Registration of Private Yachts under the Malta Flag

General Information

, Registration of Private Yachts under the Malta Flag , Registration of Private Yachts under the Malta Flag , Registration of Private Yachts under the Malta Flag


Malta which is one of the top 10 largest Maritime Flags in the world [2010] is strategically placed at the crossroads of a number of important shipping routes. Since the Malta flag is a flag of confidence and a flag of choice, Malta’s Ship Register is today one of the largest and most reputable ship registers in the world. All types of vessels may be registered under the Malta flag and take advantage of numerous benefits particularly fiscal, which are available under Maltese law. 

Advantages of opting for the Malta register include

  • An internationally recognized and reputable jurisdiction;
  • EU compliant legislation;
  • Adherence to International Conventions on safety and Security;
  • A well organized and fast registration system;
  • Low company formation and ship registration costs;
  • A tonnage tax regime which has a number of attractive fiscal incentives;
  • Preferential treatment to Maltese ships in certain ports;
  • No restrictions on the nationality of the master, officers and crew;
  • No restrictions on the sale or transfer of shares of a company owning Maltese ships;
  • No restrictions on the sale and mortgaging of Maltese ships;
  • No trading restrictions to Maltese ships in certain ports;
  • Twenty four hour, seven days a week service in respect of urgent matters;
  • A legislative framework which safeguards ship financiers’ rights and interests;
  • 2nd largest Maritime Flag in Europe [2010].


Yacht registration whether private or commercial is a very simple and straightforward process provided that all due documentation is in order.

Provisional Registration: Yachts are first registered provisionally under the Malta Flag for a period of six months (extendible for a further period or periods not exceeding an aggregate of six months) during which period all documentation needs to be finalized. Two application forms would need to be filled in (declaration of ownership & application for the registration of a ship) and a Malta company would either need to be set up to own the vessel or else, a Maltese agent can be elected.

After the Provisional Registration: The vessel would need to be deleted from the previous registrar and have the boat surveyed by an approved surveyor. At this stage, the Malta registrar would require:

  • The original deletion certificate;
  • Bill of sale;
  • Original certificate of survey;
  • Original carving and marking note.