The Advantages of the Malta Flag

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October 02 09:57 2018 by The Editor Print This Article

Defined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the flag state is the state which may exercise jurisdiction and control in administrative, technical and social matters over ships flying its flag. In so-doing, each State party to the Convention must maintain a register of ships with the names and particulars of ships flying its flag, and under its internal law, assume jurisdiction over each ship flying its flag and its master, officers and crew in respect of administrative, technical and social matters concerning the ship.

Registration has a dual function in that it has a public function by carrying the sovereignty of the state whose flag it being flown as well a private function in that it is a moveable property over which one or more persons have rights which, at law, are considered worthy of protection. It is these functions that form the basis of the factors that must be assessed in deciding a flag of choice. 
 
As evidenced by Malta’s position as the largest registry in the EU and the seventh largest in the World, Malta excels in the following sectors:
  1. Experience and Reputation
  2. Legal infrastructure and support
  3. Access to capital markets and exchange control
  4. Competitive Fees and Low taxation rates
  5. Political Stability 
  6. Vessel eligibility
  7. Compatible registry for bareboat chartering
  8. Straightforward Registration Process
  9. Unconditional rules on nationality of crews
  10. Low company formation costs
  11. Sound banks
  12. No trading restrictions
Malta is well-aware that to retain its highly-ranked position in the dynamic shipping industry, it must meet the needs of international operators and thus continue to fulfil the one-stop shop concept. 
 
The efficiency of registration in Malta complements the low company formation and ship registration costs, the attractive fiscal incentives to owners, no duty on the sale or transfer of shares of a company owning Maltese ships, no trading restrictions and preferential treatment to its ships in certain ports.