There are several benefits that attract clients to register their vessels with the Maltese flag. Malta is strategically positioned in the heart of the Mediterranean at the crossroads of a number of important shipping routes. The Malta flag is a flag of confidence and a flag of choice, making Malta's Ship Register one of the largest and most reputable ship registers in the world. All types of vessels may be registered under the Malta flag and may avail of the benefits available under Maltese law.


Any individual or entity, wherever they may be established or situated, may register their vessels under the Malta flag. Entities or individuals who are not resident in Malta may register their vessels under the Malta flag through our appointment as resident agents, such that we would act as their representatives before the Maltese flag authorities.

The main advantages of registering a vessel under the Malta flag are the following:

  • Malta is an international maritime centre providing a whole range of maritime services;
  • The Maltese flag is a globally recognised flag;
  • The Maltese Ship Registry is in the top 20 white-listed Paris MOU Registries and has also achieved good recognition in the Tokyo MOU (Asiatic ports) and America;
  • The Maltese flag has also met the criteria for low-risk ships, for the Paris MoU;
  • The Maltese jurisdiction has adopted and implemented all major International Maritime Conventions;
  • The Maltese flag allows the registration of all types of vessels including pleasure yachts, commercial yachts, ships, and oil rigs;
  • No trading restrictions apply for vessels registered with the Malta flag;
  • Vessels less than 25 years old may be registered with the Malta flag;
  • Transport Malta, as the authority responsible for shipping in Malta is one of the largest registers worldwide operating efficiently and professionally;
  • Transport Malta offers a twenty-four-hour, seven days a week service in respect of urgent matters;
  • Vessels would not need to enter Maltese territorial waters for the purposes of registration;
  • Malta offers low company formation costs;
  • Malta boasts of low ship registration and tonnage tax costs;
  • Transport Malta has efficient processes in place for the purposes of registering vessels with the Malta flag and any mortgages thereon;
  • It is possible to obtain a provisional certificate within days allowing vessels to navigate whilst further formalities are being satisfied for the subsequent issuance of a permanent certificate;
  • Transport Malta issues Certificates of Compliance for yachts to operate as commercial yachts;
  • Maltese vessels may be bareboat charter registered with other flags.
  • In the case of personal use of yachts, individuals need not incorporate companies and may register their yacht in their own name;
  • Progressive reduction in registration and tonnage tax costs for younger ships;
  • No restriction on the nationality of the master, officers, and crew;
  • No restriction on the sale or transfer of shares of a company owning Maltese ships;
  • No restriction on the sale and mortgaging of Maltese ships;
  • No trading restrictions;
  • Beneficial tax treatment;
  • Ships may be registered in the name of individuals and legally constituted corporate bodies or entities irrespective of nationality.

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.