Notice to Shipowners, Ship Operators, Managers, Masters, Owners’ Representatives and Recognised Organisations by the Merchant Shipping Directorate.

The Merchant Shipping Directorate would like to draw the attention of all concerned to the publication of the Merchant Shipping Act (Amendment of Various Articles) Regulations, 2016 published on 1 June 2016 as Legal Notice 210 of 2016. The Regulations shall come into force on 1 July 2016.

Following a continuous review of the provisions regulating the registration of ships under the Merchant Shipping Act (Cap. 234), a number of provisions were identified for amendment. The provisions required a degree of improvement in order to further enhance the level of service provided and to further streamline the registration process and the provision of ancillary services.

These amendments include, inter alia, amendments to:
i. article 19 of the Act providing the option for a maximum of five year validity period for a Certificate of Malta Registry and its Renewal Certificate in respect of ships of 500 gross tonnage and over.
ii. article 19A of the Act concerning the Certificate of Malta Registry issued in the name of the charterer or lessee and the addition of an Article 19B ;
iii. the effect of the sale of a ship and its closure of Maltese registry under article 28A of the Act;
iv. the registration of a change in the ownership of a ship following a merger or by operation of law; and
v. the provisions related to the bareboat charter registration of a ship in or out of Malta under Part IIA of the Act.

In particular, reference is made to amendments introduced with respect to Article 19. It is pertinent to point out, that as required by the same article, in order to issue and maintain an (Operational) Certificate of Malta Registry, the vessel shall be in possession of all relevant valid international statutory certificates, at all times. When a vessel is not in possession of all the relevant valid statutory certificates, only a Non Operational Certificate of Malta Registry shall be maintained on board the vessel.

The attention of all concerned is also drawn to the fact that a Certificate of Malta Registry or its Renewal Certificate shall only remain valid if payment of all the relevant annual registration fees is affected by the anniversary of the initial registration on an annual basis. In order to avoid the uninterrupted operation of Maltese ships, it is important to ensure adherence with the above at all times. In the eventuality of non compliance to such provisions the Certificate of Registry will immediately cease to have effect. Furthermore, this may also lead to the application of penalties as provided under the Merchant Shipping Act and closure of Registry.

The electronic version of Legal Notice 210 of 2016 can be downloaded from:

For further details, contact us on:

Tel: (00356) 21 651387
Fax: (00356) 21 651384
Email: [email protected]