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Transport Malta’s Merchant Shipping Directorate issued the “Commercial Yacht – Pleasure Yacht Changeover Guidelines” (the Guidelines) on 2 September 2021.

Such Guidelines are meant to clarify important aspects with respect to the change of registration status of a Malta flag yacht from pleasure to commercial (and vice versa) by highlighting the steps to be followed when yacht owners and managers intend to carry out such change. The aim of Transport Malta is precisely to facilitate yacht owners and managers during the conversion process.

Although such conversion was always made possible by the Maltese flag administration, such Guidelines intend to provide neater and clear rules as to the steps to be followed to achieve the intended changes.

There are no limits to the number of status changes and the duration of change of a Malta flagged yacht. The Guidelines are designed to offer Malta yacht owners and Malta yacht managers the widest flexibility possible in compliance with international regulations and highest standards emanating from the Malta Commercial Yacht Code.

Notwithstanding the above mentioned flexibility, the Guidelines recommend that owners maintain the same survey and certification standards required for commercial yachts also while the yacht’s status is converted into a pleasure yacht. Such approach is meant to facilitate a smooth and fast conversion back to commercial status.

Change from pleasure to commercial status is subject to the payment of a fee. However, should there be multiple changes in status during the same year, Transport Malta will require payment for change in fees only once.

The yachting community and the yachting team at KPMG Malta welcome the Guidelines with great enthusiasm.

For more information feel free to contact Stephan Piazza.