Yacht Registration Malta
Please note: The yacht registration process in Malta has significantly changed recently. The obstacles to registering a yacht have increased substantially, which is why the location Malta is no longer advantageous for most potential yacht owners.
- Reduced VAT 4%-16%
- Registration of a Pleasure Yacht
- Registration of a Commercial Yacht
- Leasing Registration
- Berth Support
- Official Communication & Corresponding (i.e. Transport Malta) and customs arrangements
Exact planning is necessary in order to register a vessel under the Maltese flag and thereby profit from a reduced tax rate. In other countries, the regular VAT rate will usually apply to the purchase of a yacht. In Malta, however, VAT will be determined by “Transport Malta” depending on the yacht’s size and weight at the time of its registration. This usually leads to taxes from 4.3% to 18%.
Usage Behavior is Determinative when Registering a Yacht in Malta
When seeking to achieve a reduced VAT, it is important to clarify usage during the planning of the yacht registration. The decisive parameter hereby include, for example, frequency of use, the circle of users (strictly private, private as well as rental use, or strictly rental), usage times (daily or weekly trips, monthly or year-round). The answers to such questions result in a clear usage picture, which in turn is relevant for registration purposes.
Pleasure-Yacht Registration is Best-Suited to Most People
Most clients’ usage best corresponds to the registration of a pleasure-yacht in Malta. In this regard, the name says it all: a yacht registered under any label and that is primarily used for pleasure by the clients. Oftentimes, there are also a number of sensible and attractive implementation options available involving long term lease arrangements.
The guidelines and framework conditions of the respective contract must thereby be adjusted to reflect the given registration category. Our team of attorneys will review the proper declaration for you and will draft corresponding contracts. We will take care of the bureaucratic aspects ourselves without relying on any external partners. Only in this manner can we ensure the exceptional quality of our services leading to quick and efficient results. We know that nothing could be more frustrating than having purchased a boat but not being able to use because it does not have proper registration.
Yacht Registration in Malta: How to Calculate the Amount of Taxes Due?
The exact amount VAT-payments due depends on the size of boat. Furthermore, a distinction is made between two groups: sailboats and motor yachts. The effective rate of VAT can be calculated pursuant to the following chart:
|Type and Length||VAT Reduction||Effective VAT in %|
|Sailboats longer than 24 meters||70%||4,3%|
|Sailboats between 20.01 and 24 meters||60%||7,2%|
|Sailboats between 10.01 and 20 meters||50%||9%|
|Sailboats up to 10 meters||40%||10,8%|
|Motor boats longer than 24 meters||70%||5,4%|
|Motor boats between 16.01 and 24 meters||60%||7,2%|
|Motor boats between 12.01 and 16 meters||50%||9%|
|Motor boats between 7.51 and 12 meters (registered in the Commercial Register)||40%||10,8%|
|Motor Boats up to 7.5 meters (registered in the Commercial Register)||10%||16,2%|
|Boats only allowed in secure waters||0%||18%|
Technical Prerequisites for Yacht Registration in Malta
In a 130-page document, Transport Malta precisely detailed which technical requirements a boat must possess to qualify for pleasure-yacht registration. The following factors thereby play an important role:
- Safety Measures (Equipment, Accessibility, Achievement of Standards);
- Emissions & Environmental Compliance
- Electronic and Radio Equipment
- Stability and Structural Design of the Boat
Generally, one can assume that any finished yacht berthed in a European wharf will fulfill the required standards. The law offices of Dr. Werner & Partner are highly familiar with the testing and review process including, in particular, as it relates to major boating manufacturers (such as, for example, Sunseeker), where registration if oftentimes mostly unproblematic in regard to structural and design requirements.
HOW CAN I PROVE THAT THE VAT WAS DULY PAID FOR?
In order to participate, the company shall receive a certificate from the Maltese
VAT Department confirming that the yacht was duly taxed. At the conclusion of the program, the owner receives a “VAT PAID” certificate.
MY YACHT STILL NEEDS TO BE IMPORTED INTO THE EU.
You can do this with the company that you have already formed which will import the yacht to Malta and pay the full VAT of 18% on its value. The company, however, shall be reimbursed the 18% in the course of the VAT declarations.
THE VAT FOR MY YACHT WAS ALREADY PAID IN FULL IN THE EU.
In that case, it probable does not make sense to take part in the VAT program.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO PARTICIPATE IN THE VAT PROGRAM?
All together, it costs ca. EUR 35K – EUR 50K over 3 years. We’ll be happy to break down the details for you.
IS IT WORTH IT TO TAKE PART IN THE PROGRAM TO SAVE VAT FOR A YACHT THAT COSTS LESS THAN EUR 1,000,000?
No. That’s only our subjective opinion, but from a commercial perspective it may only make sense to participate when the value is EUR 1,000,000 or more.