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Yacht Leasing In Malta - A Guide (Updated March 2019)

25 March 2019

Introduction

In light of the recent release of the new guidelines for the leasing of yachts by the Government of Malta Oceanskies has produced a timeline of events in order to assist potential clients in understanding the current position.

2007

Government of Malta published official guidelines concerning the leasing of private yachts which enabled the owners of private yachts to achieve a VAT paid vessel at a reduced rate through the creation of a leasing structure in Malta.

2007 - 2018

These guidelines provided the basis for one of the most popular methods for the payment of VAT on private yachts in the EU.

2018

On 8th March the EU Tax Commission announced that they had written letters of formal notice to open infringement proceedings against Malta (along with Cyprus and Greece) to investigate the incorrect levying of VAT on yachts.

At the time of the public announcement of this initiative Pierre Moscovici, the Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Union, said:

“In order to achieve fair taxation we need to take action wherever necessary to combat VAT evasion. We cannot allow this type of favourable tax treatment granted to private boats, which also distorts competition in the maritime sector. Such practices violate EU law and must come to an end."

The Government of Malta withdrew their leasing guidelines during the summer of 2018.

2019

On 28th February, 2019 the Malta Department of VAT issued new guidelines concerning the leasing of yachts which enable the owners of private yachts to achieve a VAT paid vessel at a reduced rate through the creation of a leasing structure in Malta.

On 20th March, 2019 referring to the letters of formal notice to open infringement proceedings issued on 8th March, the Malta Finance Minister Edward Scicluna publicly announced that following the publication of the new guidelines “the Commission has dropped its case”.

As at the date of writing the EU website continues to list the infringement proceedings against Malta as open.

Additional Reading

  • EU VAT & Yachts – Frequently Asked Questions
  • European Commission - Press release - Value-added tax on yachts: Commission opens infringement procedures against Cyprus, Greece and Malta - Brussels, 8 March 2018
  • European Commission - Press release -Paradise Papers: Commission follows up on illegal tax breaks for yachts and aircraft - Brussels, 8 November 2018
  • VAT Department of Malta - Guidelines Regarding Item 12 Of Part Two Of The Third Schedule To The Value Added Tax Act

For further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

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@oceanskiesltd

25 March 2020 at 07:58

Here is a batch of Tonnage Plates for yachts we are registering with @RedEnsignGroup under British flag here @oceanskiesltd HQ awaiting courier despatch. These plastic strips are an important part of the yacht registration process #yachtregistration #yachtregistry pic.twitter.com/5xGR7f0Xo3

@oceanskiesltd

17 March 2020 at 07:43

A beautiful start to the day again here @Oceanskies in St. Peter Port Guernsey were we are pleased to welcome the latest @sunseeker_int Sunseeker 50 Predator #Guernsey @guernseyharbours @locateguernsey @vistguernsey #PositiveVibes pic.twitter.com/rajLtbGriM

@oceanskiesltd

16 March 2020 at 13:42

On this sunny Monday we are pleased to welcome this beautiful @Sunseeker_Intl 76 Yacht to @gsyharbours which is undergoing @RedEnsignGroup registration with Oceanskies - Anyone would think its Summer! #yachtregistration #yachtlife #Guernsey @LocateGuernsey #PositiveVibes pic.twitter.com/gy0sguWV5S

@oceanskiesltd

11 March 2020 at 16:55

Today we have been Northern France visiting an incredibly busy @Lagooncats factory near La Roche sur Yon for the tonnage survey of a newbuild Lagoon 46 sailing catamaran undergoing @RedEnsignGroup registration by Oceanskies #lagooncatamaran #yachtregistration #tonnagesurvey pic.twitter.com/rwmKAuzOvX

@oceanskiesltd

10 March 2020 at 17:21

Today Duncan has been in a sunny and warm Monaco for the tonnage survey of an @PrincessYachts Princess 82 undergoing red ensign registration by Oceanskies - we are a leading yacht registration agency working with the world’s best yacht registries #yachtregistration #tonnagesurvepic.twitter.com/PUl9Sy4L9a9a

@oceanskiesltd

04 March 2020 at 06:53

Very pleased to act as agents for the visit to @gsyharbours of a @Sunseeker_Intl 76 Yacht @PrincessYachts Y78 #Sunseeker #SunseekerYachts #SunseekerFamily #Princess #princessaroundtheworld #Princessyachts #Guernsey @VisitGuernsey pic.twitter.com/Y3Tk7X8paE