour Marina (Birgu) - a world-class luxury marina
with a magnificent backdrop located next to a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Operated by one of the oldest names in the yachting business, the Grand Harbour
Marina offers berths for yachts up to 135m in length and has been graced by the
presence of some of the nicest super yachts in the World.
Ta' Xbiex Marina and Msida Marina - operated by Creek Developments Plc, this
well-sheltered marina has 720 berths and can handle pleasure boats up to 22m
Portomaso Marina (St. Julians) - In operation since 1999 and located North of
the Grand Harbour entrance, this picturesque marina prides itself as a place to
"unwind and enjoy life."
Kalkara Marina - Located in the country's Grand Harbour in beautiful Kalkara
Creek, this marina offers the highest level of hospitality and professional
service possible and is extremely secure with onsite security, 24/7 CCTV
surveillance, and even a central fire water pump.
Royal Malta Yacht Club Marina (RMYC Marina) - located at Ta' Xbiex and home to
the club's many racing and social events, the marina can accommodate up to 65
ships from 6m to 20m in length.
Gozo Marina - Also called the Mgarr Marina, the marina is focused on exceeding
the expectations of their guests.
Manoel Island Marina - Centrally located in Gzira, the marina has a large
number of great amenities within a short walk.
Sandy Marina - Located in Ta' Xbiex Creek within the very sheltered Marsamxetto
harbor, you can walk to the fancy Sliema shopping area from here.
Provisional Registration Requirements
The Merchant Shipping Act permits a pleasure yacht to be provisionally
registered in Malta for six months (and extended for a further six months) before
all the documentation is required to complete the permanent registration
process. The following is required as part of the provisional Malta yacht
- Builder's certificate (if boat is brand new)
- Bill of sale
- Certificate of existing registration (if ship is currently in service)
- Copy of International Tonnage Certificate & Load Line Certificate (ships >24m
- Proof of ownership qualifications (notarized and apostilled declaration of
resident agent/power of attorney, certified copy of Maltese incorporation,
The following is then required as part of the permanent Malta yacht registration
- A certificate of survey
- Proof of cancellation of previous registration certificate (if ship was
previously registered in a different jurisdiction)
Please note: registering a boat that is currently under construction can require additional
Yacht Registration in Malta
Malta has established itself as a flag of choice within the pleasure yacht
sector, and consequently, the country has the largest shipping registry in
Europe. An optimized VAT finance leasing structure in Malta can help minimize the
amount of value-added tax you pay on your yacht in order to gain legal access
to EU waters.
Citizenship in Malta
In addition to being one of the top jurisdictions in Europe for registering a
yacht, Malta also boasts one of the best citizenship by investment programs in
the World. Malta passport holders can travel to 166 different countries
without a visa (including USA and UK), and citizens of Malta can directly
register a yacht with the Malta Ship Registry without the need to
incorporate a local company. Malta also offers an EU Residence Permit for investors from non-European countries who
wish to live in Malta and/or travel within the region without the need to apply for a Schengen Visa.
To learn more about the Malta Individual Investor
Program or Investment Visa, contact us today to put Dr. Tabone's experience to work for you.
Please note: Anton Tabone & Associates does not offer Maltese yacht registration services.