Vessel registration under the Malta flag and the operation of Maltese 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 Maltese 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 Maltese
No restrictions on the sale and mortgaging of Maltese ships;
No trading restrictions and preferential treatment to Maltese ships in certain
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
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 Maltese 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
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%.