Amendments to the Merchant Shipping Act

Updated: July 30, 2020 | 2 minute read

Interested in our services? Our team is here to help.

Contact us


July 2016 saw the enforcement of the Merchant Shipping Act (MSA).

The provisions were made to embellish the previous Act to:

  • Enhance the level of service provided;

  • Further, streamline the registration process; and

  • Consolidate the provision of ancillary services.

Amendments to the Merchant Shipping Act

The main amendments introduced by Legal Notice 210 of 2016 were:

  • The possibility of obtaining a Certificate of Malta Registry and its Renewal Certificate for a maximum period of 5 years for ships of minimum 500 gross tonnages;

  • The possibility of issuing the Certificate of Malta Registry on the name of the charterer or lessee, even if the vessel does not fall under article 19A of the MSA;

  • The possibility of registering a change in ownership after a merger, or by operation of the law, after signing a declaration; and

  • Change of name of a bareboat charter registration of a ship in or out of Malta.

Through these amendments, Transport Malta (the local regulator) can proclaim the invalidity of a Certificate in the event of non-payment of the fees. This will prevent any interruption to the operation of vessels registered under the Malta flag thus ensuring the continuous validity of the Certificate of Registry, whilst avoiding penalties and/or closure of registry in terms of the MSA.

Furthermore, to issue and maintain an (Operational) Certificate of Malta Registry, the vessel must be in possession of all relevant valid international statutory certificates. If not, only a Non-Operational Certificate of Malta Registry shall be maintained on board the vessel.

Discover more about the maritime industry in Malta here.


Why choose Nexia BT?

Nexia BT is a corporate and private client advisory, audit, accounting and tax firm. Our clients are local and international financial and other institutions, SMEs, high-net-worth-individuals, the public sector and high-end organisations.

As a reputable organisation of over 25 years standing and forming part of a worldwide network of independent business advisors, consultants, auditors and accounting firms present in over 115 countries, we are optimally positioned to offer global expertise.

Along these years, we have built client loyalty around a credible reputation for delivering results whilst working to the highest professional standards.

Nexia BT’s strength lies in the technically competent staff with experience across a varied range of industry sectors. We deliver solutions to our clients through a high calibre customised service reflected in the professional work approach and ethics of our staff and driven by our ethos ’Closer to you’. With the backing of this business approach, we confidently present you Nexia BT as your trustworthy, dependable and reliable partner in Malta.

We're here to help

Our team will help you deliver results whilst working to the highest professional standards. Nexia BT your reliable partner in Malta.

Get in touch