The Authority for Transport in Malta has recently introduced new guidelines for the registration of Pleasure Yachts allowing such yachts to carry more than 12 persons (excluding crew members). These guidelines are effective as from the beginning of the current year 2017. The objective of the Authority is that of strengthening the Maltese Flag’s image as a reputable and solid one while maintaining its renowned flexible and industry-friendly approach.

The area of application of such guidelines extends to pleasure yachts of >24 and <500GT and any yacht of 500GT (no matter its length).

In order to benefit from the possibility to carry more than 12 passengers such yachts will not be allowed to navigate beyond the 150nm from a safe haven and, in addition, they need to:

  • be in class and in possession of the necessary stability booklet;
  • be compliant with the Maltese Commercial Yacht code and all applicable international conventions;
  • carry appropriate safety equipment based on the expected persons on board and have a crew compliment in line with the commercial yacht code.

The below Summary of Requirements for Pleasure Yachts outlines in more detail the requirements to be fulfilled in accordance with the size of the yacht


Pleasure Yachts > 24m in length & < 500 GT

Pleasure Yachts ≥ 500 GT

Class Certificate






X (CYC for yachts > 24m & < 500GT)

X (CYC for yachts > 500GT)

Approved Stability Booklet




Safety Equipment






X (as per CYC Section 16)

X (as per CYC Section 16)



100% on each side unless transferable

100% on each side unless

Crew Compliment in line with CYC


to the extent possible X



not exceeding 150 miles from a safe haven.


not exceeding 150 miles from a safe haven.


Yachts ≥ 300 GT issued with a Safety Radio Statement of Compliance.


Safety Radio Certificate

Intermediate Survey to reconfirm compliance with above requirements

Every 2 1/2 years (=/- 9 months).

Every 2 1/2 years (=/- 9 months)


These guidelines compliment the Commercial Yacht Code introduced in 2010 (latest version dated 2015) which regulates, following the implementation of technical and manning standards, the registration of Yachts as “commercial”; and the VAT Leasing Arrangement applicable exclusively to pleasure yachts. The latter permits significant VAT savings as this would be due only in relation to payments made to a Maltese leasing yacht owning company within a leasing arrangement.

The introduction of the recent guidelines for pleasure yacht has once again consolidated Transport Malta’s commitment to offer yachts and super-yachts owners the same attention given by the Maltese Legislator to owners of other types of vessels since the adoption of the Merchant Shipping Act four decades ago and which has consolidated Malta’s Flag as the biggest and strongest in terms of reputation in Europe and among the top 10 registries in terms of tonnage in the world.