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Malta has a strong maritime tradition that has long attracted foreign interests. Moreover, over the last years its ship register has developed swiftly, significantly increasing the gross tonnage of Maltese-registered ships and establishing Malta as one of the four largest maritime nations in terms of registered tonnage worldwide.

Taxation of Shipping Companies 

Shipping companies are subject to corporate tax at the normal rate. However, under the Merchant Shipping Act, all gains or profits of a Malta company derived from the operation and ownership of a Maltese-registered vessel are exempt from income tax.

This tax benefit applies to companies owning registered vessels of not less than 1,000 net tons engaged in the carriage of goods and passengers.

Maltese Shipping Company dividends distributed to corporate shareholders are exempt from tax.

Interest payable to a non-resident on a loan raised for the purpose of owning or operating a registered ship is exempt from tax.

The sale, transfer or transmission “causa mortis” of any ship or of any shares in a ship-owning company is duty-free.

Our firm is set up to ensure that managers and charterers receive a quick and seamless ‘one stop’ service for all their local administrative needs. We provide a comprehensive range of services which include:

  • Formation of shipping companies
  • Audit, accountancy and secretarial support services
  • Registration of vessels and mortgages under the Malta Flag
  • The handling of all flag administration matters
  • Dealing with the Malta Maritime Authority and other local authorities
  • Tax planning for merchant vessels
  • Ship registration

For more information on this topic please contact us.