Yacht Ownership

Owning a yacht does not have to be onerous, cumbersome or complicated…

Through our professional experience of over 25 years in the nautical industry and in co-operation with selected best-value legal and accounting professionals, we will advise you on the best ownership set-up to suit your needs & circumstances.

Whether you wish to simply register the yacht in your name, disclose your identity or incorporate a tax-effective corporate set-up, we can guide you with the recommended steps to formalize your yacht ownership.

Apart from specializing in yacht registration under Malta Flag, we can assist you in registering under different jurisdictions, such as: British, Jersey and Belgium flags.

ADVANTAGES OF MALTA FLAG REGISTRATION

Registration of yachts under the Malta flag offers several advantages, the most notable being the Maltese legal framework, which has developed a very suitable and highly developed structure to offer an efficient registration process through the enactment of various legislation and ratification of the major IMO conventions. This is complimented by other important factors such as low yacht registration and annual fees, no age limit for the registration of a yacht, low company formation costs, no restrictions on the nationality of the yacht owner and manning crew, reduced VAT rates depending on the size and type of the yacht, all regulated by EU norms and standards.

Apart from Pleasure Yacht Registration, the Malta Flag Registry offers a tax effective Commercial Yacht Registration for larger yachts under the Malta Commercial Code, whereby commercial yachts operating on the high seas and carrying paying passengers (owner is using the yacht for an economic activity) are exempt from VAT on any supplies, including maintenance costs of the yacht, and no VAT is chargeable on revenue from chartering operations.

Companies operating commercial yachts are exempt from income tax on any income generated by the operation of their yachts. The exemption will apply – provided an annual tonnage tax, based on the gross tonnage of the commercial yacht, and the annual registration fee are duly paid.

Where a commercial yacht does not qualify for the exemption from income tax, they may take advantage of the low effective income tax rate of 5%.

REGISTERING A PLEASURE YACHT UNDER MALTA FLAG

This is a very transparent and straight-forward process, and the eligible ownership could be an individual or a corporate structure.

One of the main advantages of the Malta Flag Registry is that any Maltese citizen or Malta-resident EU citizen could register their ownership under their own name; whereas, if an EU citizen is not fully resident in Malta, they must appoint a Resident Agent who will act on their behalf for liaison with Maltese authorities.

The corporate set-up for Yacht Ownership under Malta Flag is also a straight-forward and cost-effective process: shipping companies, for example, carry a very low cost of incorporation, a tax exemption on its trading activities and no restrictions on the nationality of its shareholding, to name but a few advantages.

Should the yacht owner not wish to disclose identity, an onshore holding nominee company may be the best advisable way forward, all set up within an effective and transparent legal framework.

Last, but not least, yacht owners may wish to avail themselves of Special Fiscal Incentives offered by the Maltese legislation (such as Yacht Leasing Structures for payment of EU VAT)

Contact our office on (+356) 99691169info@maltayachting.com.mt or fill in Contact Form.

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