Highlighting the Guidelines issued by the Merchant Shipping Directorate for Changeovers of Commercial Yachts and Pleasure Yachts (the ’Guidelines’).

The Guidelines issued on the 2nd of September 2021 were construed to list the principal points and procedure for a yacht owner to consider when they wish to change the status of registration of a Malta flag yacht from commercial to pleasure and vice-versa. The aim was to provide clarification on the existing procedure to facilitate a smooth transition throughout the process.

The change will be administered by the appointed Resident Agent who will handle the change over directly with the Merchant Shipping Directorate within Transport Malta.

There are no limits to the number of changes made to the registration status of a Malta-flagged yacht nor to the time limit in regards to the duration of change of such registration. As one will see, these Guidelines were construed to offer Malta yacht owners and yacht managers a clear, concise and flexible framework that is compliant with international regulations and the expected standards of the Malta Commercial Yacht Code.

The new Guidelines recommend that Malta yacht owners and managers maintain the same survey as well as the certification standards required for commercial yachts even whilst the yacht’s status is changing into a pleasure yacht. Such approach should allow for a smooth transition back to commercial status when the need arises.

The change of registration is subject to the payment of a fee. The Guidelines stipulate that there are exceptions concerning any fees payable should there be multiple changes in the status of the Malta yacht that takes place during the same year.

The newly issued Guidelines have been welcomed by the yachting sector. Our team at Zeta will be happy to assist you should you wish to receive further information on Malta flag yacht registration.