The Government of Malta has released a document detailing its new strategic vision for the superyacht industry on the Mediterranean island. Building on recent growth, economic success and a longstanding maritime tradition, the government is seeking to further boost the economy with the introduction of more marinas, fiscal and legal services and on-shore facilities for superyachting.
“The superyacht industry is served by marinas, yards, full-scope service agencies, yacht management companies, repair and maintenance outfits, training academies and engineering services,” says Transport Minister, Aaron Farrugia. “This creates the right foundation for a fully-fledged ecosystem to take off and continue being a net contributor to Malta’s economy through sustained value-added and employment.”
The core principle of the strategy is to make Malta a jurisdiction of choice for the superyacht industry by fostering a dedicated ecosystem that is supported by reliable infrastructure, quality services and a skilled workforce. The government has identified product development, legal and regulatory framework, human resource development and environmental and social considerations as the ‘four pillars’ that are crucial for the industry to thrive in Malta.
The document was constructed by the Yachting Steering Committee (YSC), which was established by the government in 2022. Comprised of representatives from both the public and private sectors, the Committee is responsible for overseeing the long-term development of the superyacht industry in Malta.
Through focus groups, several discussions took place, exploring topics such as fiscal, legal, and administration, training and certification, chartering and commercial management and refits and infrastructure. Feedback was then delivered to the YSC before creating the strategy’s outline.
According to the government, an economic impact assessment (EIA) will be now conducted, the outcome of which lead to a change in policy based on the priorities and associated workstreams it identifies. The policy will also work towards the consolidation of existing efforts within the superyacht industry.
“We have combined our strategic location and unique historical landscape with our ability to provide an attractive regulatory framework that over the years has built Malta’s flag into Europe’s leading maritime flag,” says Farrugia. “Our flag continues to grow, not only in numbers but more importantly in repute, as we continue to attract superyachts to our flag.”
As one of the best economic performers in the European Union, the maritime sector has been a driving force behind Malta’s success. The superyacht sector in Malta has grown exponentially over the last 16 years too, with the number of yachts (over 24m) flying the Maltese flag rising from 100 in 2007 to over 1,100 this year.
However, Farrugia stresses the importance of continued development. “We have registered record growth during the past five years but whilst being proud of our achievements, there is no room for complacency,” he says.
“Our ability to continue attracting such superyachts does not solely depend on our regulatory framework, but on the robustness of our ecosystem. We know we have the potential to grow this ecosystem because we enjoy the respect and confidence of the operators, and we are respected by the industry”.
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