Increasing numbers of high-class ships and yachts to Malta’s fleet
Earlier last week, the 5th edition of the Opportunities in Superyachts conference took place in Malta. Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Joe Mizzi said "Malta's vision is to develop the island as a leading maritime and yachting hub in the Mediterranean. During the last year the Malta flag registered a record increase of over 14% in the registration of superyachts over 24 metres - thus making the Malta flag, the jurisdiction of choice and one of the leaders in this sector with nearly 600 superyachts registered. Malta's ship register has grown not only in numbers but also in repute, and today, the country is increasingly adding high-class ships and yachts to its fleet. This is also a result of the good quality of service backed by various initiatives and strategies in favour of the industry offering a holistic package, which is recognised by owners and industry stakeholders worldwide."
On behalf of Maritime Malta, Minister Mizzi (former minister) specified that Malta’s influence in the yachting sector is being acknowledged. He added that the success of the Opportunities in Superyachts Conference in Malta shows the interest that the yachting industry and serves as a good indication of the international positioning that the Maltese industry has managed to accomplish.
Former Minister Mizzi pointed out that Malta has the largest maritime flag throughout Europe, which aids in giving a confidence boost and drives to replicate this same success in the superyacht industry. Through this, Malta can further support the growth of a number of businesses and continue to develop a jurisdiction that enjoys the confidence of the operators and respected by the industry. He went on to state that our islands’ geographical position aids in keeping its strategical importance – being trade, war or pleasure.
"Today, the Mediterranean region is a popular global tourist destination and provides some of the world's most fascinating yachting experiences. With the most appealing setting and a comprehensive range of facilities, Malta offers a vast range of services: yards, marinas, surveying and multi-service agencies. This all creates the right environment for the island to become a resourceful service centre for every aspect of the superyachts service industry" said Minister Mizzi. "As a government, we are proud to have reacted swiftly, publishing and implementing the Guidelines for VAT applicable for short term charters, thus eliminating uncertainty and making Malta one of the first European countries with a clearly defined policy. We are also proud of being the first jurisdiction to introduce guidelines on the carriage capacity of pleasure yachts to carry more than 12 persons - a policy that was welcomed by the industry. Malta has done well in building fiscal, legal, and corporate and registration services. While it is imperative that we continue to develop these, it is also time to shift our focus to other offerings which are even more value-added and strategically important. This industry took off on the basis of location, low cost, duty-free fuel and fiscal incentives, but has to continue evolving. We must be a stronger alternative, based on capabilities, improved infrastructure, and competence, the level of service, reputation and strong relationships. We simply cannot risk becoming comfortable and run the risk of letting our laws, our regulation and our businesses become out of date. The creativity of others is real and exists."
Minister Mizzi continued to highlight that the benefit of an enlarged market share and of being one of the major flag administrations in the world, offers Malta prominence and assurance to venture into new territory. He added that Malta’s next challenge is to support the growth of maritime clusters, providing technical services and ensuring that Malta develops into being the obvious choice for superyacht owners and managers for their wintering, upkeep and preservations.
"Malta is and shall continue to be, fully supportive of the European Unions' efforts to develop maritime policy further. We are reinforcing a stronger dialogue with the industry in view of the current Presidency of the European Council. The main objective is to create a better understanding between the policymakers and regulators and the industry stakeholders with the aim of creating more visibility with the policymakers of the benefits of the maritime industry, including yachting, for the EU to continue to prosper. It is indeed, for this reason, that next month we shall be hosting a High-Level Ministerial Stakeholders Conference focusing on the future strategic direction that Europe should pursue in the years to come in order to ensure that the EU maritime industry remains competitive and sustainable in the future," he said.
Minister Mizzi concluded his speech by saying that Malta shall also continue to characterise the industry and its issues at worldwide level, Malta had numerous opportunities, at different media, to make depictions to our Mediterranean neighbours, to the Commission, to the Council and at IMO and so they shall seize similar opportunities in the future.
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