Our team is able to assist clients with yacht registrations under the Maltese flag, and (via our associates) also in other jurisdictions, such as Croatia, Monaco or in the Caribbean.
Maltese Yacht Registration
A yacht (pleasure or commercial use) may be registered under the Malta flag in the name of a company (of any nationality) or an individual (strictly an EU/EEA/ Swiss/UK nationals). Where the owner is a non-Maltese company or EU/EEA/Swiss/UK national, a resident agent in Malta would need to be appointed to represent the International Owner concerned with the Malta Registry of Shipping.
The 2020 Commercial Yacht Code (CYC) is a comprehensive code which regulates the registration of all commercial yachts starting from a minimum length of 15 metres, carrying not more than 12 passengers and being operated for commercial purposes. As the Code requires the yacht to be surveyed, certified and maintained as per their category requirements, then an initial commercial yacht survey and radio equipment inspection respectively must be undergone as part of first time Malta registration. Once the Initial Survey is successful, the Registry of Shipping will issue a Certificate of Compliance to trade as a “commercial yacht” for a period of 5 years.
The Maltese Commissioner for Revenue published Guidelines in March 2020, confirming the general principle that full Malta taxation applies where the PLACE OF SUPPLY OF THE SERVICE (leasing of pleasure boat) IS DETERMINED TO BE Malta (as per Item 8 Part 2 of VAT ACT Schedule III). Where all the Act’s conditions are satisfied, so as to prevent double taxation, non-taxation or distortion of competition, a lessor of a pleasure boat shall calculate the actual effective use and enjoyment by the lessee of such pleasure boat outside EU territorial waters during the relevant tax period :
(i) by reference only to the period when the yacht is used and enjoyed outside EU territorial waters and
(ii) when possible to identify such place of effective use and enjoyment outside EU territorial waters.
For this calculation, the lessor must use such documentary and / or technological data (including logs retained by the master of the pleasure boat as well as any GPS/AIS data) as the lessor can reasonably obtain from the lessee. This is further detailed in the latest
Advantages of registration under the Malta flag
- Value of the largest flag in Europe and the seventh largest in the world
- No restrictions on the nationality of the Master, officers and crew carried on board Maltese yachts
- The Maltese Shipping Registry offers a 24-hour service, seven days a week in respect of urgent matters.
- Security offered by Maltese law to financiers/mortgagees of Maltese registered vessels
- Low company formation and yacht registration costs
- Clear & fast company and yacht registration procedures
- No restrictions on the nationality of the shareholders and directors of Maltese companies
- No restrictions on the sale or transfer of shares of a Company owning a Maltese yacht
- Eligibility of Non-Maltese Shipping Company to own Malta flagged yachts