Shipping and Yachting Services in Malta
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Shipping and Yachting in Malta
Malta has, for years, been a maritime nation of repute. Its strategic location in the centre of the Mediterranean, natural harbours, and extensive range of maritime services such as shipbuilding and repair, Freeport, bunkering, ship supplies and towage services have contributed to making Malta a leading maritime hub. The island’s location has given it great strategic importance and Malta is now recognised as being an entree-port to the EU.
Malta has retained its importance in the shipping and yachting world not only because of its geographic location but also because it offers attractive and competitive incentives, thereby making Malta one of the top flags in the world. Malta’s solid roots as a maritime settlement continue to enhance and expand the island’s footing in the maritime industry.
Besides offering world class berthing facilities to the super yacht industry, Malta offers ship and yacht owners several attractive solutions. As a one-stop shop, CSB Group, via their dedicated team can provide the required professional and dedicated assistance on temporary importation, onward supply relief, commercial yacht registration and VAT-efficient finance leasing structures to name a few.
Shipping and Yachting Services
CSB Group’s maritime practice enjoys wide professional recognition, placing us amongst the leaders in Maltese ship registration and finance transactions in Malta. We provide a comprehensive package of legal and advisory services pertaining to all aspects of shipping, including purchasing and leasing of yachts, company formation, registration of vessels, drafting of documents and provision of legal opinions on statutory mortgages in Malta. We also provide services related to the Sale and Purchase of Yachts and Vessels, Bunkering, Environmental Advisory, and Ship Recycling.
When someone decides to buy a yacht, one of the most significant factors is deciding on where to register it. The Maltese ship registry is one of the largest registries in Europe and is the sixth-largest in the world. This has not happened by chance, as it has been accomplished through the constant development, growth, and regulation of the industry over the past decades. The Maltese Flag is today considered a flag of excellence.
Furthermore, CSB Group will be able to assist you with the necessary ongoing administrative work concerning the regulatory, technical and administrative upkeep of Malta flagged vessels and their respective owning companies being either Maltese or international owners.
What are the advantages of flying the Malta Flag?
- Yachts may be registered on behalf of a company or another entity irrespective of nationality;
- Low company formation, ship registration and tonnage tax costs;
- Attractive tax incentives to yacht and superyacht owners;
- No restrictions on the sale or mortgaging of Maltese registered yachts and superyachts;
- Twenty-four-hour, seven days a week service from the Authority for Transport in Malta in response to urgent matters;
- A good international reputation as a flag of choice and confidence;
- Availability of a whole range of maritime services including very reputable and experienced legal and corporate services supporting registration, management, and administration;
- A dynamic administration with one of the largest ship registers in the world and very active in European Union fora and international organisations;
- A clear strategic vision supporting business and the marine industry;
- A strategic geographical position.
Who may register a yacht/vessel under the Malta Flag?
Under Maltese law, yachts may be owned and registered by any Maltese, EU/EEA or Swiss national or company, or any third country national who enjoys legal personality to the satisfaction of the registrar of shipping. Maltese companies are considered to be good ownership vehicles for yachts. This is due to the fact that Maltese companies may be established by any person, whatever nationality, for the purpose of yacht ownership. The owner, through the company, must be clearly identifiable, and non-Maltese owners would have to appoint a Maltese resident agent to liaise with authorities. Once a yacht is registered in the Maltese registry there are no restrictions on the nationalities of the persons manning the yacht, and where the yacht may sail to.
What type of yacht registrations are available under the Malta Flag?
There are two main types of yacht registrations under Maltese Law – Commercial Registrations or Pleasure Registrations. Under the Malta Flag a yacht may be registered as a Private yacht or a Commercial yacht.
A commercial yacht must be of at least 15 meters in length and registered as a commercial yacht under the Malta flag. A yacht registered commercially must undergo a survey by an approved surveyor (by the Authority for Transport in Malta) and must be in compliance with the Commercial Yacht Code drawn up by the Merchant Shipping Directorate within Transport Malta.
Primarily a yacht would be provisionally registered for six (6) months following which, permanent registration is affected. Testament to Transport Malta’s efforts to maintain the Maltese jurisdiction’s high standards and efficiency in relation to yachting and shipping services offered, the process for registering a yacht under the Maltese flag is not too complex and CSB would assist from start to finish to ensure a smooth process. The estimated time frame for completion of the registration process depends highly on the time it takes the yacht owner/manager/resident agent to compile all the necessary documentation needed to be submitted to Transport Malta. Once all documentation is in order and duly submitted, the process may be concluded within a few days.
Yacht registration in Malta is financially beneficial to both individuals and commercial companies operating yachts. This is due to the fact that these companies are exempt from income tax on any income generated through the operation of their yachts. This exemption is subject to the permanent registration of the yacht along with annual tonnage tax having been paid.
One of the principle elements of the Maltese registry is that it is the registry of an EU Member State. This guarantees that both the registry and Maltese legislation are EU compliant. Keeping to the topic of legislation, it is well known that Malta’s maritime legislation is thorough. It covers all aspects of shipping and is constantly amended and updated in order to keep with international standards and practices. It is important to note that as a member of IMO, and having ratified most of the main maritime conventions, Malta’s standards are high and well renowned.
Apart from all the benefits previously mentioned, it may be noted that the administration, apart from being extremely efficient, is serious and performs the task at hand professionally. The team is reliable and qualified and is available on a 24-hour basis. One must also keep in mind that due to Malta’s size, and because of how the system is set up, it is easy to access both decision makers and key officials. These facts, coupled with the highly active participation of Maltese stakeholders in international shipping fora create a sterling registry for yachts or vessels to be registered under.
What are the advantages of registering a commercial yacht under the Malta Flag?
- No trading restrictions imposed on Maltese registered commercial yachts;
- Fast crew-acknowledgement certification process with STCW endorsements processed within a maximum period of three months from acknowledgement;
- No VAT would be chargeable by the yacht owner during the operation of a commercial yacht if the person leasing the yacht uses it for economic activity. However, the yacht owner may still recover VAT which was incurred on goods and services acquired to the yacht owner’s chartering operations;
- When a licensed shipping organisation sells a yacht, no Malta Tax is charged;
- No Malta Tax is due when disposing of shares in a licensed shipping organisation.
Should you have any questions or require any clarifications please get in touch with us on [email protected] so that we would be able to guide and advise you further.
Shipping & Yachting Services
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This is to express my absolute satisfaction in my dealings with Sacha Farrugia in the process of opening my company over the last few weeks. I was really blown away with their level of professionalism and customer service. They went above and beyond to ensure that all of my questions and curiosities were met and understood, and their level of knowledge was excellent. I would have no problem recommending your company to others in the future and will continue to use your services myself.
Phoenix Classic Charters Limited
I have been using CSB Group in Malta to register our company and our ship under the Malta flag, and have always been completely satisfied with their performance. They do an excellent job, are always punctual, and offer the most competitive rates in Europe! A young and Smart team! We have also involved them on occasion for extra legal jobs, and recently I am using their accounting service to fulfil the VAT requirement and to complete our balance sheets. I'm happy to recommend the services of CSB Group.
Kite Investimenti Limited of Cyclos II