A consolidated Maritime Directorate will be set up by the Government of Malta, and a Maritime Advisory Committee to facilitate dialogue between the industry and the Government will be established, according to the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Aaron Farrugia.

The announcement was made during a symposium commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Merchant Shipping Act. It was organised by Transport Malta, in collaboration with the Ministry, the Malta Maritime Law Association and the Malta International Shipowners Association.

“The Merchant Shipping Act was crucial for our country to gain its strong reputation in the maritime field,” said Minister Farrugia.

The law regulates the registration of ships and sailors under the Maltese flag and has enabled the country to become a maritime hub.

According to the CIA Factbook, as of 2022 there were a total of 2,047 ships registered under the Maltese flag, making it the fourth most popular flag of convenience globally, and a leader among European Union member states.

“This industry is going through a strong transformation, both from an environmental and sustainability point of view, as well as a digital transformation. The future is full of challenges, but we are convinced that we will be turning these challenges into opportunities for a better future. The Maltese Ship Register will continue to maintain a good dialogue with all stakeholders to ensure a better and sustainable future,” said Ivan Sammut, registrar-general of Shipping and Seamen.

On Friday (last week) the Malta Maritime Forum’s newly appointed chairperson, Godwin Xerri highlighted the need for the “articulation and implementation” of a National Maritime Strategy, and for it to be “derived from a public-private endeavour.”

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