Shipping & maritime law newsletter – Issue no. 32 (October 2021)

Welcome to our 32nd edition of the Ganado Advocates’ shipping and maritime law newsletter. In this issue, we shed more light on Malta’s new Passenger Yacht Code and we discuss the concept of environmental sustainability, particularly the shipping industry’s impact on the marine environment. Furthermore, we look into the obligations and legal duties for who discovers wrecks, or objects of a wreck, out at sea. We provide the firm’s most recent contributions in international publications, giving a general overview of the most recent developments within the shipping industry.

We also refer to the most recent initiative of the firm – our law-based podcast, Ganado Meets. Within this issue, we bring you the first two shipping-focused episodes within the Ganado Meets Transport season, providing insight on the evolution of the Malta ship registry over the years as well as the future aspirations of the flag.

Meanwhile, the local shipping scene will be facing a number of exciting new changes. Apart from the digitalisation of the registry discussed in earlier editions of this newsletter, we learnt, earlier today, from the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Ian Borg, that the Authority for Transport in Malta, which currently is responsible for maritime affairs, road transport and aviation, will be split into independent authorities each responsible for its own individual sector. This will mean that the maritime industry will be handled independently from the rest of the transportation sector. This change augurs well since it is bound to allow more focused attention to the maritime industry and to shipping generally, as we face new industry-specific challenges ahead. Further details about this will be made available in future editions.

We trust you find this issue to be of interest. Please feel free to get in touch with us should you require any further information on this edition.

Keep safe!
Jotham Scerri-Diacono


New rules to regulate Malta-flagged commercial yachts that carry more than 12 passengers

The Malta Flag Administration has published its much-awaited Passenger Yacht Code (PYC). This followed a long process of prior consultation with industry stakeholders that the flag administration embarked on to obtain the industry’s views before publishing this new code.

Read more here >>

Articles and publications

Shipping in Malta

Ganado Advocates contributed the Malta chapter on shipping in the 2021 edition of Lexology Getting the Deal Through – Marketing Intelligence. The article describes the current climate within the shipping industry as well as the industry’s outlook. The full publication is available within the below link.

Read more here >>

The Maltese shipping industry and the marine environment: Recent developments

The Maltese Shipping Industry is working towards reducing its impact on the environment. This is taking place both on shore and on Maltese flagged vessels wherever they may be sailing.

Read more here >>

Wrecks – Certain obligations and legal duties

We sometimes hear of stories of people going out to sea on one boat and returning to port with another boat or part of another in tow. How does the law regulate such a situation? Can the person who finds a vessel adrift make it his own? What about vessels that have washed up ashore or have sunk? Is it truly a case of ‘finders keepers’? What if the owners turn up?

Read more here >>

Contribution in Ship Management International – Malta report

Matthew Attard and Jan Rossi have contributed their insights about the current climate in Malta’s shipping industry in a country-focused article published by Ship Management International. Matthew and Jan talk about the clients’ experience with the flag administration throughout the pandemic as well as Malta’s recovery and growth plan.

Read more here >>

Podcasts: Ganado Meets Transport

The evolution of the Malta ship registry

Shipping lawyer Matthew Attard met with Michael Sillato, former Registrar of Shipping and Seamen and a key figure in the development of the Malta Flag at a time when the Malta Ship Register was still in its infancy, to discuss the history behind the Malta Flag and how this has developed over the years to become a highly reputable ship register.

     Read the article here >>

The aspirations of the Malta Flag

Matthew Attard met with Ivan Sammut, who for the last ten years has been entrusted with the role of Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen at the Malta Flag Administration, to discuss what contributed towards the international success of the Malta Flag, the current projects being undertaken by the registry and the way forward for the Maltese maritime industry.

     Read the article here >>

MSD notices

We trust that this issue of our shipping and maritime law newsletter was of interest to our readers. Should you have any queries, feedback or suggestions to make, please feel free to contact Jotham Scerri-Diacono, Karl Grech Orr or Daniel Aquilina. We will be pleased to hear from you.

This newsletter was co-authored by Ilias Theocharis.