Malta's strategic position has, since time immemorial, placed the island at the forefront in the maritime world. Its position, at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, and in the middle of one of the major shipping arteries, have enabled Malta to offer a whole range of international maritime services and facilities. This, coupled to its deep natural harbours and well equipped ports, offer a haven for international shipping.
With the 1973 promulgation of the Merchant Shipping Act, Chapter 234 of the Laws of Malta, the Malta Flag formally established itself as an ‘open’ register. The Malta Maritime Authority (‘the Authority’ or ‘MMA’) is responsible for the administration and functioning of the Malta Flag.
The Malta Ship Registry has experienced steady growth with the island boasting a Registry which is 6th largest in the world and the largest in Europe. Malta's success has been facilitated by the efficiency of registration of vessels in Malta, low company formation costs, attractive fiscal incentives to owners and preferential treatment to its ships in certain ports. Currently, there is also an on-going process of privatisation and development of various yacht marinas around Malta and Gozo.
In addition to its renowned international ship register, Malta offers additional services, including bunkering; ship supplies and towage services; ship building and ship repair yards; modern facilities for transhipment and distribution; a cruise liners hub; international yacht marinas; a very successful and efficient Freeport and oil terminal; high level training for officers and a very well respected nautical school.
Malta is committed to continuous expansion as an international service centre. This is evidenced by its sophisticated legal and financial regime, by the huge investment in infrastructural services, and by the sheer determination to succeed. This is manifested in the professionalism shown by the government administration branch, as well as the highly-trained professionals who provide back-up services.
Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates advises and represents clients in matters dealing with
ship registration and finance, the sale and mortgage of vessels, charter-parties,
bills of lading and marine insurance. The firm acts in Malta for several of the
major London firms of solicitors & law firms which specialise in shipping matters and directly for owners and operators of vessels.