Over the recent years, Malta has proven itself to be an increasingly attractive jurisdiction for the registration of commercial and private aircraft. In response to the local growth in the aviation industry, the government is implementing measures to sustain and enhance opportunities for international entities to set up operations in Malta.
The new Aircraft Registration Act, which came into form on 1st October 2010, regulates aircraft registration and enforcement of aircraft mortgages as well as implementing the Cape Town Convention and its interface with Maltese law.
Eligible applicants for the registration of aircraft include an owner of an aircraft, an operator of the aircraft under a temporary title such as the lessee, a buyer under a conditional sale or title reservation agreement authorized to operate the aircraft, and a trustee for the benefit of beneficiaries. Also, as soon as the aircraft is uniquely identifiable it is now possible to register the aircraft.
The registration process of an aircraft in Malta is quite simple and straightforward and only a few documents are required to start the process.
Such documentation needs to be in adherence to European legislation and submitted manuals will also be subject to scrutiny by Maltese officials prior to the registration and issue of any certification.
Fiscal incentives to the aviation industry introduced by the new Aircraft Registration Act include the fact that lessees can claim capital allowances, as well as no withholding tax, is payable on lease payments where the lessor is not a Maltese tax resident. Others include the provisions for the tax treatment of finance charges and tax deductions to finance lessors.