As reported by Fenech & Fenech Advocates, post-Brexit, UK citizens are eligible to register a vessel under the Malta flag, whether or not said citizen is currently residing in Malta.
Until 2020, Maltese law provided for the possibility of registering a vessel under the Malta flag in the ownership of a non-Maltese individual, as long as they held a valid EEA, EU, or Swiss passport.
Following Brexit, the applicable law has been altered to also allow British passport holders to register.
Ship flagging is essential for the operation of maritime vessels, as it allows the operator to travel internationally and be able to prove ownership.
There are said to be numerous advantages of registering a vessel under the Maltese flag. For example, there is an automatic exemption from income tax on income derived from shipping activities of Maltese vessels, and a number of taxation and bilateral maritime agreements with other countries.
The advantages of Maltese registration is so pronounced and widely recognised that in January, it was announced that the Malta Shipping Registry ranked first worldwide in 2020 for the number of Superyachts registered, with 850 vessels registered that qualify as superyachts.
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Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri notes that education and awareness are the best tools to combat such threats