Sailing and Boating in Malta
Information about boat licences and sailing permits in Malta, including details of sailing associations and marinas...
Malta's location in the southern Mediterranean, combined with great weather, excellent port facilities and maritime services, a long heritage of maritime tradition and good connections with Europe and Northern Africa, make it an ideal location for yachting and sailing activities.
Safety and Emergencies at Sea
In an emergency contact:
- 112 by telephone
- Channel 16 on VHF Radio
- Valletta Port Control
Tel: 2291 4491 / 2291 4492
- Rescue Air Force Malta
Tel: 2180 9279
- Valletta Port Control
Radio Channel 12
- Marsaxlokk Port Control
Radio Channel 14
- Malta Vessel Traffic Service
Radio Channel 69
- Navigational warnings and weather broadcasts
Radio Channel 11
- Find more information about maritime safety (PDF)
Sailing Permits and Licences
A Nautical Licence is required for persons operating a vessel with power of over 30hp.
- Read more about the syllabus for obtaining the licence (PDF)
- Find a list of official recognised training facilities and instructors in Malta (PDF)
Certification for a basic first aid and a basic practical and theory course on seamanship is required before taking a further examination. The examination for obtaining a Nautical Licence is usually held at MCAST (Malta College of Arts, Science & Technology).
Once the examination has been passed, documentation is issued that must be submitted along with the application form and two passport photos and identification to the Small Ships Register at Transport Malta for the issue of the Nautical Licence. There is a fee for the Nautical Licence, which is valid for five years.
Although not mandatory, Transport Malta also encourages boat owners with engines powered at under 30hp to take the basic seamanship training and obtain the Nautical Licence. Training course providers will take applicants through all the steps required in order to obtain the licence.
The Nautical Licence is only valid within the territorial waters of Malta. Other licences such as the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) are often accepted as proof of competency in international waters.
Importing and Registering a Boat
EU citizens are not required by law to re-register their vessels under the Maltese flag. They may choose to do so if habitually resident in Malta, but it is not mandatory if VAT has been paid on the vessel in another EU state.
Non-EU citizens and non-EU registered boats are granted tax-free temporary importation for a total of 18 months if the vessel is to then leave European waters. If the vessel does not leave after the permitted time, the boat must be imported and VAT must be paid.
Requirements for craft registration under a Maltese flag often differ on a case-by-case basis. The Transport Directorate provide comprehensive information on how to register a craft along with the associated costs (PDF).
- Small ship registration requirements (vessels under 24m)
- Transferring ownership in the event of sale
- Find detailed information on ship registration and requirements
A full programme of races, regattas and social events are held throughout the year around the islands of Malta. They are primarily organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club. The club also arranges cruises and operates a sailing school.
- Royal Malta Yacht Club
At: Ta' Xbiex Seafront, XBX 1028 Ta' Xbiex
Tel: 2133 3109
Fax: 2133 1131
Renting Yachts and Boats
There are many private companies offering boat rental in Malta.
- See the Business Directory for Yacht Charters & Boat Hire
For smaller vessels a licence is often not required. However, the driver must be 18 or over and present a valid ID.
Malta has a number of excellent marina facilities:
- Grand Harbour Marina: Luxury marina with berths for yachts and super yachts up to 100m in length
Tel: 2180 0700
- Grand Hotel Excelsior: Mooring service provided to house guests of the hotel
Tel: 2125 0520
- Gozo Mgarr Marina: Marina located in Gozo with over 200 berths
Tel: 9924 2501
- Laguna Marina: Boutique marina in Valletta offering all-inclusive services and catering for yachts up to 15m in length
Tel: 2123 0980
- Manoel Island: Centrally located in Gzira and able to accommodate vessels up to 80m in length
Tel: 2134 2618
- Msida & Ta' Xbiex Marina: 720 berth marina handling pleasure yachts up to 22m in length with 24-hour assistance
Tel: 2133 7049
- Portomaso Marina: Accommodating vessels up to 16m in length
Tel: 2138 7803
- Sandy Yacht Marina: Berthing for all sizes of vessel situated in the Ta' Xbiex Creek area
Tel: 2133 1515