After the decision taken by the European Commission in December 2017 to endorse the Maltese tonnage tax system for a period of 10 years, Malta has issued two Legal Notices 127 and 128 of 2018 which have amended the current tonnage tax law. The new rules are effective as from 1 May 2018 and were published on the 13th April 2018.
The new rules ensure compatibility between the Maltese tonnage tax system and EU State Aid Rules which will create certainty in the market and ensure the attractiveness of the Maltese flag.
The new rules provide that cargo carriers, tankers and other merchant vessels flying the Maltese flag, which carry cargo or passengers by sea will continue to qualify for the benefits and the exemptions contemplated by the Act in so far as the vessels trade internationally.
The new rules also provide for incentives which are applicable to ship management activities, to qualifying towage and dredging activities and other qualifying ancillary activities as specified in the Schedule to the rules.