Malta’s long maritime tradition and culture has led to the country becoming a well-established and reputable ship register. Dedicated legislation, all in line with EU Directives and IMO (International Maritime Organisation) Conventions, have made the Maltese register the sixth largest maritime register in the world, and the largest merchant flag in the European Union.
Malta offers a distinctive and complete range of maritime services and facilities, including one of the busiest Freeport areas in the Mediterranean, major oil bunkering facilities, and a modern cruise passenger terminal. Malta is also on the White List of the Paris MoU (Memorandum of Understanding). All this further consolidates Malta’s historic maritime tradition and enhances Malta’s position as an international ship register.
The Regulator in Malta
The Ports & Yachting Directorate has a regulatory role in monitoring the maritime activities which take place within the internal and territorial waters of Malta, as well as managing port facilities which are under the control of Transport Malta, including yachting and mooring facilities. The Directorate is in charge of ensuring that port users and service providers comply with legislation and contractual obligations and promotes the efficient use of port and maritime facilities. It also ensures that Malta achieves the right balance in the use of our waters for leisure and commercial operations.
Tax opportunities in Malta
- Variety of tax incentives available for ship and yacht registration in Malta;
- VAT simplifications measures for the acquisition and registration of ships and yachts;
- Substantial VAT reductions by means of lease structures;
- VAT related measures on short-term chartering of yachts; and
- Competitive ship registration and tonnage tax fees.
Other benefits from Malta
- Very good international recognition of the Maltese Flag;
- Malta has bilateral agreements with foreign governments where Maltese ships receive preferential treatment in respect of port charges and taxes;
- Availability of technical assistance from a team of qualified and experienced mariners;
- No nationality restrictions for master, officers and crew;
- No restrictions on sale and mortgaging of Maltese ships;
- Malta Maritime Authority, being a flat organisation structure with direct access to the decision makers, offers a 24/7 service in respect of urgent matters; and
- A clear strategic political vision supporting the maritime industry.
How can we assist?
At Nexia BT, we are able to provide a comprehensive service to yacht owners and managers including: ship and yacht registration in Malta, short-term chartering of yachts, the planning of international tailor-made tax efficient structures, the legal and tax advice involved in the simple ownership of a leisure yacht through to commercial ownership on a large scale, finance, insurance and issues related to crew and manning. We provide consultancy through the various stages involved in the ownership of a Yacht: Finance, Purchase, and Registration.
We also assist in the choice of the ideal flag, taking into consideration a number of factors, such as: the reputation of the flag, the international recognition of the flag (in particular for tax and VAT purposes), the initial and yearly costs, succession implications, employment obligations, nationality restrictions and insurance issues.