The Maltese Shipping Register was confirmed as the largest merchant flag in Europe and seventh worldwide by Clarkson Research Services, one of the leading providers of statistical services in the maritime sector. Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications, Dr Austin Gatt announced this during a press conference held at Transport Malta offices on Friday.
As at end of 2011, the Maltese Register of Shipping had achieved an increase of over 6 million gross tonnage representing a growth rate of 16.1% over the previous year. The registered gross tonnage under the Merchant Shipping Act is 45.6 million. These figures include a whole diversity of vessels including yachts and superyachts.
Minister Gatt said “we are very proud of the strong performance of the Maltese Shipping register. The latest published statistics represent record figures for the Malta Flag and a significant achievement for the Malta Flag Administration over the past decade. This increase is mainly attributed to the continued effort of Transport Malta and the Maltese shipping community, including local intermediaries, to attract reputable companies to the Maltese Register. We must continue working to consolidate this position in the years to come.”
Particular positive results were registered in the registration of superyachts. The three consecutive year trend was reconfirmed with an increase of 18.6% in the registration of superyachts over 2011. As of the end of December the superyachts, larger than 24 metres in length, flying the recognizable Maltese cross worldwide was almost 300.
Minister Gatt also announced that Malta was recently confirmed by the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MoU) on the list of “low risk ships” under the New Inspection Regime, after the successful completion of an IMO (International Maritime Organisation) Audit last year. This new low risk status will translate into real benefits to Maltese registered ships and superyachts particularly when calling at ports within the Paris MOU region. It will denote significantly less targeting for port State control inspections, thus less impact on operations.
Minister Gatt continued “this status was achieved thanks to the efforts of all stakeholders and the efforts of the personnel of the Merchant Shipping Directorate within Transport Malta. Such achievement is testimony to their level of commitment since the Administration has managed to concurrently increase the growth rate while meeting the stringent low risk criteria”
In his concluding remarks, Minister Gatt also made reference to last week’s announcement that the Malta Aviation register had another successful year. Dr Gatt concluded: ““these results encourage us to work harder to ensure Malta continues to benefit from the associated positioning within these international sectors, from the direct revenue and the indirect added value they bring to our economy.’’