Ships eligible for Registration in Malta

malta registered shipsStarting with oil platforms, passenger ships and ending with pleasure yachts, all kinds of ships may be registered under the Malta flag. This is subject to one condition: that the ship is wholly owned by a legally incorporated company or entity irrespective of its nationality or by a European Union citizen.

Ships may also be registered if they are owned by a Maltese body corporate. Company formation in Malta is a straight forward procedure and there are no nationality requirement imposed on its shareholders or directors. These rules are laid down in more detail in the Merchant Shipping (Ships Eligible for Registration Regulations) Chapter 234.23 of the Laws of Malta.
As per Article 3 of the Merchant Shipping Act (Chapter 234 of the Laws of Malta) trading ships of 25 years of age or over may not be registered under Malta flag, however exceptions can be made in certain circumstances.

Ships of 20 years and over but under 25 years of age must successfully go through an authorised flag state inspection before provisional registration. Vessels of 15 years and over but under 20 years of age will undergo a successful flag state inspection prior to or within 1 month from Provisional registration.