Although the global shipping industry is facing challenging market conditions, Malta’s maritime sector has retained its position as Europe’s number one flag-state and sixth largest in the world. According to Transport Malta, there were 69.9 million gross tonnes registered under the Malta Flag at the end of 2016. This represents an increase of 6% when compared to the 66.2 million gross tonnes recorded at the end of 2015. A total of 837 vessels were registered during the year.
The average age of merchant ships registered under the Merchant Shipping Act during 2016 was 9 years, while the average age of all the registered merchant fleet stood at 12 years. Malta’s register ranges from LNG carriers to cruise ships, from bulk carriers to RORO ships and from oil tankers to superyachts (yachts of over 24 metres in length).
In particular, the number of high-end vessels on Malta’s register is constantly on the increase. 2016 were also exceptional years with regard to superyacht registrations. There are now more than 575 superyachts registered on the island.