Important updates and improval for yacht importation | Removal of Bank Guarantee

Important updates and improval for yacht importation | Removal of Bank Guarantee

For many years, Malta has offered an attractive and efficient procedure for the importation of commercial yachts that are intended to be brought into free circulation within the EU, with the scope to enable them to carry out their chartering season in the Mediterranean Sea.

Importing a commercial yacht into Malta requires the yacht to physically enter the Malta port for the relevant VAT and customs procedures to be undertaken. This will result in the effective importation of the yacht into the European Union, where the appropriate importation documentation is released. The yacht is then free to sail within EU waters.

In the event where a yacht is imported in the EU for commercial purposes, it is required to undergoes relative VAT and customs procedures in order to subsequently be imported into the EU. On the other hand, in order for a yacht to be situated within the EU indefinitely, it would need to be registered in a designated EU member state. In such case, a yacht registered in Malta would be a fiscally advantageous alternative. Therefore, yachts that function commercially may be imported into the EU through Malta for the relevant VAT and procedures to be undertaken. This permits the yacht to be chartered out as well as sailing freely within EU waters.

Whilst the VAT rate on the importation of yachts for commercial use in Malta stands at 18%, a VAT deferment is available which would replace the need to fork an initial hefty lump sum at one go. This also applies to yacht owners flying a non-EU flag, who intend to use their private yachts temporarily in EU waters and who are non-EU residents, to place their yacht under temporary importation via Malta. In this specific circumstance, the yacht is required to call at Malta and is subject to temporary importation with the Maltese customs authority. This procedure would enable yacht owners to use their yacht freely in EU territorial waters, without payment of Value Added Tax (VAT), being able to freely move between Member States without any further custom duties or formalities, for the aforementioned period of 18 months.

Malta has now removed the bank guarantee requirement for commercial yachts importation if owning company is Maltese.  If owning company is EU, bank guarantee is removed if a Malta VAT representative is appointed. On the other hand, if owning company is non-EU the bank guarantee requirement remains as before.

Recent updates render the procedure even more effective and streamlined:

1. Deferment of VAT on the importation of commercial yachts by Maltese owning entities having a Maltese VAT registration without the requirement of the importing entity setting up a bank guarantee.

2. Deferment of VAT on importation of commercial yachts by EU owning entities having a Maltese VAT registration provided that the company appoints a VAT representative in Malta in terms of Article 66(2)(b) of the VAT Act without the requirement of the importing entity setting up a bank guarantee.

3. Deferment of VAT on importation of commercial yachts by non –EU owning entities on provision by the importing entity of a bank guarantee in an amount equivalent to VAT on 0.75% of the value of the yacht which would be capped at Euro 1 million.  


Döhle Malta is a fully licensed Corporate Service Provider (CSP383). Our highly qualified team is on hand to carry out comprehensive administration services to all our clients. Döhle Malta provides a service dedicated to professionals who value the human touch and personal contact. Our expertise aims to make the process as effortless as possible.

For further guidance on how we can assist, kindly contact us on nick@dcts-malta.com