In terms of the amended guidelines of the VAT Yacht Leasing Scheme, the general principle remains that 18% Maltese VAT applies on the leasing of pleasure boats, however the lessor can make use of ‘Use and Enjoyment’ provisions, meaning that the VAT charged would be proportional to the actual time that the yacht spends within EU territorial waters.
Registration of a yacht under the Commercial Yacht Registry carries certain benefits, such as zero tax levied on any income derived from the use of such Commercial Yacht or total exemption from payment of VAT on the value of the yacht, provided that such yacht is used for commercial purposes (chartering) on the high seas.
The Malta Flag is today a flag of confidence, a flag of choice. Its good standing is evidenced both by the number of ship owning and ship management companies of repute which register their ships in Malta.
The registration of a vessel on the Maltese Register no longer necessitates the incorporation of a shipping company in Malta. Foreign corporates (referred to as an international owner or charterer) complying with requirements may also register a vessel in Malta.