Malta: Malta Extends Time Limit To Pay 5% Vat On Yachts Until April 15, 2004
Last Updated: 2 April 2004

Early this year the Maltese Government introduced a system whereby yacht owners could register their yachts in Malta and pay 5% VAT on the market value of the yacht. Such yachts would be considered to be VAT-paid for EU purposes as soon as Malta joins the European Union on 1st May, 2004. The offer was valid until 31st March, 2004.

Following the large interest shown in the offer, the Maltese Government has extended the offer by another fifteen days, that is until the 15th April, 2004.

Therefore all those yacht owners who missed out on the first opportunity and are still interested in taking advantage of the offer, have now fifteen days in which to contact us and get the ball rolling.

There are three situations which will undoubtedly benefit yacht owners.  

a) yacht owners who have their yachts registered in a non-E.U. flag jurisdiction and who consequently have limited rights to say within E.U. waters, might wish to register their vessels in Malta; the registration in Malta with payment of 5 % VAT will make the yacht EU-VAT compliant and the boat can then be kept within EU territorial waters indefinitely.

b) yacht owners who already have their boats registered in Malta but have limited right to access within E.U. territorial waters might wish to pay VAT in Malta

c) persons intending to acquire yachts within an E.U. member state  prior to 15th April 2004 will avoid paying VAT in the country where they buy the yacht on the basis that the yacht is being exported to Malta (still a non-E.U. country); they can then register in Malta, pay 5% VAT and become E.U. compliant on the  1st May 2004.

The offer is valid until 15th April 2004 and therefore interested yacht owners must take immediate action to have their yacht registered in Malta and have it VAT-paid before that date.  From 16th April 2004 the VAT rate will rise to 18%.  It is not necessary to physically bring the yacht to Malta for purposes of valuation. On payment of the VAT, the owner of the yacht is issued with a joint declaration from the Malta Customs and the VAT department certifying that VAT has been paid in Malta.

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