Rules for the Charter of Yachts under the Malta Flag - A Guide


The purpose of this guide is to provide information concerning the flag state rules applicable to Malta registered yachts that are operated for charter through the Malta Commercial Yacht Code.

The Malta Commercial Yacht Code was launched in 2006 and last updated in 2015 by Transport Malta.

Transport Malta are the authority of the Malta government holding responsibility and accountability for land, sea and air transport in Malta including the development and oversight of Maltese merchant shipping regulations and their enforcement.

A copy of the Malta Commercial Yacht Code 2015 can be accessed at the following link:

The Malta Commercial Yacht Code 2015

Unlike the separate codes of practice issued by the British Red Ensign group of ship registries for yachts over and under 24 metres in Load Line length, the Malta Code is a single document covering all yachts over 15 metres in overall length and which do not carry cargo and do not carry more than 12 passengers.

New yachts over 24 metres in length are to be built to the requirements and standards of a classification society authorised to issue statutory certificates on behalf of the Government of Malta. Malta recognises all leading classification societies. Yachts below 24 metres in length do not require to be classed.

All commercial yachts over 24 metres in length are issued with a Minimum Safe Manning Certificate. Transport Malta has, over the years, built considerable experience in this field. Malta recognises training and certification from the most reputable training establishments and countries. There are no restrictions on the nationality of the crew.

All yachts covered by the Code are required to be surveyed, certified and maintained in accordance to their respective category requirements. An Initial Survey is first carried out when a commercial yacht is joining the Malta flag for the first time. Upon satisfactory completion of the Initial Survey a 5 year valid Certificate of Compliance to Trade as a Commercial Yacht (COC) is issued.

Subsequent to Initial Certification, during the 5 year validity of the COC, yachts less than 24m length have to undergo an Intermediate Survey whilst yachts greater or equal to 24m in length have to undergo annual surveys. The COC is renewable every five years and surveys may be carried out by Appointed Surveyors or by Recognised Organisations.

Red Ensign large yacht coded vessels  and ‘Codice dell Noleggio’ certified charter yachts transferring to the Malta Registry may be issued with an operational Commercial Yacht Code Certificate, immediately, upon the initial application for a period of three months to complete any necessary surveys and formalities.

It should be remembered that the coding of a yacht used for charter is only one stage of the process and that advice should always be taken in respect of local legal and fiscal obligations prior to the commencement of any commercial activity.

Oceanskies in conjunction with our partner surveyors is able to provide a complete charter yacht registration package combining commercial Malta flag yacht registration with coding certification and the employment of crew through Oceanskies Crew Limited in a Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) environment and, where applicable, with deduction and payment of Malta social security contributions.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

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Oceanskies Limited

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Oceanskies (Malta) Limited

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Saint Anne Street,

Floriana FRN 9011, Malta

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