Ship Registration in Malta

Benefits of Ship Registration under the Malta Flag

Malta is the sixth largest ship register in the world. It offers an open ship register to the international shipping community. Hence the Malta Flag depicts confidence and enjoys white flag status. The owners and operators of the shipping industry have recognized Malta as a cost-effective and secure place for the registration and management of the vessels due to the attractive tax benefits under the Malta Flag. All vessels can be registered under the Malta flag irrespective of the nationality. Although there is no age limit, for a vessel to be registered under Malta Flag, it must fulfill the following conditions;

  • Ships between 15 and 20 years must pass inspection by an authorized inspector before or within one month of provisional registration
  • Ships between 20 years and 25 years must pass inspection by authorized inspector before being registered provisionally. However, ships over 25 years may not be registered under the Malta Flag. 

The advantages of Malta flag include;

  • Low registration and incorporation fees
  • Efficient procedures for vessels registration and mortgages
  • No restriction on the owner, crew, master and officers of the ships and directors shareholders of Maltese shipping companies
  • No trading restrictions
  • Licenses shipping organizations are exempted from the income tax. Similarly, income derived from donations, shipping activities, and succession duty in duty documents and transfers and capital represented of vessels of 1000 net tones are exempted from income tax.
  • There are no trading restrictions on the Maltese registered vessels
  • Registration of oil rigs barges and platforms is permitted
  • The vessels may be registered under the name of an individual, European foundation trust or company
  • There are efficient procedures for the transfer and sale of the European
  • Registration of vessels under registration is allowed
  • There are bilateral maritime and double taxation agreements with other maritime nations

The vessel registration under the Maltese flag takes place first under the provisional registration. This process is quite straightforward and involves filling several documents such as an application for registration, a copy of international tonnage certificate, I.S.M code of declaration and a Seaworthiness certificate.  Provisional registration is valid for six months which may be extended for another six months. Permanent registration can be obtained upon submitting the necessary documentation.


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