Ship and Yacht Registration in Malta

Malta thanks to its strategic and central position on the major sea route in the Mediterranean, offers a wide range of international maritime facilities and services. These include an active and reputable International Ship Register which currently ranks as the largest merchant flag in Europe and sixth worldwide.

The Malta Ship Registry completes the wide range of services that Maritime Malta can offer to the international shipping community.

Vessel registration under the Malta Flag is regulated by the Merchant Shipping Act, Cap.234, and as subsequently revised. These amendments introduced important measures for control and added safeguards for financiers.

All types of vessels, trading or under construction, as well as Yachts, Super Yachts and Cruise Liners may be registered under the Valletta Flag provided that they are wholly owned by citizens of Malta, EU, EEA, Switzerland or Maltese shipping organizations. “International Owners” may also register vessels under the Malta Flag provided that they appoint a “Resident Agent” in Malta. Malta shipping company formation is a straightforward process with no restrictions on the nationality of shareholders and directors.

Maltese Law also provides for bareboat charter registration.

Inspections are not necessary for vessels under 15 years, whereas vessels aged between 15 and 20 years may undergo an inspection within one month of provisional registration. Ships of 20 years and over but under 25 years, are required to pass an inspection by a state inspector prior to being provisionally registered.

Malta is a party to most of the major IMO and ILO International Maritime Conventions including IMO Convention 48 and amendments 91 and 93, SOLAS Convention 74 and Protocol 78 and 88, Load Lines Convention 66 and Protocol 88, Tonnage Convention 69, COLREG Convention 72, STCW Convention 78 and 2010 Manila Amendments, Maritime Labour Convention 2006, SAR Convention 79, INMARSAT OA 76 and amendments 98, MARPOL 73/78 (Annexes 1 to 5) and Protocol 97 (Annex 6), London Convention 72, CLC Protocol 92, FUND Protocol 92 and Antifouling 01. Malta registered ships are obliged to adhere to the provisions of these international conventions.