Following a review of the provisions regulating the registration of ships under the Merchant Shipping Act (Cap. 234), a number of provisions were identified for amendment and on the 1st June 2016, the Merchant Shipping Act (Amendment of Various Articles) Regulations, 2016 were published by virtue of Legal Notice 210 of 2016. The Regulations will come into force on the 1st July 2016.
The Regulations will come into force on the 1st July 2016
These amending regulations introduce, inter alia, amendments to:
- 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;
- 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;
- the effect of the sale of a ship and its closure of Maltese registry under article 28A of the Act;
- the registration of a change in the ownership of a ship following a merger or by operation of law; and
- the provisions related to the bareboat charter registration of a ship in or out of Malta under Part IIA of the Act.
With regards to Article 19, it is important to point out that in order to issue and maintain an (Operational) Certificate of Malta Registry for such maximum period, the vessel must necessarily 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.
Moreover, a Certificate of Malta Registry or its Renewal Certificate will only remain valid if payment of all the relevant annual registration fees is effected by the anniversary of the initial registration on an annual basis.