Updates to the commercial yacht code in Malta

26 Jan 2023

The updates to the Commercial Yacht Code (‘CYC’) were issued in 2020 became effective from the 1st January 2021.

The Code is specifically intended for yachts engaged in commercial operations and which do not carry more than 12 passengers and which are 15 metres or more in length overall but less than 24 metres, yachts that are 24 metres or more in length but less than 500GT and yachts that are 500GT or more.

There are three Navigation Notations: (a) Navigation within 60 miles from a safe heaven (Short range) (b) Navigation within 150 miles from a safe haven or (c) Unrestricted Navigation, which may be granted to Commercial Yachts certified in accordance with this Code.

The Code sets the required standards of safety, pollution prevention and crew welfare which are appropriate for the type and size of the yacht which are relevant to International Conventions, EU directives, Industry Standards or equivalent standards. The Administration may accept alternative equivalents to any standard mentioned in this Code upon review.

A Certificate of Compliance (‘COC’) to Trade as a Commercial Yacht is issued when completion of the survey and inspections and compliance with the CYC standards are satisfactory.

Recognised Organisations and Appointed Surveyors Oversight Programme

The Administration has established a Recognised Organisations’ and Appointed Surveyors’ Oversight Programme to oversee, monitor, audit and enforce the Statutory inspection being carried out onboard commercial yachts and to ensure surveys are carried out in compliance with the Code.

Flag State Inspections (FSIs)

The Administration may decide to carry out FSIs onboard yachts in any port, which are carried out by authorised flag State Inspectors only.

Port State Control Inspections

Full co-operation and assistance must be given to any attending Port State Control Inspectors by the yacht masters, owners or managers. In case of a port State control detention, the owner or master of the yacht must immediately inform the Administration.

Accident or Incident Reporting to the Administration

The Owner, Operator, or Master of a ship are required to immediately report any occurrence of a marine accident or incident to the Maltese Authorities within 24hrs and to the Marine Safety Investigation Unit at their earliest.

Recognised Organisations and Appointed Surveyors Duties and Limitations

Appointed Surveyors and Recognised Organisations which are authorised, qualified, experienced and skilled may perform surveys and certification pertaining to this Code and may be chosen by the owners/managers at their discretion.

Certification change from Private Yacht to Commercial Yacht

A request must be submitted for the Yacht’s Certification to be converted from Commercial to Private and the administration issues a Private Yacht Registration Certificate.

Classification Requirements

It is ideal that all yachts are classed by a Recognised Organisation (‘RO’) and maintain valid classification throughout the validity period of the COC, however, the minimum Classification requirements are:

  • All yachts ≥ 500 GT shall be classed by an RO and shall maintain valid classification throughout the validity of the COC.
  • New yachts ≥ 24 m in length shall be classed by an RO and/or shall have been built in conformance to a Recognised Organisation Rules’ and classed during construction by an RO.
  • All yachts, irrespective of their size and area of operation, fitted with battery installations intended as the sole source of propulsive power or as part of a hybrid system, shall be classed and shall maintain Classification throughout the validity of the COC.

For the full CYC 2020, you may refer to the following link:

For more information about the above and other maritime related matters, you can contact our office on