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Malta – Turkey Maritime Agreement

Malta Signs Maritime Agreement with Turkey

January 2015

Malta has further cemented its position as a major maritime player with a maritime agreement entered into in January 2014 between Transport Minister Joe Mizzi and his equivalent Turkish counterpart Lufti Elvan.

Although Malta and Turkey have already concluded several memoranda of understanding in the maritime sphere, the agreement is aimed at consolidating the existing framework, by embellishing relations and cooperation in maritime trading, including but not limited to the enhancement in the safety and security measures in navigation. This maritime agreement comes in the wake of tighter ties between the two countries, following the ratification of the double tax treaties between Malta and Turkey as of June 2013. The maritime ties also complement the now excellent logistic ties between the two countries – with the daily connections between Istanbul and Malta increasing up to ten flights a week as from March 2015, thereby acting as a catalyst for Turkish businessmen to tap into the excellent fiscal incentives currently on offer on Malta.

The maritime agreement signed with Turkey is further testament to the ongoing clout of Malta as a maritime power. Apart from the highly successful yacht leasing scheme (over 400 registered superyachts), which has allowed pleasure yacht owners to benefit from a reduced rate of VAT (as law as 5.4% for yachts in excess of 24m), this move serves to increase the ever-growing number of vessels registered under the Maltese flag. Malta is currently the largest ship registry by tonnage in Europe, surpassing the Greek registry, with double digits growth from 2010 to date. Currently the cumulative tax tonnage of ships registered in Malta is of 51.8 million gross tons.

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