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Ship Registration Procedure

The vessel is first provisionally registered under the Malta flag for six months (extendible for a further period, or periods not exceeding in the aggregate six months) during which time permanent registration needs to be finalised.

The procedure to register a vessel is relatively straightforward.

Provisional Registration:

Requirements for provisional registration include:

  • The completion of an “Application Form for Registration”
  • An application for a “Change of Name”, if required
  • A “Declaration of Ownership” made before the Registrar
  • “Proof of Qualification” to own a Maltese ship – in the case of body corporate, the Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Evidence of seaworthiness; in the case of trading vessels, confirmation of class with a recognised Classification Society, and information of the ship statutory certification including ISM compliance
  • Application for Minimum Safe Manning Certificate
  • Application for DMLC Part 1
  • Application for Ship Radio Station Licence
  • A copy of the Ship’s International Tonnage Certificate
  • Payment of registration and tonnage tax fees.

During the period of provisional registry, certain documents are to be submitted to the Registrar including:

  • A Builder’s Certificate if the vessel has not been registered elsewhere; otherwise, a Bill of Sale or any other document by which the vessel was transferred to the present owner:
  • A Deletion Certificate from the last country of registry showing the vessel to be free from any encumbrances;
  • Copy of the last updated Continuous Synopsis Record issued by the Administration where the ship was last registered;
  • A Certificate of Survey and a copy of the International Tonnage Certificate that the vessel has been surveyed in accordance with Maltese regulations;
  • A Carving and Marking Note giving evidence that the vessel has been marked in accordance with the law;
  • A crew list accompanied by copies of the officers’ certificates of competency.

Permanent Registration:

Requirements for Permanent Registration includes:

  • Original Builders’ Certificate, or Bill of Sale, as the case may be
  • Deletion Certificate from the previous Registry
  • Ship’s Carving and Marking Note to be returned duly signed and completed by Class Surveyor
  • Undertaking in favour of Registrar of Shipping to return the Provisional Certificate of Registration following the issuance of the Permanent Registration Certificate.
  • Proof that the Ship has been issued with valid certificates required by International Conventions (including protocols, annexes & appendices thereto which have been ratified or acceded to or accepted by the Government of Malta
  • Copy International Tonnage Certificate
  • Original Certificate of Survey
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