New Carriage Capacities for Malta Flagged Pleasure Yachts


The Authority for Transport Malta has introduced new carriage capacity guidelines that allow super yachts, registered for pleasure use, to carry more than 12 passengers without the need to adhere to the Convection for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) or the Passenger Yacht Code (PYC).

These guidelines have been presented by Transport Malta for the Malta Flag to “evolve and stay relevant to the market place”, as explained by Mr Ivan Sammut, Registrar General of the Malta Flag. The Maltese Registry recognised a gap in the yachting sector and thus established these guidelines as part of an on-going initiative to introduce contemporary standards in the private yacht registration sector.

Traditionally, the private yacht carriage capacity was a maximum of 12 passengers on board unless such yachts have been built to SOLAS and PYC regulations and registered with the Red Ensign Flag.

As things stand today, in order for a pleasure yacht, registered under the Malta Flag, to be able to carry more than 12 passengers (excluding crew) on board, the pleasure yacht must comply with certain minimum requirements.

These guidelines have formalised the position of the Malta Flag and for super yachts to be considered for the increase in carriage capacity, they must adhere to the following standards as determined by Transport Malta:

  • Issued with a valid Class certificate (this is only applicable to yachts of more than 500 gross tonnes);
  • Compliance with the requirements of the Malta Commercial Yacht Code;
  • Be in possession of an approved Stability Booklet, which defines the loading conditions being requested;
  • Install and carry the appropriate safety equipment depending on the expected number of person on board;
  • Carry 100% life raft capacity;
  • Carry a crew compliment in line with the Malta Commercial Yacht Code;
  • Issuance of a Safety Radio Statement of Compliance for yachts of more than 300 gross tonnes and a Safety Radio Certificate for yachts of more than 500 gross tonnes;
  • Comply with the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) requirements as detailed in the Malta Commercial Yacht Code; and
  • Navigation restricted within 150 nautical miles from safe haven.

Super yachts that have been approved to increase their carriage capacity to more than 12 passengers on board will be required to undergo an intermediate survey every two and a half years starting from the date of acceptance to increase the carriage capacity. The scope of the intermediary survey is intended to ascertain compliance with the minimum requirements as requested by the guidelines issued by Transport Malta.

The Malta Flag is a flag of confidence, a flag of choice and enjoys worldwide repute. These newly established guidelines will thus assist in establishing Malta’s position as the largest registry in Europe.