Registration of Commercial Yachts

By virtue of the 2006 Commercial Yacht Code, Maltese Law extended the benefits pertaining to vessels over 1000 GT registered under the Malta Flag, to Commercial Yachts. This has created multiple advantages for yacht and superyacht owners to register their craft under the Malta Flag. The Commercial Yacht Code brings together in one document the requirements for both yachts below 24 metres and yachts above 24 metres. The Code has been successful and has gained wide recognition within the industry.

Yachts which are in commercial use over 15 metres in length, may be registered as commercial yachts as long as they do not carry cargo and as long as they do not carry more than 12 passengers. All type of yachts can be registered as commercial yachts under the Malta flag including historical and training yachts. Yachts over 24 metres in length are to be built in accordance to the reqiorements and standards of a classifiction society authorised to issue statutory certificates on behalf of the Government of Malta. Yachts below 24 metres do not require to be classed.

The requirements for registration under the malta flag vary depending on the particular category that the yacht wualified under as per the following groups:

1. Yachts in commercial use of not more than 24 metres in length and less than 500 GT
2. Yachts in commercial use above 24 metres in length and less than 500 GT
3. Yachts in commercial use above 24 metres in length and above 500 GT

In terms of Maltese Law commercial yachts registered in malta and owned / chartered or managed by a Maltese shipping organisations pay an annual tonnage tax instead of tax on income. Therefore no income tax is due on or in relation to the ownership, operation or managemed of the said yacht. Instead the tonnage tax due will be calculated on the net registered tonnage of the vesel.