Pleasure and Commercial Yacht Registration


Pleasure and Commercial Yacht Registration

The Firm assists clients with yacht registrations both under the Maltese flag and other jurisdictions.


Maltese Yacht Registration

A yacht (pleasure or commercial use) may be registered under the Malta flag in the name of a company (of any nationality) or an individual (strictly an EU/EEA/ Swiss nationals). Where the owner is a non-Maltese company or EU/EEA/Swiss national, a resident agent in Malta would need to be appointed to represent the International Owner concerned with the Malta Registry of Shipping.


Pleasure Yachts

A yacht to be used for pleasure purposes may be registered under the Malta flag in a relatively quick time with very few requirements.


Commercial Yachts

The Maltese Registry of Shipping (Transport Malta) launched the third edition of the Commercial Yacht Code (CYC) in 2015. The CYC is a comprehensive code which regulates the registration of all commercial yachts starting from a minimum length of 15 metres, carrying not more than 12 passengers and being operated for commercial purposes. All yachts covered by the Code must be surveyed, certified and maintained in accordance with their respective category requirements. An initial commercial yacht survey and radio equipment inspection respectively must be carried out when a commercial yacht is joining the Malta flag for the first time. Upon satisfactory completion of the Initial Survey, the Registry of Shipping will issue the yacht with a Certificate of Compliance to trade as a “commercial yacht” is issued, valid for 5 years.



The Firm also assists yacht owners with both pleasure and commercial registrations under non-Maltese flags.  

The Firm acts as the Designated Office in Malta of the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize and the Jamaican Ship Registry respectively, and also has a close working relationship with other international flag administrations.


The Maltese Commissioner for Revenue recently published Guidelines regarding the VAT Treatment of the leasing of pleasure yachts based on the location of the effective use and enjoyment by the lessee of the pleasure boat.  Lessees who are in a position to effectively demonstrate that the yacht is regularly used outside of EU waters, will be able to benefit from a reduced rate of VAT on the usage of the yacht as charged to them by the Lessor proportionate to the distance covered by the yacht within and outside EU territorial waters. Please note the Guidelines on the following link:-,%20Part%20Two,%20Third%20Schedule%20to%20the%20VAT%20Act%20-%20280219.docx.pdf

In terms of the Guidelines, the VAT rate will be worked out according to the actual usage of the yacht in and outside EU waters. If the yacht is intended to sail in international (non-EU) waters frequently, then the owner and the lessee may be interested in entering a yacht lease agreement pursuant to the said Guidelines.

Please contact us on  with your yacht registration enquiry for us to guide you with procedures, fees and costs in respect of pleasure or commercial yacht registration, as applicable.