Yacht Registration Malta

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:

Sailing boats > 24 Metres70%4,3%
Sailing boats 20,01 – 24 Metres60%7,2%
Sailing boats 10,01 – 24 Metres50%9%
Sailing boats < 10 Metres40%10,8%
Motorboats > 24 Metres70%5,4%
Motorboats 16,01 – 24 Metres60%7,2%
Motorboats 12,01 – 16 Metres50%9%
Motorboats 7,51 – 12 Metres (commercially registered)40%10,8%
Motorboats < 7,51 Metres (commercially registered)10%16,2%
Boats only allowed in secure waters0%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 DWP 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.

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Key Contacts for Yacht Registration Malta


Dr. jur. Jörg Werner


Sabrina Sauerborn

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