Malta Shipping Company
The registration of a vessel on the Maltese Register no longer necessitates the incorporation of a shipping company in Malta. Foreign corporates (referred to as an international owner or charterer) complying with requirements may also register a vessel in Malta. Shipping companies incorporated in terms of Merchant Shipping (Shipping Organisations – Private Companies) Regulations may however benefit from less stringent obligations imposed on other types of private companies, which must be incorporated under the Companies Act, 1995.
From 1st August 2004, shipping companies may elect to be incorporated under, and regulated by, the Merchant Shipping (Shipping Organisations – Private Companies) Regulations (MSR) instead of the Companies Act. Shareholders and directors need not be Maltese nationals.
Basic Requirements for Incorporation of a Malta Shipping Company:
The basic requirements and information necessary for the registration of a shipping company under the Merchant Shipping Regulations are as follows:
- The proposed name of the company. The words ‘Limited‘ or ‘Ltd‘ must be inserted at the end of the proposed name. Reservation of a proposed name prior to registration is possible.
- The name, residential address, nationality, passport number, date and place of issue and date and place of birth, of each shareholder. In general there must be a minimum of two shareholders, which may be individuals or corporate entities, however one shareholder may be permitted.
- The name, residential address, nationality, passport number, date and place of issue and date and place of birth, of each director. Companies may have a minimum of one director and directors may be corporate entities.
- Any special instructions on the company structure, voting rights and similar matters as may be deemed necessary by the shareholders.
- There are obvious inherent advantages in having a local individual acting as Special Attorney, as corporate documentation and authorities may be attended to in Malta.
From the 1st January 2005, a Maltese shipping company is bound to file an annual return as of each anniversary of registration and to be filed within 42 days of said anniversary. Every officer of the company who is in default of filing such annual return shall be liable to a penalty and a further penalty for every day that the default continues.