For the first time in its maritime history, Malta has been confirmed as the country with the largest ship register in Europe. Following a 16 per cent increase in tonnage, the island surpassed Greece By the end of the year, 5,830 vessels – a total of 45.6 million tonnes – were registered under the Maltese flag, Transport Minister Austin Gatt has said: “Following a 16 per cent increase in tonnage, the island surpassed Greece for the first time. Although it’s the smallest European country, Malta has the seventh largest ship register in the world,” he said.
Dr Gatt said that during 2011, the Maltese shipping register generated over €12 million in revenue for Transport Malta alone. This significant achievement was mainly attributed to the register’s high-service quality which attracted reputable companies, Dr Gatt added. Applicants had to pass through a rigorous selection process and not every owner who expressed interest in joining the register was accepted. The condition and the age of prospective members are a major factor in the determination of whether they would make it to the register.
Malta’s register listed various types of vessels, including cruise liners like the Royal Caribbean, and super yachts, which registered an increase of 18.6 per cent over the previous year.
[Source: Times of Malta]