Yacht Solutions

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With a strategic position in the Mediterranean which enjoys facilitated access to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, it is no surprise that Malta has established itself as a prime maritime centre, offering an array of services and facilities to the marine industry.

In turn, Malta has gained the reputation of an experienced, reliable and efficient maritime jurisdiction. All these factors came together to foster the perfect environment for Malta to thrive, and this can be seen from the fact that despite its small size, Malta vaunts the largest ship register in Europe and the sixth largest ship register in the world.

Furthermore, Malta is a party to several international conventions and regulations for the uses of the Sea and continental shelf and is in the White-List of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control. Therefore, ships flying the Malta Flag are less likely to be detained in ports for breach of international conventions due to the reputability of the Maltese flag and register.

In the past decades, the Cypriot Authorities have also worked hard in order to set up a world-class jurisdiction for yachting solutions. In 2012, the Cyprus VAT authorities introduced one of the most attractive VAT yacht regimes in Europe which has attracted a number of yacht owners to its shores.

Malta’s Yachting Sector

With around four decades of unprecedented success already behind its back, Malta boasts a long maritime tradition which originates from the islands’ vibrant history, modern facilities and its reputation as a highly regulated country.

This success can also be attributed to Malta’s reputable shipping related services providers, including maritime lawyers, agents, brokers, insurers, accountants and banks offering comprehensive services to owners and operators of ships worldwide. With the recent introduction of new legislation enabling clients to set up ship management entities in Malta, the country has now completed its offering in this area.

The Maltese Yachting Industry

The Yachting Industry in Malta has two key facets, namely pleasure yachts and commercial yachts, the latter used as part of a business activity and to which fiscal advantages for Malta shipping organizations also apply. 

In the case of pleasure yachts, in addition to the brisk registration process, Malta offers the possibility of fiscal planning and a favourable regime for VAT minimisation, potentially down to 5.4% for sailing boats or motor boats over 24 metres, through a leasing set-up. By registering one's yacht or making use of yacht solutions in Malta, one can benefit from an overall reduction of the cost by 15-20% through legal tax planning

Beyond the advantages that the registration process and the VAT yacht leasing presents, Malta offers yacht marinas that may be found all over the Maltese islands. These include facilities for super yachts. Most marinas cater for requirements of yachtsmen, including fuel bunkering, technical services for repairs and services, luxury on-site facilities and immediate access to other off-site facilities.

Cyprus’ Yachting Industry

Cyprus’ geographic position as a logistic hub nestled in the eastern Mediterranean has helped the island attain a deep understanding and reliance on the maritime sector which fuels trade and the touristic industry in Cyprus and allows it to provide optimal yacht solutions

Cyprus has amassed a large yachting industry and this is largely due to the Cyprus VAT authorities’ approach to business which allowed them to introduce one of Europe’s most cost-effective and attractive VAT yacht regimes in Europe. The guidelines issued in 2012 which clarify the VAT treatment of Yacht Leasing Schemes allow for only a percentage of the lease value to be subject to Cyprus’ standard VAT rate of 19%. The effective rate of VAT will vary from 1.90% 11.4% of the lease value, depending on the size of the yacht concerned. This VAT percentage will be based on the length, type of yacht (motor or sailing) and the yacht’s percentage of use within EU territorial waters.

Our Yachting Team

Experienced in all facets of the Shipping and Yachting industry, Chetcuti Cauchi assists and represents individual or corporate clients throughout different stages of vessel ownership. This includes:

  • vessel sale and purchase
  • chartering and leasing agreements
  • setting up of VAT Yacht Leasing Structures
  • marine mortgages, or other forms of securities
  • discharge of mortgages
  • ship owning and ship management companies
  • registration of vessel
  • bareboat charter registrations
  • tax advice

Chetcuti Cauchi holds strong links with all sectors of shipping and maritime law and the firm has specialised lawyers, accountants and tax consultants in all maritime-related fields of law, including ship finance, litigation and admiralty, and is the preferred maritime law firm for banks, other financial institutions and ship-owners seeking the most effective and advantageous financing.

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