Malta's Maritime Sector

| 03 Feb 2017

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The maritime sector has substantially characterised Malta’s history. For centuries, Malta has taken advantage of its strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea and styled itself as a world-class maritime centre, offering a vast array of services to the maritime industry, and becoming home to one of the most prestigious and reputable ports in the world. The Maltese flag has become synonymous with years of experience and reputability in the maritime industry. Despite being one of the smallest European nations, Malta has the largest maritime registry in Europe and the sixth largest in the world. It is also one of the largest registries in Europe for yachts and super yachts.

What distinguishes Malta from competitor jurisdictions is the fact that it offers comparatively low selling costs and has a highly advantageous structure of berth sale. Moreover, Malta offers the possibility of fiscal planning and VAT payment minimization in the context of yachts and super-yachts used for pleasure purposes.  Malta offers a favourable regime for VAT minimisation for pleasure yachts used specifically in the European Union which could potentially lower the tax rate down to 5.4% through a leasing set-up. For more information about Malta VAT yacht solutions, please view our factsheet.

With respect to super yachts, Malta has set up the Malta Super Yacht Network which brings together a group of local companies offering a wide spectrum of yacht repair & maintenance services to complete refits. Membership to this network grants a ‘stamp of approval’ to these businesses which continues to build upon the very positive reputation that Malta has in the maritime industry.

The agreement which binds berth owners is structured in the form of a contract of sale, rather than a mere long-term of lease. Thus, it confers full ownership for the duration of the contract, which is normally contracted for 25 years. Such benefits for berth owners have made Malta an attractive and ever-growing hub for super yachts.

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Dr Charlene Mifsud

Partner, Corporate & Commercial

+356 2205 6298

Dr Priscilla Mifsud Parker

Senior Partner, Corporate, Tax & Immigration

+356 22056122

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