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Malta – A Tax Efficient Jurisdiction & Low VAT Regulations

Largest Shipping Registry in Europe

7th Largest Maritime – World-Wide

Efficient, Flexible Registration RulesMalta Maritime & Yachts

Malta’s maritime & yachts sector has grown exponentially, encouraging the registration and use of the Malta Flag by both commercial ship and yacht owners; through the investment and improvement of both administrative Malta Maritime – Ships & Yachts services and the maritime infrastructure on Malta.

In fact, Malta has recently surpassed Greece in the number of vessels being registered under its Flag.

Under the Malta flag, a vessel may be provisionally registered for 6 months – this may be extendable for up to 1 year – during which time all documents and full registration must occur.

Permanent registration is renewable annually along with an annual fee to the Malta Marine Association (MMA). All application and renewal fees are reasonable in amount.

Registration Rules
Provisional Registration
Under the Malta flag, a vessel may be provisionally registered for 6 months – extendable for up to 1 year – during which time the owner would be required to submit certain documentation including a copy of the vessel’s international tonnage certificate, evidence of seaworthiness together with payment of the relevant fees and tonnage tax.

During the provisional registration period, the owner is required to submit additional documentation regarding the vessel, cancellation of previous registration (if any) and evidence of ownership thereof. Once the necessary documentation is supplied the vessel will be permanently registered under the Maltese flag.

Permanent Registration
Permanent registration is renewable annually along with an annual fee to the Malta Marine Association (MMA). All application and renewal fees are reasonable in amount.

Fiscal Benefits of Malta Flagged Vessels
In addition to Malta’s generous ordinary corporate tax refund system, in respect of shipping companies and ship managers – licensed as shipping companies, which are responsible for technical or crew management of Malta tonnage tax ships:

Exemption from Malta tax – any income arising from shipping activities and any income or gains arising from the sale or transfer of a tonnage tax ship or in respect of any disposal of rights to acquire a ship that would qualify as a tonnage tax ship.

Exemption from Malta tax – gains arising from the liquidation, redemption, cancellation or any other disposal of shares, securities, or other interest (including goodwill) held in any licensed shipping company owning, operating, administering or managing a tonnage tax ship, whilst a tonnage tax ship.

Exemption from Malta tax – on payments of interest or other income relating to the financing of the operations of shipping companies or financing of tonnage tax ships
No tax on dividends distributed by the shipping company arising from profits of shipping activities.

No duty payable on any instrument connected with or involving:

  • The registration of a tonnage tax ship, the sale or transfer (including shares), assignment of any rights or interest, or assumption of obligations
  • The issue of allotment of any security or interest of a shipping company or the purchase, transfer, assignment or negotiation of any security or interest
  • Registration of any mortgage or other charge over, or any transfer or discharge, or any receipt or assignment in respect of any ship or licensed shipping company.

Additional Advantages of Registering a Malta Ship or Malta Yacht

  • Additional advantages of registering a Malta ship or Malta yacht:
  • No nationality restrictions for master, officers or crew
  • No trading restrictions on Malta vessels
  • Vessels under construction may be registered
  • Reputable and internationally recognised register
  • Excellent international relations
  • European Flag with a long maritime tradition
  • Yachts may be registered under the Malta Flag by corporations irrespective of nationality, or by EU citizens
  • Malta is on the White List of the Paris MoU
  • Attractive incentives to owners, registered charterers and financiers of Maltese ships
  • No restrictions on the sale or mortgaging of Maltese registered yachts and super yachts
  • Availability of technical assistance from a team of qualified and experienced mariners.

If you would like further information or would like Acumum to start the process of registering your ship or yacht under a Malta flag, please contact us.