As from the 1st January 2017 The Authority for Transport Malta introduced new provision that allows yachts, which are registered for pleasure use, to carry more than 12 people (excluding the crew) without being compulsively submitted to the Convection for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) or the Passenger Yacht Code (PYC).


Previous Legislation

The previous Legislation stated that the private yacht capacity corresponded to the amount of 12 passengers on board. The only exception to this limit was in the case in which the yacht would had been under construction according to SOLAS and PYC regulations and registered with the Red Ensign Flag.


New Legislation

These new guidelines draw a set of requirements for pleasure yacht, to be able to carry more than 12 people, and they complement the Commercial Yacht Code introduced in 2010 (latest version dated 2015):

  • Issued with a valid Class certificate (requirement applicable for yachts of more than 500 gross tonnes);
  • Compliance with the requirements of the Malta Commercial Yacht Code;
  • Possession of an approved Stability Booklet, which defines the loading conditions being requested;
  • Install and carry the appropriate safety equipment depending on the expected number of person on board;
  • Carry 100% life raft capacity;
  • Carry a crew compliment in line with the Malta Commercial Yacht Code;
  • Issuance of a Safety Radio Statement of Compliance for yachts of more than 300 gross tonnes and a Safety Radio Certificate for yachts of more than 500 gross tonnes;
  • Comply with the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) requirements as detailed in the Malta Commercial Yacht Code; and
  • Navigation restricted within 150 nautical miles from safe haven.


Furthermore, the law requires an intermediate survey to be effected every two and a half year, for all those yachts who obtain the permission to carry more than 12 people. The aim of this test is to verify the constant compliance with the minimum requirements.

This new set of guidelines will – with no doubt – consolidate Malta’s position as the largest registry in Europe and as one of the strongest in terms of reputation.


Simona Angotzi
Corporate Administrator
Simona Angotzi is a Corporate Officer in White November Group Corporate Department.

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