One of the decisions made by owners that can impact the vessel both operationally and financially is the selection of the most appropriate ship registry. The flagging decision for owners and managers is a complex matter and requires the careful consideration of multiple operational, legal and technical criteria.

The Malta Flag is a flag of confidence with a total gross registered tonnage of 86 million and is considered to operate under the highest technical and safety standards. Malta’s accession in the E.U. has made the Malta Flag more attractive to both operators and charterers since vessels flying the Malta flag are E.U. vessels.


All types of vessels from pleasure yachts to oil rigs, including vessels under construction may be registered under the Malta flag, as long as they are wholly owned by legally constituted corporate bodies or entities irrespective of nationality or by European Union citizens.

Vessels owned by foreign corporate bodies or by EU citizens shall require the appointment of a resident agent in Malta.  In the case of vessels owned through a Maltese company, this is a straightforward process and has no nationality requirements as to both the shareholders and directors.

As a rule, trading ships of 25 years and over are not registered although in certain circumstances this may be considered.  Ships of 15 years and over are required to undergo successfully an authorised flag state inspection prior to provisional registration.  Ships of 10 years and over but under 15 years are required to undergo successfully an inspection by a flag state inspector before or within one month of provisional registration.


  • Largest European Maritime Flag
  • 6th Largest Maritime Flag in the World
  • Competitive ship registration fees and low company formation costs
  • Ships and commercial yachts may benefit from Malta’s tonnage tax rules
  • Progressive reduction in registration costs for younger ships
  • On the White List of the Paris MoU and Tokyo MoU
  • No trading restrictions and preferential treatment to Maltese ships in certain ports
  • Meets the flag criteria for a Low Risk Ship
  • Malta is a party to the major International Conventions
  • No restriction imposed on the nationality of crew
  • European crew may benefit from Malta’s low social security rates
  • No restrictions on the nationality of the shareholders or directors of Maltese companies
  • Straightforward and quick registration procedure
  • The Malta Registry has more than 40 years experience and reputation of high quality services and professionalism
  • Wide spectrum of vessels eligible for registration
  • 24 Hours, 7 days a week service for urgent cases


Once a vessel is provisionally registered, registration, transfer and discharge of mortgages may be effected immediately on presentation of the relative documents to the Registrar.

A ship registered in Malta together with its equipment, machinery and other accessories, or any share therein, may be made a security by way of mortgage.

Maltese mortgages offer adequate protection to ship financiers for the following reasons, among others:

  • They enjoy a high priority in an eventual ranking of claims against a Maltese ship
  • Mortgages constitute executive titles and may be enforced immediately without the need to institute lengthy court proceedings
  • They attach to any proceeds from any indemnity as well as any insurance proceeds
  • A mortgagee may prohibit the registration, without his prior written consent, of subsequent mortgages in favour of other creditors, unless such further mortgage is executed in favour of an existing mortgagee
  • The Registrar of Ships is bound to notify the mortgagee upon the transfer of a registered ship to a new Maltese owner
  • The sale of a Maltese ship to a foreign owner requires the prior written consent of all registered mortgagees
  • A mortgagee may apply for any extensions, pay fees and do all such things in the owner’s name in order to maintain the status and validity of the ship’s registration.

Why AML?

AML handles the whole process of the registration of all types of vessels including but not limited to Private and Commercial Yachts and Merchant Vessels.  Our services comprise of:

  • Company incorporation
  • Acting as Resident agent
  • Registration of vessel and renewal of all vessel’s flag state certificates
  • Application of seamen’s books
  • Enrollment of seafarers in Malta’s social security system
  • Vessel accounting support

Through AML’s expertise, we shall ensure that you may benefit from:

  • Dynamic Team specializing in ship registration under the Malta Flag
  • Carefully designed in-house procedure ensuring full compliance with the requirements of the Malta Flag Registration
  • No administrative burden
  • Our team shall carefully assist and guide you through the registration process of your vessel from the initial acceptance by TM to the completion of the Permanent Registration
  • Dedicated customer service throughout the registration process
  • Competitive pricing
  • 24/7 account manager to offer a personalized service ensuring full customer satisfaction

AML’s expertise in flag registration gives owners/managers a value added and personalized service, through the know-how of its registration department, which includes people with a seafaring background. Furthermore, the company’s excellent relations with the Malta Flag State, ensures that the reflagging process will be a smooth and efficient operation, thus giving peace of mind to owners.

Contact us on for more info.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to proceed to the FAQ page

External Links

Registration and Annual Fees
Merchant Shipping Notices
Download Guide to ship registration in English


“We started working with AML-Atlantis Management Ltd in 2012 for setting up a company for the purpose of bareboat charter registration of a containership under Maltese Flag.

Ever since we have enjoyed the close cooperation with AML in managing our registration under Malta flag in a most reliable and efficient way.”

Ann-Katrin BrueggeGermany

“Since 2020 we have been cooperating with AML-Atlantis Management Ltd. very closely.
Without hesitation I can recommend any shipping company that wants to do business in Malta or with the Malta flag to use AML as their partner. We are successfully using their crewing and corporate services as well as their expertise when it comes to the Malta flag.”

Michael VinnenF. A. VINNEN & CO. - Germany

“AML helped us setting up a company for the registration of a sailing vessel under Maltese Flag. We really enjoyed working together with this friendly, always helpful and absolutely competent team. All our questions were answered within an unbelievable short time and all paperwork was done with professional accuracy. We can really recommend this company unconditionally.”

Johann BeckConti - Munich, Germany

“The cooperation with Sue was characterized by her long experience in the shipping market and her deep knowledge of all registration matters, All my enquiries were handled quickly and in an absolutely high standard. I can strongly recommend to get in touch with her if you have shipping business related matters in connection with Malta.”

Dr. Nikolaus UkertCorporate Legal Counsel/Head of Legal CPO/Conti Group

“Sue’s efforts and delivery are always top-notch. She is thorough, helpful, and constructive in her guidance and advice. AML’s work with endorsements and crewing related enquiries to Malta flag is timely and precise. I absolutely recommend AML and Sue’s services. ”

Corinne HobsonCrewing Manager/CSO at Fred. Olsen Windcarrier

“I have the pleasure working with Sue on various topics related to the Malta flag. She always shares here valuable experience, which brings a great benefit. I can only recommend working with Sue as she is a great professional.”

Robert HenningQHSE Manager F.A. Vinnen & Co

Get in Touch

Our team at AML can assist you with various flag registration advisory services through our combined knowledge and several years of experience in ship management, maritime technical roles, crew management and seafaring.

Contact us