Merchant Shipping Notice 160 was issued by the Malta Flag Administration on 3 April 2020 and was addressed to Shipowners, Ship Operators, Managers, Masters, Owners' Representatives, and Recognised Organisations.

The MSD Notice comprises additional measures that the Malta Flag Administration is offering to the Maltese shipping community in these somewhat trying times.

The Malta Flag Administration is fully aware that the shipping industry has been severely impacted by COVID-19 and is currently facing serious cash flow issues. In an effort to support shipping companies, owners, managers and operators of Maltese merchant ships and to enable them to address the difficulties encountered due to the widespread of the COVID-19 outbreak, it has been decided to defer the 'due payment date' of the Registration Fees and the Annual Tonnage Tax of merchant ships registered in Malta of which the anniversary date falls on or after 1 April 2020, by a period of three months from the anniversary.

Requests to issue renewal Certificates of Registry are to be accompanied by a request for the deferral of payment of the relevant registration fees and annual tonnage tax, where applicable.

The supporting measures shall come into force as from 1 April 2020.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.