Company in Malta

Malta is an EU Member State with
an Exceptionally Advantageous Tax Regime

Bookmark This Page

Malta Shipping Company

Malta Company Formation and Malta Citizenship Packages

€99 – Malta Company Formation | €14.950 – Malta Citizenship

*** Click Here for a Full Written Quotation ***

We specialize in Malta Company Formation and Malta Citizenship and Residency – Residence. We help you with Malta company formation, company set up and incorporation, management services, bank account opening, issue of passports and residence permits, taxation as well as Malta Residence and Citizenship Services in order to obtain Malta Company Tax and Malta Residence and Citizenship Advantages.

Malta provides unique advantages and constructive use of Malta state incentives can give you significant benefits. Tax, residency, safety and lifestyle advantages.

We are leading Company Formation and Citizenship professionals who are part of the FBS Kotsomitis Global Network. We will be your Partner in Malta for ALL your Malta Company Formation and Malta Citizenship Needs.

Malta Shipping Overview

Malta has a deeply-entrenched maritime tradition. Over the years, Malta’s shipping registry has earned a reputation for efficiency and the Malta Flag, is one of the most widely-recognised merchant shipping flags, establishing itself as a Flag of confidence.  Today, Malta is one of the largest maritime nations in terms of registered tonnage worldwide, with a fleet of over 5,000 registered vessels, the 2nd largest in Europe, after Greece.

The Merchant Shipping Act (“the Act”), regulates the registration and operation of vessels under the Malta flag, and is based on its English Law counterpart.  Under the Act, any type of vessel (including but not limited to oilrigs, platforms, barges etc;) may be registered in the Maltese Shipping Registry and fly the Malta Flag.  Furthermore, the Act also allows for bareboat charter registration for foreign ships under the Malta Flag and also for the bareboat charter registration of Maltese ships under a foreign flag.

Advantages of the Maltese Flag

Maltese Law affords a number of fiscal benefits to ship owners or bareboat charterers operating tonnage tax ships – vessels of at least 1,000 net tonnes registered under the Malta flag and owned, chartered, managed or administered by a Shipping Organisation (a status automatically conferred on a company, partnership, trust or foundation having as its activities the owning, operating, administration or management of vessels).  Some of most attractive advantages of registration under the Malta flag, may be summarised as follows:

  • Automatic exemption from income tax in Malta on income derived from shipping activities of Maltese tonnage tax ships;
  • Automatic exemption from donation and succession duty on the capital represented for Maltese tonnage tax ships;
  • Automatic exemption from duty on documents and transfers (stamp duties) payable on the sale or transfer of Maltese tonnage tax ships, and on the allotment or transfer of any share or stock in any company owning such vessels;
  • Registration of hulls/ vessels under construction and mortgages over such vessel is permitted;
  • No restrictions on the nationality of the master, officers and crew serving on Maltese vessels;
  • Uncomplicated and efficient procedure for registration and deletion of Maltese vessels, as well as for the registration and discharge of mortgages;
  • Efficient procedures for the sale or transfer of shares or stock in Maltese shipping companies;
  • No trading restrictions imposed on Maltese registered vessels.

The aforesaid exemptions, may, by bespoke application, also apply to vessels below 1,000 net tonnes.

Contact one of our officers to initiate the registration process for vessels under the Maltese Flag and start reaping the full benefits of an onshore, low-tax, reputable, EU jurisdiction. Simply fill in the contact box below or contact us by email on enquiries@fbsmalta.com or by calling at +356 2338 1500

We are committed to providing you with a swift solution best suited to your needs.

Malta Ship Registration

Eligibility for Registration

All types of vessels, from pleasure yachts to oil rigs, are eligible for registration.  Vessels are eligible for registration under the Act if they are wholly owned by-

I. citizens of Malta;

II. Maltese juridical persons established under and subject to the laws of Malta having their principal place of business in Malta;

III. Any other person, as may be prescribed by regulations, e.g. vessels wholly owned by legally constituted bodies or entities in reputable jurisdictions, trust, foundation, as well as any EU citizen.

The formation of a Maltese company, is therefore, not necessary for registration.  Nevertheless, the Maltese company offers several benefits, including low maintenance costs, swift incorporation (incorporation may be effected within 2 working days), and flexibility, with no nationality requirements as to both the shareholders and directors.

Where the vessel is owned by a foreign owner, a resident agent must be appointed to expedite all registration formalities with the Maltese Shipping Registry, as well as in respect of all matters pertaining to the upkeep of the vessel’s register.

Age of the Vessel

There are neither trading restrictions nor age restrictions. However:

  • Ships of 15 years and over, but under 20 years, must pass an inspection by an authorised flag state inspector before or within a month of provisional registration; and
  • Ships of 20 years and over but under 25 years, are required to pass an inspection by an authorised flag state inspector prior to being provisionally registered.As a rule trading ships of 25 years and over are not registered.

Malta Ship Registration Procedure

The registration of a ship under the Maltese Flag, provided all the necessary documentation is provided, is a relatively fast and seamless procedure.  The ship is first provisionally registered under the Maltese Flag for six months (extendable for a further period, or periods not exceeding in the aggregate six months), and shall, upon the satisfaction of all documents necessary by the Registrar of Shipping, be awarded a permanent registration.

The requirements for provisional registration are:

  • Application for registration by the owner(s) or an authorised representative, including, if required, application for change of name of ship;

    This application shall be completed in the case of individuals, by the person requiring to be registered as owner or by some one or more of the persons so requiring if more than one.

  • Proof of qualification to own a Maltese registered ship, in the case of a body corporate, the memorandum and articles of association;
  • In the case of non-Maltese owners, appointment of a resident agent;
  • Where applicable, copy of the current ship’s International Tonnage Certificate;
  • Declaration of ownership made in front of the Registrar by the owner or an authorised representative, containing:

I. a statement of his qualification to own a Maltese ship or, in the case of a body corporate, of such circumstances as prove it to be qualified to own a Maltese ship;

II. a statement of the time and place where the ship was built.  If this is not known, a statement that the declarant does not know the time and place of her building;

III. a statement of the extent to which he or the body corporate, as the case may be, is entitled to be registered as owner;

IV. a declaration that to the best of his knowledge and belief no unqualified person or body of persons is entitled as owner to any interest in the ship or any share therein; and

V. a declaration as to what registered encumbrances (mortgages etc), if any, exist on the ship.

  • Evidence of seaworthiness;In the case of trading ships, confirmation of class with a recognised organisation, and information of the ship statutory certification including Company ISM compliance.
  • Where applicable, request for the Administration to authorise the appropriate recognised classification society to issue the ship’s and the Company statutory certificates;
  • Where applicable, application for Minimum Safe Manning Certificate;
  • Application for Ship Radio Station Licence

After these documents have all been submitted, and the registry fees and annual tonnage tax, have been paid, the vessel shall be provisionally registered under the Malta Flag.  Thereinafter, the owner(s) of the vessel must within one (1) month of provisional registry, furnish the following documents to the Maltese Shipping Registry:

  • A builder’s certificate containing true account of the proper denomination and of the tonnage of the ship as estimated by him, and of the time when and the place where the vessel was built, and of the name of the person (if any) on whose account the ship was built or, if there has been any sale, the bill of sale or other document under which the ship or a share therein was transferred to the applicant for registry;
  • Evidence that any foreign certificate of registry of the ship, or equivalent documents, has been legally cancelled or the registry has been duly closed.

Within six (6) months of provisional registry, (which may at the Registry’s discretion be extendable for further period of six (6) months), the owner(s) shall furnish the registrar with the following documents and evidence:

  • Proof that the ship has been issued with such valid certificates required by international conventions (including protocols, annexes and appendices thereto) which have been ratified or acceded to or accepted by the Government of Malta;

As of November 2010, Malta has entered into the following conventions: CLC 92, Tonnage 69, COLREG 72, Fund 92, INMARSAT, LLMC 1996 Protocol, Local Lines 66 (including 1988 Protocol), London Convention 72, MARPOL 73/78, SOLAS 74/78 (including 1988 Protocol), STCW 78 (including 73 amendments), Bunkers 01, AFS01, SUA 88 (including SUA Protocol 1988), SAR 79, FAL 65, OPRC 90, OPRC-HNS Protocol 00, ILO Conventions Nos. 8, 16, 22, 53, 73, 74, 8, 98, 108, 138, 147C (including 1996 Protocol) and 180.

Where valid appropriate convention certificates are not in place the ship will be issued with a non-operational certificate of registry.

  • In the cases of SOLAS ships, copy of the last updated Continuous Synopsis Record issued by the Administration where the ship was last documented;
  • Certificate of Survey and a copy of the International Tonnage Certificate issued by an approved surveyor of ships;

The surveyor shall in his certificate specify the ship’s tonnage and build and such other particulars descriptive of the identity of the ship.

  • Evidence that the vessel has been marked in accordance with law (name marked on bows as well as name of home port on the stern, official number and registered tonnage cut in main beam, scale for draught line) etc;

Registration Certificate

When the requirements preliminary to registration whether provisional or otherwise, have been complied with, the Maltese Shipping Registrar shall enter in the register the following particulars
with respect to the ship:

  • The name of the ship;
  • The details comprised in the surveyor’s certificate where applicable;
  • The particulars respecting the ship’s origin stated in the declaration of ownership;
  • The name and description of the ship’s registered owner(s) and, if there are more owners than one, the proportions in which they are interested in the ship;
  • Any registered encumbrances that may come to the knowledge of the registrar;
  • The details of any mandate or power of attorney, granted by way of security to the mortgagee, or to a third party for the mortgagee’s benefit.

On completion of registry of a ship the registrar shall grant a certificate of registry.  The period of validity of a certificate of registry shall be as follows:

  • if issued within the first twelve months of provisional registry for the remaining period of the said twelve (12) months; or
  • if issued at the expiry of the first twelve (12) months for a period of twelve (12) months:

Thereinafter, all certificates of registry shall be issued for a period of twelve months provided that within a period of three (3)months prior to the expiry of such certificate, the registrar, upon the payment of the annual fee, shall issue a renewal certificate of registry in the prescribed form.

Registration Expenses

The registration fees payable to the Maltese Shipping Registry may be summarised as follows:

Ship of Net Tonnage  (NT)

Fee on registration

Annual Tonnage Tax
Exceeding Not Exceeding
0 2,500 €575 €875
2,500 8,000 €575 plus 23 cents for every NT in excess of 2,500 NT €875 plus 35 cents for every NT in excess of 2,500 NT
8,000 10,000 €1,840 plus 7 cents for every NT in excess of 8,000NT €2,800 plus 19 cents for every NT in excess of 8,000 NT
10,000 15,000 €1,980 plus 7 cents for every NT in excess of 10,000 NT €3,180 plus 14 cents for every NT in excess of 10,000 NT
15,000 20,000 €2,330 plus 7 cents for every NT in excess of 15,000 NT €3,880 plus 12 cents for every NT in excess of 15,000 NT
20,000 30,000 €2,680 plus 7 cents for every NT in excess of 20,000 NT €4,480 plus 9 cents for every NT in excess of 20,000 NT
30,000 50,000 €3,380 plus 7 cents for every NT in excess of 30,000 NT €5,380 plus 7 cents for every NT in excess of 30,000 NT
Exceeding 50,000 €4,780 plus 7 cents for every NT in excess of 50,000 NT €6,780 plus 5 cents for every NT in excess of 50,000 NT

However, the following reductions or increases on the rates per net tonnage on registration and annual tonnage tax, set forth above shall apply.  Recently-commissioned vessels shall benefit from a reduction in fees on registration and annual tonnage tax, which fees and taxes shall be increased proportionately to the vessel’s age, in the manner set forth below.

Age of Ship Reduction on Fee on Registration % Registration or Increase on Annual Tonnage Tax %
Equal to or Exceeding Less Than
Years
0 5 50 -30
5 10 25 -15
10 15
15 20 +5
20 25 +10*
25 30 +25*
Equal to or exceeding 30 +50*

* Subject to a minimum increase of €1164.69

Registration fees for any one year paid after the anniversary of registration for that year shall be increased by ten per cent (10%).

Our Services

Focus Business Services offers a comprehensive portfolio of corporate and legal services.  In the area of Shipping, the services provided include:

  • Assisting client throughout all the phases leading to, and pursuant to flag and ship registration under the Malta Flag;
  • Liaising with the Maltese Shipping Registry in relation to any formalities related thereto;
  • Incorporation of ship owning and ship management companies;
  • Directorships, special attorney/s and company secretarial work in relation to the aforesaid companies;
  • Advising on Ownership and Management Structures both from a corporate and fiscal perspective.

Contact one of our officers to initiate the registration process for vessels under the Maltese Flag and start reaping the full benefits of an onshore, low-tax, reputable, EU jurisdiction. Simply fill in the contact box below or contact us by email on enquiries@fbsmalta.com or by calling at +356 2338 1500

We are committed to providing you with a swift solution best suited to your needs.

Shipping Classification Societies in Malta

As a pre-requisite for ship registration, Maltese registered vessels must, and for as long as they are registered in Malta, be classed with a classification society, recognised by the Government of Malta, to issue statutory certificates, including certificates in terms of the ISM Code and the ISPS Code. This classification constitutes in itself a hallmark of quality – attesting to the seaworthiness of the vessel. As of April 2012, the Shipping Classification Societies recognised by transport Malta for this purpose are as follows:

  • American Bureau of Shipping – Bureau Veritas;
  • China Classification Society – Class N K;
  • Det Norske Veritas – Germanischer Lloyd;
  • Korean Register of Shipping – Lloyds Regiser of Shipping;
  • RINA- Russian Maritime Register of Shipping

Complementing the aforesaid list, are a number of other classification societies that, will, for existing Maltese registered ships be recognised for classing and certification purposes. However, for new ships seeking to be classed and certified by the following classification societies, it is obligatory to seek the prior clearance of Transport Malta, whereby recognition shall be entertained on a case-by-case basis, regard being had to the principal place of business of the ship of operation and its class, in the twelve (12) months, immediately preceding the consideration for such classification. The classification societies falling under this discretionary regime would be the following:

  • Croation Register of Shipping;
  • Hellenic Registrer of Shipping;
  • Polish Register of Shipping

Contact one of our officers to initiate the registration process for vessels under the Maltese Flag and start reaping the full benefits of an onshore, low-tax, reputable, EU jurisdiction. Simply fill in the contact box below or contact us by email on enquiries@fbsmalta.com or by calling at +356 2338 1500

We are committed to providing you with a swift solution best suited to your needs.

Malta Shipping Company Official Registry Forms

Just as changes to the Malta Partnership and Malta Company should be notified to the Registry of Companies, then changes to a Malta Shipping Company must also be notified to the Registry of Companies. Notification is effected through registry forms and the filing thereof has the effect of notifying third parties.   In most cases, filings must be effected within 14 days of their date of execution, however, there are circumstances, where the time-frame allowed  by law exceeds the aforesaid time-frame.  The full list of registry forms may be downloaded below:

(updated April 2011)

Contact one of our officers to initiate the registration process for vessels under the Maltese Flag and start reaping the full benefits of an onshore, low-tax, reputable, EU jurisdiction. Simply fill in the contact box below or contact us by email on enquiries@fbsmalta.com or by calling at +356 2338 1500We are committed to providing you with a swift solution best suited to your needs.

Is your message urgent?
YesNo

  • Your Name (required)
  • Your Email (required)
  • Your Mobile
  • Subject
  • Your Message
  • Input this code           captcha


Skype Me™!