Frequently Asked Questions
The following is a list of frequently asked questions in regards to Malta Flag registration. In order to receive personalized advice we recommend that our office is contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org whereby our registration team will be happy to assist you with any of your queries.
Which vessels are eligible for registration?
All types of vessels, from pleasure yachts to oil rigs, including vessels under construction, may be registered, provided that, inter alia, they are wholly owned by legally constituted corporate bodies or entities irrespective of nationality, EEA and by European Union citizens.
What type of Registration is available through Transport Malta?
The three main methods of registering a vessel under Malta are:
- Full registration (including mortgages and encumbrances)
- Bareboat Charter in Malta
- Bareboat Charter out of Malta
What type of ownership structures are available?
To register a vessel under the Malta flag, the vessel must be owned by either a Maltese Company registered with the MFSA (Malta Financial Services Authority) or by an International Owner approved by Transport Malta. In the case of an International owner, the appointment of a Resident agent in Malta is required. This is a service which AML offers.
The formation of a Maltese company is a straightforward operation; there are no nationality requirements as to both the shareholders and directors.
What are the age restrictions of vessels?
As a rule, trading ships of 25 years and over are not registered although in certain circumstances this may be considered.
Is the service available 24/7?
Yes, Transport Malta and AML are available 24 hours, 7 days a week and registration may take place in various ports.
Are there any restrictions on the nationality of crew members onboard Malta registered vessels?
No, there is no nationality restrictions for the Master, officers and crew.
Does Transport Malta require crew onboard to hold Flag State Endorsements and Seaman book?
Transport Malta only requires endorsements to be issued to Officers serving onboard Maltese ships, all other National Seaman Book, Certificate of Competency and Ancillary Certificates are recognised by the flag state.
Does Malta charge for Flag State Inspections?
There are no additional charges for these inspections except when the vessel has to undergo a second or subsequent inspection to ascertain that reported deficiencies have been corrected and, when a ship is inspected prior to provisional registration.
Does the flag state appear on the PSC ‘white lists’?
The Malta Flag appears on the White List of the Paris MoU and Tokyo MoU and on the Low Risk Ship List of the Paris MoU.
What is the registration procedure in order for a vessel to gain a Maltese Certificate of Registry?
A vessel is first registered provisionally under the Malta flag for six months which is extendible for a further period or periods not exceeding in the aggregate six months, during which period all documentation needs to be finalized and a Permanent Certificate of registry is issued.
What protection does a Maltese Mortgage offer to financiers?
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.
What more should I expect from registering my vessel/s under the Malta Flag?
- Reputable and internationally recognised ship register.
- European Flag with a long maritime tradition.
- No trading restrictions and preferential treatment to Maltese ships in certain ports.
- Customer service oriented approach that values long term customer relationships.
- Competitive Registration Fees and low company formation costs.
- Progressive reduction in the registration fees for younger ships.
- Well-organised and highly responsive flag Administration with one of the largest registers in the world and very active in European Union fora and international organisations.
- Maltese requirements well known to main shipyards and main classification societies.
- A clear strategic political vision supporting business and the maritime industry.