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. Shipping companies incorporated in terms of Merchant Shipping (Shipping Organisations – Private Companies) Regulations may however benefit from less stringent obligations imposed on other types of private companies, which must be incorporated under the Companies Act, 1995.
From 1st August 2004, shipping companies may elect to be incorporated under, and regulated by, the Merchant Shipping (Shipping Organisations – Private Companies) Regulations (MSR) instead of the Companies Act. Shareholders and directors need not be Maltese nationals.
That means, that all types of vessels, from pleasure yachts to oil rigs may be registered, provided that, inter alia, they are wholly owned by Maltese citizens or Maltese Bodies Corporate.
Eligibility for Registration
Ships of 20 years and over but under 25 years must pass an inspection by an authorised flag state inspector before or within one month of provisional registration.
Ships of 25 years and over must pass an inspection by an authorised flag state inspector prior to being provisionally registered.