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practice groups  >  malta company formation > malta shipping companies

Malta Shipping Companies



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See also:

- Double taxation treaties

- Financial Services in Malta

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Maltese shipping companies may be used to own or operate a Maltese-flagged vessel and may therefore be of interest to ship or yacht owners wishing to flag or re-flag under the Maltese flag that is currently the 5th largest ship register in the world.

Companies owning or operating (including under bare boat charter) Malta-flagged vessels may apply for a 100% exemption from Income Tax on the resultant profits; companies owning or operating Malta-flagged yachts outside of Malta may apply for a ruling as to ITC status above.

Our Maritime Law Unit is at your disposal to provide all assistance relative to the flagging of the vessel or yacht concerned.


Registration of ships and yachts under the Maltese flag offers several advantages:

  • low company formation and ship registration costs;

  • no restrictions on the nationality of the ship owner;

  • complete tax exemption for private yachts and ships over 1000 Gross Tons;

  • effective tax rate of 4.17% and VAT exemption for chartering of commercial yachts;

  • no restrictions on the nationality of the master, officers and crew;

  • no restrictions or taxation on the sale or transfer of shares of a company owning Maltese registered ships;

  • no restrictions or taxation on the sale and mortgaging of Maltese registered ships;

  • no trading restrictions and preferential treatment to Maltese ships in certain ports;

  • Malta is an international maritime centre providing the whole range of maritime services.

See also:

International Trading Company

International Holding Companies

Ship registration

Eligibility for registration

Procedure for registration

Bareboat charter registration

Manning, International Convention, Mortgages

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