Boost of Malta Super-Yachts Registration in 2016
Malta boasts the largest maritime flag in Europe. Clearly aided by its valuable geostrategic position, Malta has prospered in the maritime industry by adding fiscal, legal and corporate benefits and possibilities to attract further interest from prospecting parties.
Minister Joe Mizzi outlined Malta’s success story during his inaugural speech at the conference on Opportunities in Superyachts adding that it was his ministry’s ambition to further develop the super yacht segment. During 2016 the Malta flag registered an increase of 14% in the registration of superyachts over 24 metres.
In particular, Malta offers a favourable VAT regime for yachts and super-yachts registered under its flag and used for pleasure purposes through a leasing set-up. This involves the setting up of a Malta company which acquires the yacht and leases it to a third party. The leasing of the yacht must be undertaken through Malta meaning that the yacht must be in Malta at the beginning of the lease, however it is not strictly necessary for the yacht to be registered under the Maltese flag. The first lease payment must be equivalent to 40% of the value of the yacht with lease installments paid every month over the life of the lease agreement which must not exceed 36 months. The lessor company is expected to make a profit from the leasing agreement over and above the value of the yacht. Following the end of the lease, the yacht is sold to a third party for at least 1% of its purchase value and subject to all the relative VAT payments, a VAT paid certificate is issued by the authorities, following which the yacht may circulate freely in the EU. This type of set-up results in the following effective applicable VAT Rates:
|Vessel size||Effective VAT applicable|
|Sailing boats or motor boats over 24 metres||5.4%|
|Sailing boats between 20.01 to 24 metres||7.2%|
|Motor boats between 16.01 to 24 metres||7.2%|
|Sailing boats between 10.01 to 20 metres||9%|
|Motor boats between 12.01 to 16 metres||9%|
|Sailing boats up to 10 metres||10.8%|
|Motor boats between 7.51 to 12 metres||10.8%|
|Motor boats up to 7.5 metres||16.2%|
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