Malta Flag voted as top Maritime Registry
March 2023. Acumum – Legal & Advisory participated in discussions where Malta was given hands-down approval as a top registry for yachts.
Speakers on a panel at the Superyacht Investor London held in March, stated that Malta would be their flag of choice when registering yachts with multiple interests. Held at the Royal Garden Hotel, the event brought together yachting experts from all over the globe, including lawyers, advisors, brokers and managers.
Dr Geraldine Spiteri, who attended the event, says that the ‘meetings covered the most important topics currently affecting the industry’. Discussions covered finance, insurance, sanctions and other operational yachting matters and even fractional ownership and other yacht-sharing arrangements.
Despite the dip which might have been expected on yacht markets during COVID, the yachting industry thrived. Demand for charters was on the rise, especially once lock-downs eased off. Requirements to stay within a limited bubble made yacht chartering the ideal holiday and groups of owners pooled together to charter yachts. Those who really enjoyed the experience opted to purchase – alone or in a group. Some service providers also acted to bring together customers wishing to buy a share in a yacht, managing chartering schedules, maintenance and operational requirements and flagging of the yacht.
Fractional Ownership – Increased Uptake
An increasing trend has been for shared ownership (sometimes referred to as ‘fractional ownership’). New-build and second-hand markets have flourished as potential clients began to see the benefits of being able to get away, onboard a yacht and away from the crowds. Fractional ownership allows the different owners to reserve the yacht for slots (weeks) at a time, during different parts of the year on a rotational basis. The managers will propose schedules, areas to visit and itinerary and they report an increased tendency to choose more remote areas for more unique yachting experiences.
Through this mechanism, the yacht has several registered owners with each indicating the percentage or number of shares held. The Merchant Shipping Act (Cap 234 of the Laws of Malta permits the registration of multiple owners of the same yacht. It also allows for the registration of multiple interests, making it a very viable option for financiers and other stakeholders. Clearly, the flexibility of the Maltese Shipping Register allows all of these interests to be registered. Coupled with all the other benefits of Maltese registration, for yachts owned by multiple owners it is the flag of choice.
About Acumum – Legal & Advisory
Award-winning legal, tax, fiduciary and accounting firm, Acumum – Legal and Advisory is a Malta-based firm that acts as a leading advisor to international clients with a range of legal and accounting services, with offices across Europe. Recently celebrating 10 years since its establishment, it forms part of a wider group of firms that provide trusts, fiduciary, wealth and estate planning and corporate services, of which yachting forms a part.
Acumum Legal & Advisory’s Marine & Aviation team was present and participated in the discussions surrounding areas of interest to its maritime clients. The team is headed up by Dr Geraldine Spiteri, whose main practice areas are maritime and yachting, aviation and transport and corporate law. Dr Spiteri has worked in the yachting industry for over ten years, brings with her a range of experience and contacts that enables Acumum to ensure an all-round service to yacht-owning clients.
Dr. Geraldine Spiteri. I Head of Marine & Aviation.
[email protected] +366 2778 1700 ext 403