Malta: Shipping & Maritime Law Newsletter – Issue No. 19 (November 2015)


Welcome to our latest edition of the GANADO Shipping & Maritime Law Newsletter.

In this issue we report on Transport Malta's recent announcement on the increase in mercantile vessel registration in Malta and the Malta Freeport recent addition of a fourth quay to its terminal facilities. Moreover, we report on Malta's recent initiatives to maximise its maritime potential in light of the Integrated European Maritime Policy and the Malta Maritime Forum. In this issue, we also report on recent legal updates including the entry into force of the MRV Regulation. In conjunction with the legal updates, we also report on all the recently issued MSD Technical and Shipping notices.


MALTA FREEPORT - Proof of Malta's commitment as an international hub for the transhipment of goods

Malta Freeport announced its recent addition of a fourth quay to its terminal facilities. Such investment was made in order to address the needs of shipping lines calling to Malta, now making use of ever-larger container vessels. These cranes are built by ZPMC in Shanghai and have an outreach of 72m, a capacity of 85 tonnes, a lifting height under spreader above rail of 54m and are capable of handling twin-lift spreaders. Moreover, the new quay cranes are equipped with the latest technology. According to Malta Freeport, such investment has made the Freeport in Malta as the only hub in the Mediterranean capable of handling 18,000 TEUs over on two berths.

The acquisition of such cranes was anticipated by infrastructural works in the Freeport area made to ensure that the new quay cranes will be able to operate alongside the overall length of the quay.

This is proof of Malta's commitment towards the maritime industry, with a diversification of investments that range from the provision of legal services to ship owners and credit institutions, onto ancillary facilities such as ship management, ship maintenance and transhipment of goods.

Increase in mercantile vessel registration in Malta

Transport Malta, the Authority responsible for the Register of Ships in Malta, has registered a considerable increase in the number of mercantile vessels registered over the past year. The Ship Registry, in fact, announced that by the end of August of this year, 7,109 mercantile vessels were on its registry flying the Maltese Flag with a gross tonnage of over 62 million. The figure marks an increase of 6.8% when compared to the same period last year.

This announcement maintains Malta's reputation as a maritime hub, with the island increasingly attracting investment to this booming sector and further confirmed the positive performance of 2014, which made Malta reach the 6th worldwide ranking (up from 7th) whilst further consolidating its position as the largest Register in Europe. In fact, as at the end of December 2014, the registered gross tonnage under the Merchant Shipping Act was 57.9 million gross tons.

Today, the Malta Register has also become a world leader in commercial yachts registration where Malta has also registered positive results. Despite the current financial situation worldwide, during 2014 the Malta flag registered an increase of 13.6% over the previous year, in the registration of super-yachts of over 24 metres in length. As of the end of December 2014, the super-yacht fleet flying the conspicuous Maltese cross worldwide was 452.

An integrated Maritime Policy - towards maximising Malta's blue economy

The Mediterranean Sea is the central hub for maritime activity and Malta, being in the centre of the Mediterranean, benefits greatly from this. Currently, Malta's maritime activity translates into employment of more than 20,000 people and a staggering 11% of the island's GDP. From a layman's point of view, these numbers are impressive; however an integrated maritime policy would give Malta the necessary tools to maximise its maritime potential.

In 2006, the European Union launched its Integrated European Maritime Policy which covered maritime transport, the competitiveness of marine business, employment in the marine sectors, scientific research and protection of the marine environment. In 2012, the EU identified five areas of blue growth in order to stimulate a long term plan for the creation of jobs. These are: blue energy, aquaculture, maritime, coastal and cruise tourism, marine mineral resources and, finally, blue biotechnology.

In light of this realisation, Malta is now taking the necessary steps to ensure that foreign businesses are enticed to invest in Malta's maritime sector. Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth, Dr Jose Herrera has recently launched 'Malta Marittima'; a public-private partnership aimed at establishing Malta as a centre of excellence in the maritime sector. This will bring the Government closer to the Maritime Industry and be the catalyst for big companies to reach higher level of excellence in the sector. This will allow Malta to further develop and implement its integrated maritime policy.

The National Integrated Maritime Policy has the objective of establishing the ideal business environment for blue economy and blue jobs. The Blue Growth areas on which to focus are: aquaculture, coastal tourism, marine biotechnology, ocean energy, seabed mining, maritime transport, maritime financial services, ship building and repair, fisheries, and the oil and gas industry.

It is clear that, if Malta wants to make the next step in its bid to become one of the leading jurisdictions in the Maritime sector, it must look towards the areas mentioned above. The task is daunting, however Malta has the necessary expertise in the sector to start expanding its maritime endeavours.

MALTA MARITIME FORUM - Centralising Malta's maritime efforts

For a long time, there has been the feeling that Malta requires a common platform to coordinate efforts in relation to the aspirations and challenges faced by the sectors that make up Malta's maritime industry. Whereas certain maritime sectors are very well represented, there has never been a holistic approach in order to view maritime issues from a more broader perspective.

The main objectives of the Malta Maritime Forum is to provide a platform for the local maritime industry to promote existing maritime services and to assist in the development of new maritime activities. The Forum aims also at promoting research, education, standards and training within the Maltese maritime industry, acting as a constituted body to consult and be consulted by government in the development of public policies that can have a bearing on the Maltese maritime industry.

These objectives have been broadly established in order to ensure that the Forum is as inclusive as possible. Even though this initiative is largely industry based, the Government, as well as the other public authorities involved in the maritime sector, have supported this initiative which bodes well for the future.

Malta has already registered a high level of success within specific sectors and thus the responsibility of the Forum will be to harness these successes and seek to emulate them throughout the whole industry. By centralising Malta's efforts, one would be able to properly analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the sector and seek to reinforce the good which has been done, whilst establishing new standards to strengthen the weaknesses in the industry.

This initiative will embrace Malta's strategic geographical position, as well as its vision of a maritime hub of excellence.

The promoters of the Forum consider this development as a logical next step in Malta's illustrious maritime tradition, which generations past have turned and developed into sound pillars on which Malta's maritime industry stands today.


Is 'emissions control' impinging on competitiveness?

Statistics show that emissions from the global shipping industry amount to approximately 1 billion tonnes a year; this being equivalent to 3% of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions and 4% of the EU's total emissions. Having said this, one must also keep in mind that 90% of world trade is carried out by the international shipping industry; thus further mitigating the emission rates caused by the shipping industry per se, and rendering them negligible in a worldwide context. This begs the question as to whether further emissions control is actually necessary or if it is but a burden to competitiveness in the shipping sphere.

In light of the aforementioned reality, the European Union Regulation 2015/757 on the monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport, and amending Directive 2009/16/EC (hereinafter referred to as the MRV Regulation) came into force on the 1st of July 2015. The MRV Regulation applies only to cargo-carrying tonnage exceeding 5,000gt and mandates the reporting of the CO2 and cargo work of vessels sailing to and from ports within the jurisdiction of a European Union member state. The MRV Regulation further demands a ship-specific monitoring plan for ships sailing to and from European ports, alongside an annual emission report; both drafted by the shipping companies concerned and subject to verification by accredited verifiers. These verified documents shall then be submitted to the European Commission and the Flag States which are held responsible for ensuring the enforcement of the MRV. The Commission has been further empowered to adopt delegated acts to amend methods and rules set out in the annexes of the MRV Regulation in order to take into account international shipping standards. In the case of ships having failed to comply with the Regulation, the option of detention or expulsion may be enforced. The latter means that every Member State shall refuse entry of the ship concerned into any of its ports until the company in default fulfils its monitoring and reporting obligations.

The introduction of the MRV Regulation is expected to lead to reductions of up to 2% of the aforementioned Union emissions. This is to be achieved by way of public access to emissions data previously hindered by a lack of reliable information on the fuel efficiency of ships. More reliable data will lead to a sounder basis for the uptake of many cost-negative measures which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transport. This may be achieved by identifying the most fuel-efficient vessels – which would in turn enhance competitiveness within the sector - and by encouraging new technologies and operational measures adopted to improve efficiency and lower operational costs.

To read this Newsletter in full, please click here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.