In southern Europe, Italy is a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea bordering upon France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The Republic of Italy also includes the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.
The Italian Code of Navigation regulates shipping, and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport oversees vessels’ registrations. There are several local ship registries located with the various Ports Authorities throughout Italy.
In 1997 – 1998, through the law Acts 30.12.1997 no. 457 and 27.2.1998 no. 30, Italy established an International Registry. These Acts have introduced some amendments to the Navigation Code, which enables ships to be registered under the Italian flag regardless of the fact that the beneficial owners are not Italians citizens.
The International Shipping Registry is divided into 3 sections:
- The first section is dedicated to vessels owned (more than 12 ship shares out of a total of 24) by an Italian or EU individual or company;
- The second section pertains to vessels, new builds or vessels coming from a foreign registry, belonging to a non-EU individual or company who takes over the effective control of the ship directly through a permanent structure based in Italy, managed by an Italian or EU individual or company (domiciled in the place of registration of the vessel). This Italian/EU individual or company assumes all responsibilities for dealings with the Italian administrative authorities through a declaration to be submitted to the registration office.
- The third section is for vessels belonging to non-EU subjects and temporary suspended from a non-EU registry as a result of a bareboat to an Italian or EU subject;
Apart from the special rules provided for by the Act No. 457 (regarding the fiscal and labor regime), the vessels registered in the International Registry must comply with the same international provisions, regulations, and conventions of the Italian first registry vessels.
One of the advantages of the Italian flag apart from the Italian Consular and Navy protection & assistance, is that the vessel could operate commercially as a charter within all EU waters without further permits from other EU countries provided that such license has been granted by the Italian authorities, and report the profits to the tax authorities of the beneficial owner country of residence, which hasn’t to be Italy.
Our team of professional yacht agents will happily guide you to decide on the best suited flagging options for your yacht, based on the intended use of the vessel (private use, charter, VAT reclaim, export, …) as well other parameters such as taxes, insurance, mortgages and loans, boat & yacht finance and refinancing, all to fit with your personal circumstances.
While we are happy to register your vessel in the country of your choice, including through purpose-built holding companies and tax efficient ownership legal structures if necessary, we do have Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enable fast track registration with the following commercial ships and pleasure yachts registries: