Foreign corporates complying with requirements may also register a vessel in Malta. However, Malta companies owning a vessel will avail of the special regulations within the Merchant Shipping (Shipping Organisations – Private Companies).
Shipping companies may elect to be incorporated under, and regulated by, the Merchant Shipping (Shipping Organisations – Private Companies) Regulations (MSR) instead of the Companies Act, which means that shareholders and directors need not be Maltese nationals, and there will not be the requirement of a company SEO (amongst others). Foundations, trusts and other bodies corporate may also be constituted as shipping organisations in Malta and register own vessels in Malta.
A shipping company is incorporated in Malta by filing a duly executed Memorandum & Articles of Association and effecting payment of the relative fees.
Requirements for Incorporation
The basic requirements and information necessary for the registration of a shipping company under the MSR are as follows:
- The proposed name of the company. The words ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’ must be inserted at the end of the proposed name. Reservation of a proposed name prior to registration is possible.
- The name, residential address, nationality, passport number, date and place of issue and date and place of birth, of each shareholder. In general there must be a minimum of two shareholders, which may be individuals or corporate entities, however one shareholder may be permitted (A non-Maltese owner must appoint a resident agent in Malta).
- The name, residential address, nationality, passport number, date and place of issue and date and place of birth, of each director. Companies may have a minimum of one director and directors may be corporate entities.
- Any special instructions on the company structure, voting rights and similar matters as may be deemed necessary by the shareholders.
- There are obvious inherent advantages in having a local individual acting as Special Attorney, as corporate documentation and authorities may be attended to in Malta, as this would facilitate the communication with the authority. The services of a Special Attorney can be provided by CSB Group at an annual nominal fee.