Yacht registration in Malta — Important facts to consider

The reg­is­tra­tion of a yacht in Mal­ta is not a com­pli­cat­ed mat­ter per se. How­ev­er, you should put some thought into the coun­try you are going to reg­is­ter in, and under which flag you are going to sail. The yacht reg­is­tra­tion is not only a mat­ter of pres­tige, it also has some use­ful effects.

Oper­a­tional require­ments and pre­req­ui­sites can be very diverse, and sales tax or oth­er tax bur­dens can vary sig­nif­i­cant­ly depend­ing on the state the ves­sels are reg­is­tered in. Mal­ta is an inter­est­ing choice for reg­is­ter­ing a yacht, as the coun­try offers legal cer­tain­ty as a EU mem­ber state, use­able tax ben­e­fits, and a flaw­less flag image.

Addi­tion­al ben­e­fits of a yacht reg­is­tra­tion under the Mal­tese flag:

• No lim­i­ta­tion of the captain’s or crew’s nation­al­i­ties
• No lim­i­ta­tions on sale or trans­fer of shares of a com­pa­ny with ships
• No Lim­i­ta­tions on lend­ing, rent­ing or sell­ing the ves­sels
• Smooth reg­is­tra­tion for com­pa­nies from all coun­tries and every cit­i­zen of the EU
• No hid­den costs or costs for inspec­tions
• Low reg­is­tra­tion fees and low annu­al tax­es
• The Mal­tese ship reg­is­ter offers a great ser­vice and can be con­tact­ed 24 hours, 7 days of the week

The pro­ce­dure of a yacht reg­is­tra­tion

The reg­is­tra­tion can be car­ried out by your­self, a Mal­tese wharf, or you can con­sult a ser­vice provider for yacht reg­is­tra­tions to help you. Even though the process is rel­a­tive­ly sim­ple, we rec­om­mend using the ser­vices of a spe­cialised com­pa­ny. You might not know coun­try-spe­cif­ic require­ments and you could eas­i­ly com­mit errors, which in the long term could lead to a high­er tax­a­tion.

The yacht reg­is­tra­tion in Mal­ta is split into two parts:

1. The tem­po­rary reg­is­tra­tion

This is already legal­ly valid.

2. The per­ma­nent reg­is­tra­tion

The tem­po­rary reg­is­tra­tion is valid for six months. Dur­ing this time, all required doc­u­men­ta­tion and records will have to be pre­pared and sub­mit­ted.

The reg­is­tra­tion process for com­mer­cial yachts is sim­pler and fol­lows a slight­ly dif­fer­ent pro­ce­dure. This also includes some larg­er yachts car­ry­ing not more than 12 pas­sen­gers and no freight.

You can find more infor­ma­tion on the Web­site of Mal­ta Trans­port, or you can con­tact us for a con­sul­ta­tion with the office of Dr. Wern­er & Part­ner.

About Philipp Sauerborn

In 2005, Philipp Sauer­born joined the firm of St. Matthew in Lon­don, one of the lead­ing Ger­man account­ing firms in Eng­land renowned for its exper­tise in cor­po­rate, com­mer­cial and tax law, as a depart­ment head. After three years, he was a part­ner and man­ag­ing direc­tor.
Towards the end of 2011, he decid­ed to move to Mal­ta, where he first worked at inter­na­tion­al law firms and con­sul­tan­cies in an employed and con­sult­ing capac­i­ty. Since the begin­ning of 2013, he has been a senior employ­ee at Dr. Wern­er & Part­ner. Mr. Sauer­born is cur­rent­ly com­plet­ing his ADIT ‑Advanced Diplo­ma in Inter­na­tion­al Tax.

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