Expertise in Maritime

Malta is historically tied to the maritime industry, most notably due to its unique location within the Mediterranean. The island is well recognized as a worldwide acknowledged center that offers yacht owners and managers a comprehensive range of support services. At Vaia our team is highly specialized in the yachting sector and offers its clients a tailor-made solution for their yachts.


Services related to maritime

Sale, Purchase & Financed Transactions 

Vaia Legal is highly specialized in structuring sale and purchase transaction of yachts in line with internationally recognized standards. We pride ourselves with having a high closing rate and the team is dedicated towards successfully closing such transactions within the clients’ agreed to time frames. Following the successful purchase of a Yacht, Vaia Legal can also offer post-closing support in terms of structuring the ideal ownership structure and registration formalities.

At Vaia legal our lawyers offer representation for all types of, lenders, borrowers, investors, and sellers, in the financing, leasing and trading of vessels. The team is remarkably experienced in the industry and has advised on, as well as structured numerous transactions pertaining to vessels.

Registration of Pleasure or Commercial vessels

The Maltese Merchant Shipping Registry is a success story in itself, the Maltese registry is the largest registry in the European Union. The team at Vaia Legal provide advisory services to clients considering the Maltese Flag for their Yacht. We work with a number or owners, manager, and brokers where we advise on the benefits that the Maltese registration can give to a yacht and its owner, while ensuring that Malta is the right jurisdiction for the said yacht.

Malta provides a solution for both pleasure and commercial yachts, and the flag has had great success for both types of registrations. The registration process in Malta is split into 2 steps, the first being the provisional registration, which enables us to procure a registration in a relatively short time frame, while then allowing a time of 6 months for the submission of additional documents and certain original documents. Following the submission of all necessary documents, the permanent registration of the yacht is then obtained.

The registration of a yacht intend for commercial use, comes with a standard procedure to be followed. Alongside such procedure, commercial vessels are subjected to a specific commercial survey, and is required to obtain a Certificate of Compliance. Once registration under the Malta flag has been carried out successfully, Commercial vessels are to abide by the Commercial Yacht Code 2020.

Customs Importation

As stipulated European Customs Code adopted by the European Union, a yacht needs to be in free circulation within the community and therefore needs to retain a positive customs status. There are various ways a yacht owner can achieve this, Malta provides for:

  • Temporary importation procedures.
  • Fully importation for VAT paid vessels - predominantly used for VAT paid yachts.
  • Exempt importation – typically used for commercial vessels.

The importation procedures in Malta stipulate that the yacht must be physically present in Malta and the procedures are carried out together with the Maltese Customs and VAT department and have been tried and tested for many years. The streamlined procedures enable us to work at a fast rate and avoid any unnecessary downtime for the yacht.

For further queries please contact the team at Vaia Legal, and we will provide you with the right information for your brief.

Vat regularization

The team at via legal together with their tax advisors, are positioned to assist with providing a tailor-made solution for those yachts which are to be operated in a pleasure capacity in European waters and wish to pay VAT on the value of the hull of the yacht.

For further information, please contact the team at Vaia Legal, and we will provide you with the right information for your operations.