According to the Merchant Shipping Act – Ships Eligible for Registration Regulations, established by Subsidiary Legislation 234.23 and further amended by Legal Notice 69 0f 2001, the notion of “international owner” is defined as a foreign body corporate or other entity which enjoys legal personality to the satisfaction of the Registrar of Shipping. Such international owners and individuals who are citizens of the European Union, are qualified to own Maltese ships.
Through Legal Notice 22 of 2015, the individuals who are qualified to own Maltese vessels, has also extended to citizens of the European Economic Area and of Switzerland.
Thus, a citizen of a Member State of the European Union or of the European Economic Area or of Switzerland not residing in Malta shall be qualified to own a Maltese Ship or a share therein. Therefore, the Legal Notice sought to fill in the gap and include EEA and Swiss nationals to the definition of International Owner, as long as these are not resident in Malta.
For further information on how to proceed with such ownership please contact us here.