The Merchant Shipping Act provides for the registration of ships in Malta. In terms of the Act and regulations thereunder provision is made for the registration of private and commercial yachts as well as larger vessels. Ships may be registered in the name of legally constituted corporate bodies or entities irrespective of nationality, or by a European Union citizen.
The registration process in all cases is twofold as ships are first registered provisionally on the Shipping Register and upon the fulfilment of further legislative requirements within a six month period (extendable to one year) ships will be permanently registered under the Malta flag. Maltese requirements well known to main shipyards and main classification societies which also facilitates the registration process.
The Maltese Shipping Register is a well-established and provides a 24 hour, seven days a week service. Malta is also on the White List of the Paris MoU and Tokyo MoU and on the Low Risk Ship List of the Paris MoU. The Shipping Register is one of the largest in the world and very active in European Union fora and international organisations
Finco regularly assists clients in the registration of both pleasure and commercial yachts as well as larger commercial vessels under the Maltese flag. We have over 20 years experience in the sector and we seek to provide clients with a prompt and efficient service both in registration and in maintaining vessels on the Register.
Finco’s ship registration services include the drafting of the required forms for registration and ownership, incorporation of a Maltese company or registration of an international owner of the ship, acting as special attorney, liaising with the Registry of Shipping and obtaining the required licences and approvals from the Maltese competent authorities. After registration, we provide on-going services to assist clients in renewing certificates and assisting in maintaining the ship on the Maltese Register. We also frequently assist a number of clients in obtaining certification for the crew of Maltese vessels.
In respect of private yachts, we can also assist in advising clients on the VAT scheme for yacht leasing in accordance with VAT Department guidelines, where we draw on our experience in the shipping sector together with the knowledge of our accounting and tax team on VAT. Similarly we can advise on the VAT position with regards to chartering of commercial yachts where the charter commences in Malta.