Situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta is an archipelago that has a long and rich history intertwined with the sea. It is a modern EU state and an idyllic sailing and yachting destination blessed with incredible scenery.
Malta has always been a nation of seafarers. Its rich mix of architecture, history, cosmopolitan lifestyle, and favourable legislation makes it ideal to register yachts and private vessels.
As a yacht owner, you should register your vessel in a jurisdiction that has a sound reputation, offers competitive terms and allows access to ports and sea lanes.
Malta has the largest ship and yacht registry in Europe and the sixth-largest globally, making it one of the most successful ship registries in the world. There are good reasons for this, particularly for superyacht owners.
Potentially reduce VAT dues to 5.4%
Any pleasure yacht which spends more than six calendar months out of each year cruising in European Union waters is subject to VAT. Yachts purchased by EU residents within the bloc or imported from overseas are liable to VAT.
The VAT system for yachts in Malta offers very competitive rates. A sailing boat longer than 24 metres is taxed at 5.4%, depending on the type of yacht and its length. A motorboat is between 16.0–24 metres is taxed at 7.2% under a leasing agreement, depending on the type and length.
The leasing of the yacht to a third party using it for economic activity means that the VAT may be reclaimed under Maltese law.
Malta’s sound reputation as a maritime jurisdiction
Other jurisdictions are cheaper to register yachts in than Malta. Nevertheless, if you want reassurance and peace of mind at sea and in port, the reputation of the jurisdiction is essential. It is important to choose a reputable flag on the white list of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Malta is precisely the most popular jurisdiction for superyachts because it has signed several treaties regulating and supervising the industry.
Malta is listed on the Paris MoU and the Tokyo MoU and has a robust and rigorous supervisory framework for vessels registered under its flag.
Efficient and straightforward registry process
Malta has a very efficient and straightforward registry process for seafaring vessels. It’s equally straightforward to remove a vessel from the registry.
The process of registering and discharging financing mortgages is also straightforward. In addition, Malta has competitive registration and renewal fees, no restrictions on crew’s nationality and 24-hour service in case of urgent matters.
Berthing and services
Malta has thousands of berthing spaces to cater for every type of marine craft on the market. Facilities are ultra-modern and regularly maintained.
There are also berths in Gozo, the much quieter sister island. The yachting industry is well developed, and services ranging from anti-fouling to engine overhauls are available all year round. The yachting community is vibrant and active, welcoming newcomers to the scene in the typically Maltese warm manner.
Malta is close to other ports and sea lanes in the Mediterranean, allowing easy access to the rest of the basin and beyond.