Kenneth Deguara

CFO of DF Group & Head of Yachting Department


Malta has steadily grown in recent years from a convenient port of call for all yachts and superyachts crossing the Mediterranean, to a hub for yachting industry as a whole. Our weather, strategic position in the heart of Europe and array of legal developments, established Malta as the largest registry in Europe and sixth worldwide with regard to registered tonnage. The island has developed the infrastructure requested by superyacht owners, captain and managers, including modern facilities and marinas, top quality chandlery and agency services, repair facilities and other similar products and services.

Moreover, the Maltese authorities and service providers have acted to make the Maltese jurisdiction, and most notably the Malta flag, an attractive solution for yacht ownership, finance and registration. Malta’s membership within the European Union, and Malta’s prestigious maritime tradition, have also contributed to this outstanding rise in the yachting industry.

The registration of yachts under the Maltese flag is a quick and straightforward process, hence why it has become such a popular option. The adoption of the Commercial Yacht Code in 2006 has paved the way to the registration of important yachts involved in the charter business, and provides guidelines to service providers as to the standards expected by the Malta flag authorities. The Maltese Commercial Yacht Code is based on the provisions of the SOLAS Convention and prescribes specific safety and security measures applicable to Malta registered flag vessels. This Code applies to commercially registered yachts of 15 metres in overall length and that do not carry cargo and do not carry more than 12 passengers.

Malta offers secure and smart possibilities for yacht owners and managers in the finance and fiscal fields, making Malta the most attractive jurisdiction available in Europe at present.

DF Advocates has a well established maritime law practice providing legal assistance and advice to individuals and corporate clients. Our wide range of services include:

  • Yacht sale and purchases;
  • Advice and assistance in relation to financing or re-finance of purchase or refit works, involving leasing arrangements;
  • Registration of yachts under the Maltese flag both as Pleasure and Commercial;
  • Registration and discharge of statutory mortgages over yachts registered in Malta;
  • Setting up of VAT yacht leasing structures;
  • Advice in relation to and setting up of tax efficient corporate structures for yacht owners and managers;
  • Yacht importation;
  • Tax advice (including VAT issues);
  • Advice on and drafting of charter agreements;
  • Advice on insurance contracts and other related matters;
  • Advice on and drafting of crewing contracts and other employment related matters.

Kenneth Deguara

CFO of DF Group & Head of Yachting Department


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