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5% VAT Registration for Yachts until 31 March 2004


Ship Registration under the Malta Flag

Vessel registration under the Malta flag and the operation of Maltase ships is regulated by the Merchant Shipping Act, a law based mainly on U.K. legislation but subsequently revised and amended in 1986 and 1988 and 1990.


• Low company formation and ship registration cost;

• Complete tax exemption to owners, charterers and financiers of Maltase ships of over 1,000 net tons; this exemption may also be extended to smaller ships;

• No restrictions on the nationality of the master, officers and crew;

• No restriction on the sale or transfer of shares of a company owning Maltase ships;

• No restrictions on the sale and mortgaging of Maltase ships;

• No trading restrictions and preferential treatment to Maltase ships in certain ports;

• Offshore companies operating ships can enjoy all the exemptions and benefits provided for by the offshore legislation;

• Twenty four hour, seven days a week service in respect of urgent matters;

• Malta is an international maritime centre providing the whole range of maritime services.

5% VAT Registration for Yachts until 31 March 2004

Regulation 384 of 2003 issued under the Value Added Tax Act provides that for a limited period of time the registration of yachts under the Maltase flag will take place at the advantageous rate of only 5%.

Through this new regulation yacht owners are offered the possibility of registering their vessel in Malta and paying a VAT rate of 5% and when Malta becomes a full member of the EU in May 2004, such VAT-paid yachts will be considered to have paid EU-VAT and can be kept indefinitely in EU territorial waters.

This benefit will subsist till 31 March 2004 and any yacht owner wishing to take advantage of this regulation  has to do so before this pre-determined date. As from 1st April 2004 the VAT rate will rise to 18%.

  Eligibility for registration    Procedure for registration 

  Bareboat charter registration    Manning, International Convention, Mortgages.

  Malta Flag: Index


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