Tax Treatment of Maltese Shipping Organisation

The taxation of Shipping Organisations is dealt with by specific regulations enacted by the Minster responsible for Shipping, with the concurrence of the Minister responsible for Finance (hereinafter the ‘Tax Regulations’) pursuant to the powers granted to the Ministers under the Merchant Shipping Act.

For a Shipping Organisation to qualify for Maltese tonnage tax benefits, five requirements must be met;
  • All registration fees and tonnage taxes must have been duly paid;
  • Separate accounts must have been kept clearly distinguishing the payments and receipts by the Shipping Organisation concerned in respect of shipping activities, including the ownership, operation, administration or management of a tonnage tax ship, and payments and receipts in respect of other business; 
  • Only income derived from shipping activities is exempted;
  • The activities must be performed by a tonnage tax ship;
  • The tonnage tax ship must be owned or chartered by a licensed Shipping Organisation. 
The Tax Regulations provide that, notwithstanding anything contained in the Income Tax Act, but provided that all relevant registration fees and tonnage taxes as may have been prescribed are duly paid, no further tax under the Income Tax Act shall be charged or payable on the income referred to above.
Cedric Mifsud graduated as lawyer from the University of Malta in 2003 and was subsequently admitted to the bar in Malta. He later specialised in European Law particularly focus on Competition law. Upon qualifying he joined a leading firm in Malta as a litigation lawyer. In 2007 together with his brother, Malcolm, he co-founded Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates. Cedric set up the Corporate and Commercial Department of the firm making the firm one of the leading business law firms in Malta. Part of the Corporate and Commercial Department includes the Maritime Practice which has a considerable portfolio of Superyachts and Commercial Vessels.
François qualified as an Avocat (French lawyer) in 2016 and created the French Desk at Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates. He is now registered at the Bars of Paris and Malta. He is also presently a Marine Consultant, a listed Marine Surveyor at the Rouen Appeal’s Court, a Maritime Arbitrator at the ‘Chambre Arbitrale Maritime de Paris’, a Member of the Malta Arbitration Centre, and a member of the Malta Maritime Law Association.
Charlene obtained her Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree in 2016 and is currently reading for Master of Advocacy at the University of Malta. She joined Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates as a legal trainee in 2015 and is mainly responsible for vetting contracts, shipping registration, legal research and drafting, and other general corporate duties.
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