In terms of the Merchant Shipping (Ships Eligible for Registration) Regulations, 2003 issued under the Merchant Shipping Act, Chapter 234 of the Laws of Malta (the “Act”), a citizen of a Member State of the European union qualifies or a foreign corporate body or entity (the “international owner”) which (i) enjoys to the satisfaction of the Malta Registrar-General of Shipping and Seamen (the “Registrar”) legal personality in terms of the law under which established or constituted and (ii) satisfies the Registrar that it can and will ensure due observance of the laws of Malta relating to merchant shipping may qualify to own a Maltese ship registered under the Malta Flag provided inter alia a resident agent is appointed by the international owner and remains so appointed at all times.
Pursuant to the said Regulations the resident agent must:
- be habitually resident in Malta;
- not have been interdicted or incapacitated or an undischarged bankrupt;
- not have been convicted of any of the crimes affecting public trust or of theft or of fraud or knowingly receiving property obtained by theft or fraud; and
- have satisfied the Registrar to be a person capable of carrying out the functions stated in the Regulations.
Pursuant to these regulations, GSL can act as resident agent in Malta for the purpose of executing any and all documents in connection with the registration of vessels owned by an International Owner under the Malta Flag, and with the registration of any transfers of ownership and/or any mortgages thereon.
When GSL acts as Resident Agent it provides the following services:
- to act as the channel of communication between the International Owner and the relevant departments and authorities of the Malta Government;
- on behalf of the International Owner, to sign and file with the relevant departments and authorities of the Malta Government all declarations and forms required by the laws of Malta; and
- to act as the judicial representative of the International Owner for judicial proceedings in Malta and for the purposes of the Act; in this respect, any court notice served on the Resident Agent at his last registered address is deemed to have been duly received by and notified to the International Owner.
As Resident Agent GSL will be authorised:
- to sign and file, on behalf of the International Owner, applications, declarations, notices, returns and any other documents required in terms of Maltese law;
- to apply, on behalf of the International Owner, for the registration of a ship under the Malta Flag and for the closure of register of a ship and to perform any ancillary act in relation thereto;
- to pay all relative fees and taxes payable in terms of the laws of Malta;
- on behalf of the International Owner, to do all other things as may be considered conducive or ancillary for the registration of a ship under the Malta Flag or for the maintenance of such registration;
- on behalf of the International Owner, to do all other things as may be considered conducive and ancillary for the cancellation of the registration of a ship from the Malta flag; and
- to authenticate documents issued by the International Owner.