Amendments in the Merchant Shipping Act

| Published on 23 Aug 2016

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The Merchant Shipping Act (MSA) has been recently amended by virtue of the newly published Merchant Shipping Act (Amendment of Various Articles) Regulations, 2016 which came into force on 1st July 2016. 

Legal Notice 210 of 2016 introduced a number of amendments amongst others the possibility of obtaining a Certificate of Malta Registry for a period of maximum five years for ships of 500 gross tonnage and over.  The Legal Notice also introduced the possibility of issuing the Certificate of Malta Registry on the name of the charterer or lessee, even if the vessel does not fall under article 19A of the Merchant Shipping Act (MSA). 

By virtue of said legal notice, it is also now possible to register a change in ownership after a merger or by operation of the law after signing a declaration. Lastly, the name of a bareboat charter registration of a ship in or out of Malta can now also be amended. 

Moreover, the amendments create a new scenario in which Transport Malta can declare a Certificate invalid in cases of non-payment of the applicable fees. This will avoid the uninterrupted operation of vessels registered under the Malta flag and ensure the continuous validity of the Certificate of Registry, whilst avoiding the incurrence of penalties and/or closure of registry in terms of the Merchant Shipping Act.

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Dr Charlene Mifsud

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+356 2205 6298

Dr Priscilla Mifsud Parker

Senior Partner, Corporate, Tax & Immigration

+356 22056122

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