Shipping & Yachting

The Malta shipping register has developed to provide versatile solutions to cover ship owner exigencies. Efficient structures exist for the registration of ships of all description. The Maltese Registrar is staffed by experienced personnel ensuring efficient handling of client requirements. Malta provides for the registration (and all ancillary services) of the traditional shipping industry, for example the registration of tankers, cargo ships, cruise ships, barges, tugs, oil rigs (including ships under construction) but also provides for the registration of pleasure yachts and register for commercial yachts. Malta provides for a leasing structure that may be beneficial to private owners opting to have a VAT Paid certificate for their vessel.

Maltese legislation caters for:


Malta provides for a leasing structure that may be beneficial to private owners opting to have a VAT Paid certificate for their vessel. The implementation of this structure mitigates the impact of the payment of VAT on the value of the vessel. This structure is based on the concept that vessels of a certain size do not spend all of their time in EU waters and therefore the VATable value of the vessel is reduced pro rata to the assumption of time spent within EU waters.


This Code is drawn up for vessels that do not carry cargo and do not carry more than 12 passengers. Yachts of more than 10 metres and of up to 3000GT in commercial use will be considered for registration under the Malta flag commercial code. Yachts are being registered under the Commercial Yacht Registry and are subject to several Income Tax and VAT benefits.


A ship registered in Malta together with its equipment, machinery and other accessories may be burdened by a mortgage as a way of securing the indebtedness of the ship and/or her owner or to secure the indebtedness of third parties. Mortgages constitute executive titles and may be enforced immediately. Furthermore, they enjoy a high priority in an eventual ranking of claims against a Maltese ship. A Maltese mortgage is well regarded and a highly considered by international lenders, making Malta an especially attractive Flag when it comes to financed vessels.

The Benefits of the Maltese Flag

  • Ships may be registered in the name of legally constituted corporate bodies or entities irrespective of nationality, or by European Union citizens
  • Low company formation, ship registration and tonnage tax costs; progressive reduction in registration and tonnage tax costs for younger ships
  • Attractive incentives to owners, registered charterers and financiers of Maltese ships of over 1,000 net tonnage; these incentives may also be extended to smaller ships
  • 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 and, preferential treatment to Maltese ships in certain ports.

IMS Services

For further information about our services related to shipping and how we may help you, kindly contact us and we will be happy to assist in anyway we can.