Shipping companies in Malta

The Maltese government greatly supports shipping businesses in Malta. This can be evidenced by the convenient legislations set in place. The registration and operation of a shipping company in Malta is quite simple and more efficient compared to other EU countries.


Why should you register a ship under Malta?
Registration of a Maltese shipping company is a hassle-free process and it comes with a set of benefits. Companies in the shipping business enjoy lower tax rates both on their trade and when it comes to selling or buying a ship. Furthermore, these companies also benefit from the exemption of taxes on payment of stamp duties and distribution of dividend profits from tonnage ships. No restraints are imposed on share transfer, sale or mortgaging. 
The legislation on shipping business was leveled for both locals and foreigners and affects them similarly. There are no special laws for foreign employees in the shipping business. Prospective investors interested in Malta are even allowed to register their ships even before their manufacture is complete. Usually, the registration time span for shipping enterprises in Malta is only 2 days when all the paperwork is in place.


Shipping Companies Tax levies 
Shipping entities in Malta are liable to standard tax rates except for companies registered in the state. Ships owned by Maltese registered companies and those under firms acknowledged by MSA will also enjoy several tax privileges. Other ships that could enjoy exemption in Malta are tonnage tax ships with the only condition that they have to be registered and pay an annual tonnage tax.


Malta Ship Registration
For every ship below twenty-five years of age, an inspection is required prior to registration. However,  ships that are above twenty-five years cannot be registered to operate in Malta according to the state legislation. There is a provisional registration before the permanent registration and usually, this takes a period of half a year. In this period, all the paperwork for the final registration should be processed. It’s also possible to prolong the provisional period by another 6 months if need be.


What are the requirements for registering a ship in Malta?

  • Title deeds or any evidence for ownership of Maltese ships
  • Registration payments
  • Inspection documents including those that verify class
  • Unregistered vessels to produce manufacturers certificate or documentation of sale or registry
  • Proof that the vessel has been cleared from its former country, a cancellation of registry certificate will be required as evidence.
  • Survey and international tonnage certificates which prove  that the ship meets the specified requirements expected by the conventions of Malta
  • Names of one of the ship crews.

It’s requisite that this paperwork is presented to the authorities during the provisional registration period.
Professional Assistance
For more insights on the Maltese shipping companies, you may contact SIGTAX. Our invaluable team, which consists of expert lawyers, accountants and consultants will give you detailed information and counsel during each step.  Our lawyers can provide you with finer details on the legal aspects pertaining to shipping companies in Malta so that you don’t skip any necessary steps.



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