Agency Services

We offer high level of support to the shipping industry

Ship Agency


Sullivan Maritime is one of Malta’s leading shipping agents for Port and Marine services. We provide a high level of support to the shipping industry and our experienced staff offers comprehensive local knowledge, ensuring client needs will be met effectively on a 24 X 7 basis.

A full range of services required by any modern ship owner and operator are offered, whatever size or type of vessel. Port and marine services include:

  • Bunker and brokerage
  • Handling of crew
  • Liner and ship agents
  • Ship to ship transfer
  • Dry docking
  • Stevedoring services
  • Husbandry
  • Ships’ spares
  • Customs clearing by sea, road and air
  • Clearing and forwarding
  • Liner freight sales – container, conventional and Ro/Ro
  • Warehousing facilities
  • Oil products handling and storage
  • Ship management and brokerage
  • Company and trust management
  • Support services to ship owners
  • Dry cargo and tanker chartering
  • Offshore harbour services

Offshore Harbour


The geographical and strategic position of Malta gives the island a clear advantage when it comes to offshore harbour services. Situated right in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta is a cost effective place for Shipping Lines to call and take bunkers, and any other requirements/services, both offshore (outside port) or alongside (inside port).

Sullivan Maritime Ltd can serve ALL shipping needs at short notice and on 24 X 7 day basis at competitive prices. Bunker supplies are monitored round the clock giving our Principals an hourly report of the bunkering operation and how its progressing, thus minimising possible delays.

Offering a full range of services under the ‘One Stop Shop’ concept, we can also handle crew changes and repatriation, delivery of ship’s spares, provisions and supplies while vessel is undergoing bunkering operation. By offshore services, we can also offer ship to ship transfer operations. A ship to ship transfer operation is the transfer of cargo between seagoing ships positioned alongside each other, either while stationary or underway. Cargoes typically transferred via ship to ship methods include crude oil, liquefied gas (LPG or LNG), bulk cargo, and petroleum products. We can provide a multitude of expertise to port-agency management issues:

Ship Age Registration

  • As a rule, trading ships of 25 years and over will not be registered, while, applications for the registration of trading ships of less than 25 years will be considered subject to:
  • The ship being either in class or in the process of being classed with a recognised classification society;
  • The receipt of an up-to-date class survey status report or, information on the validity of the current statutory certificates including details of pending recommendations, or otherwise, related to both class and statutory certificates
  • The receipt of an affirmation by the relative class that the ship is in a position to be issued with all the appropriate statutory certificates without recommendations.

Ships 20 - 25 Years Old

Registration of trading ships of 20 years and over but less than 25 years is also subject to prior inspection by an authorised flag State inspector; the Directorate may require the inspection to be carried out in dry-dock. Where the Directorate allows the inspection to be carried out on registration only, a non-operational provisional certificate of registry will be issued.

Ships 15 - 20 Years Old

Ships of 15 years and over but less than 20 years shall also be presented for an inspection by an authorised flag State inspector within one month of registration. Owners may opt to have their ship inspected prior to registration. Inspections within one month of registration are subject to a fee when the total net tonnage is less than 5,000; there is no charge for ships of 5,000 net tonnage and over.

Terms / Payment

Payments must be made prior to the authorisation of the inspection. The charges quoted for authorsation fees are a one-off payment. However, unforeseen costs not covered; such as higher inspection fees, travel expenses, supplementary inspections, etc will be charged separately and agreed beforehand.

A negative outcome of an inspection of a registered ship may lead to the immediate closure of registry. Pre- registration inspections, when carried out on registration, are subject to a fee. It is emphasised that the final decision on the registration and seaworthiness of a vessel still remains at the discretion of the Directorate.


  1. The requirements for provisional registration are:
  2. An application for official number and call sign.
  3. A declaration of ownership made before the registrar by the owner or an authorised representative.
  4. An application for provisional registration of the vessel.
  5. An application for change of name, if required.
  6. An application for provisional ship station radio licence.
  7. An application for minimum safe manning certificate.
  8. Name of ship managers.
  9. Memorandum and articles of the shipping company.
  10. A recent good standing certificate.
  11. Confirmation of class.
  12. Safety certificates – all statutory certificates.
  13. Document of compliance.
  14. Four ISM declarations.
  15. Certified true copy of bill of sale.
  16. Deletion certificate of previous flag.
  17. Previous international tonnage certificate.
  18. Anti fouling certificate.
  19. Declaration that no halon is present on board.

Bareboat Charter Registration

Maltese law also provides for Bareboat Charter Registration of foreign ships under the Malta flag and for the Bareboat Charter Registration of Maltese ships under a foreign flag. Vessels so registered enjoy the same rights and privileges, and have the same obligations as any other ship registered in Malta.

The two main principles adopted at law on bareboat registration are the compatibility of the two registries, and that matters regarding title are governed by the underlying registry, while the operation of the vessel falls under the jurisdiction of the Bareboat Charter Registry.

A bareboat charter registration lasts for the duration of the bareboat charter or until the expiry date of the underlying registration, whichever is the shorter, but in no case for a period exceeding 2 years. Registration may, however be extended.


Maltese ships are subject to the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1973 and ancillary regulations concerning the competency of officers and seamen.

International Conventions

Malta is a party to most of the Major IMO and ILO International Maritime Conventions and Malta flagships are obliged to strictly adhere to the provisions of these international conventions.

Authorised Classification Societies and Appointed Inspectors prior to and during the period of the ship’s registration, merchant vessels must be classed with one of the following classification societies, authorised to issue statutory certificates on behalf of the Maltese Government: American Bureau of Shipping, Bureau Veritas, China Classification Society, Bet Norske Veritas, Germanisher Lloyd, Korean Register of Shipping, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, Russian Maritime Register of Shipping and Registro Italiano Navale.

The following classification societies currently enjoy recognition applicable in certain circumstances on the specific authorisation of the Directorate: Croatian Register of Shipping, Hellenic Register of Shipping and Polish Register of Shipping.


On registration, whether provisional or permanent, of a vessel under the Maltese flag, such vessel may be used as a security for a debt by means of a mortgage. Registration, transfer and discharge of mortgages may be affected immediately on presentation of the relative document to the Registrar. A foreign mortgage will be recognised as a mortgage and will, therefore, have the status rights and powers of a Maltese mortgage if it satisfies the following conditions:

  • Such mortgage is recorded in the registry of ships of the country under whose laws the ships is documented.
  • Such registry is a public registry.
  • Such mortgage appears upon a search of the registry.
  • Such mortgage is granted a preferential and generally equivalent status as Maltese mortgage under the laws of the country where it is registered.

However, unlike mortgages registered in Malta, foreign mortgages do not constitute executive titles. Amongst the most important advantages of a Maltese mortgage are the following;

  • The mortgage is well protected.
  • Mortgages are high up in the list of debts given priority in the distribution of the proceeds of a forced sale.
  • Registered mortgages attach to the ship in respect of which they are registered until they are discharged.
  • No document duty is payable in respect of mortgage instruments.
  • Mortgages on Maltese ships are widely recognised and enforced.
  • Registration and discharge of mortgages is affected speedily and efficiently.

Fiscal Advantages

Malta offers a complete tax exemption in respect of all profits and dividends arising from shipping operations. The tax advantages available to Maltese shipping companies include the following;

  • No income tax is payable by a Maltese shipping company.
  • No inheritance tax is payable on the transmission of death of shares in a Maltese shipping company.
  • No capital gains tax is payable on the sale or transfer of a ship or shares in a shipping company.
  • No document duty is payable in respect of instrument connected with or involving the registration of a ship, the allotment or transfer of shares in shipping company, the transfer of a ship or charges over a ship.



Malta provides excellent bunkering, dry docking, general port services and has a proven track record as a key Mediterranean shipping hub, serving the major sea routes between the Atlantic and the Far East. It has furthermore excelled as a hub for the transhipment of cargo.

Sullivan Maritime has a vast experience in this field and has built a reputation as being a main contact in Malta for Transhipment operations serving as Liner Agents for established Shipping Lines worldwide.

The main Transhipment services offered by Sullivan Maritime are the following:

  • Berthing arrangements
  • Storage of cargo
  • Customs formalities / clearance
  • Stevedoring arrangements
  • Warehousing facilities
  • Support services

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