Yachting and Aviation

Importation Procedures for Yachts

Yachts that are imported into the EU for commercial purposes, must undergo relative VAT and customs procedures in order to then be imported into the EU. Having said this, for a yacht to be positioned in the EU indefinitely it would need to be registered in an EU member state. Malta would be an ideal location for yacht registration. Yachts that are proposed for commercial use can be imported into the EU through Malta for the necessary VAT and customs procedures to be undertaken. This allows for yachts to be chartered out and freely sail within EU waters. The VAT rate regarding the importation of yachts for commercial use in Malta is 18%, although a VAT deferment is available which would replace the need to pay the 18% VAT.

There is also the possibility for yacht owners with a non-EU flag, who are non-EU residents and who plan to use their private yachts temporarily in EU waters, to place their yacht under a temporary importation via Malta.

This process requires the mentioned yacht to call at Malta and be subjected to temporary importation with the Maltese customs authority. The yacht owner would be able to use the yacht freely within EU waters and can move from one member state to another with no further formalities of a period of 18 months.

Further to discussions with the local authorities, a number of new procedures relating to the importation of yachts in Malta have been confirmed. Such procedures are aimed at the deferment of VAT on the importation of commercial yachts highlighted below:

  • Deferment of VAT on the importation of commercial yachts by Maltese owning entities having a Maltese VAT registration without the requirement of the importing entity setting up a bank guarantee;
  • Deferment of VAT on importation of commercial yachts by EU owning entities having a Maltese VAT registration provided that the company appoints a VAT representative in Malta in terms of Article 66(2)(b) of the VAT Act without the requirement of the importing entity setting up a bank guarantee;
  • Deferment of VAT on the importation of commercial yachts by non-EU owning entities on provision by the importing entity of a bank guarantee in an amount equivalent to VAT on 0.75% of the value of the yacht which would be capped at 1 million EUR.


For more information on how Zeta can assist you with your yachting queries, contact us we will be happy to assist you further.