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The Definition of a Small Ship

A small ship means a craft under twenty-four metres in length employed solely in the navigation within the territorial waters of Malta, whether mechanically driven or not, and whether privately or commercially used; and includes, but is not limited to, all types of craft such as sailing boats, yachts, fishing vessels and other craft used for fishing like caiques, luzzijiet and frejgatini, cabin cruisers, speedboats, jet skis, dinghies, passage boats and other Maltese traditional boats, paddle-boats, canoes, personal watercraft, air cushioned craft etc. Canoes and open sailing dinghies without engines not exceeding 5.2 metres which are for personal use only and not used in a commercial manner are exempted from registration. No small ship shall be registered unless the small ship is equipped with such safety equipment as may be required by the Authority from time to time.

The person registered as owner of the small ship shall ensure that within thirty days of the date on which the registration of that small ship takes effect, there is clearly painted or affixed to an external surface of the small ship, or on such other part of the small ship which the Authority may approve, the number and mark of its registration, and that such markings are maintained in a good condition and renewed when necessary during the period of registration of the small ship. Unless the Authority directs otherwise:

  1. the letters and numbers assigned to each small ship shall be at least 15.24 centimetres high and 7.6 centimetres wide with a space between each number or letter of not less than 2 centimetres; and
  2. small ships owned by private individuals shall have their letters and numbers painted in black on a white background, whereas those used for hire shall be painted in white on a black background.

Any person who agrees to sell, scrap or otherwise disposes of his small ship or any of its engines, shall within seven days, give notice thereof in writing to the Authority giving the particulars and information of the person who agrees to buy the small ship or any of its engines, and shall also forward his certificate of registry back to the Authority.


Last Updated 27/03/2020