Commercial Yacht – Pleasure Yacht Changeover Guidelines

Commercial Yacht – Pleasure Yacht Changeover Guidelines


The "Commercial Yacht – Pleasure Yacht Changeover Guidelines" (the ‘Guidelines’) were recently issued by Transport Malta's Merchant Shipping Directorate, with the main aim of guiding those yacht owners and managers who seek to change the registration status of a Malta registered yacht from pleasure to commercial, or vice versa.


Although it has always been possible to convert the status of a Malta registered yacht, these Guidelines have been developed to make the conversion process detailed in the Malta Commercial Yacht Code easier. According to the Guidelines, the Merchant Shipping Directorate sets no limit on the number of changes of registration or the duration of the change. This gives yacht owners and managers flexibility when it comes to complying with international regulations.


Notwithstanding this flexibility, the Guidelines strongly recommend that yachts that convert their status from commercial to pleasure, still maintain the same survey and certification standards required for commercial yachts. This suggestion is considered as beneficial in the event where one decides to revert back to commercial status.


Moreover, when applying for changeover, the Guidelines require that an undertaking is signed by the yacht owner or manager, attesting that they will return the current certificate of Registry of the yacht to the Administration once the new certificate of Registry is received onboard. A copy of the said undertaking should be attached to the changeover application.  


According to the Guidelines, a change of status from pleasure to commercial requires the payment of a fee and is subject to the provisions of the First Schedule of the Merchant Shipping Act (CAP. 234). However, if there are multiple changeovers within the same year, the fees for the change will only be due once, rather than during each changeover.