International Conference on Cargo handling in Malta

International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA) is holding a conference in Malta. Minister Dr Ian Borg and Mr Joseph Bugeja, Transport Malta’s Chairperson and CEO were among the first speakers. The Malta Freeport is hosting this conference with the theme vision 20/20. The conference is discussing new rules and new technology in the world of cargo. The delegates from 23 different countries are discussing how to make cargo handling safer, cleaner and more efficient.

CMA CGM migrates its entire fleet to the Malta Flag

Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg visited Transport Malta offices where he gave an update about the Merchant Ship Register within the same Authority.

He said that this register forms a great part of this Authority, and that the success recently achieved by our country in the maritime industry is the result of several measures adopted in recent years by the Government and Transport Malta, as well as thanks to the quality service given by the flag, the positive reputation it has built and the confidence several investors and operators within the sector have in it.

During this update, Minister Borg announced a substantial increase for the same register. He said that up until recently, company CMA CGM was the owner and operator of a fleet of 38 ships registered under the Malta Flag, with a total gross tonnage of over 3.7 million, but after it recently registered 49 additional ships with a total gross tonnage of over 4.8 million, with ships having an average age of 7 years, today CMA CGM has more than 8.5 million gross tonnes registered under the Malta flag, 11% of the entire fleet registered in Malta.

He also announced that 25% of contracts for cruise liner ships being build are intentioned for registration under the Malta flag.

Minister Borg said that it is good to speak about the great quantity of vessels registered in our country. With more than 82 million gross tonnes in vessels, this means that more than 6% of the global fleet is registered under the Malta flag, while the same flag has more than 780 registered superyachts.

At the same time, said the Minister, it is equally important to speak about the Government’s commitment towards quality in the sector. He explained that the average age of ships registered in Malta from January to June of this year was 9 years – one of the lowest we have ever had.

Minister Borg added that the high-quality service offered in our country’s maritime sector has led to several different successes and said that the remainder of the year looks as though it will continue reflecting this success.

“Today we have achieved an international reputation as a quality register, as a jurisdiction that is always at the forefront when it comes to the development of international standards in maritime security and the protection of the maritime environment. Malta is always a leader when it comes to discussions addressing the problem of ship emissions on every level, as well as towards the ratification of International Conventions protecting the maritime environment, the most recent one being the Ballast Water Management Convention,” said Minister Borg.

He explained that thanks to these commitments, today the Maltese Register is not only the largest one in Europe and sixth in the world but was the only one to make large gains in tonnage, with an increase of almost 7% in the first six months of the year. The Minister said that this positive reputation is leading more and more great operators to express their faith in us and to continue investing and registering with us. He added that today Malta is classified on the official low risk ships list published by the Paris MoU, while also being confirmed on the Paris MoU’s White List.

“It is such results that daily continue to confirm the positive reputation we have achieved, a reputation that has led to confidence by the sector, by the industry, thanks to the quality we are committed to continuing working towards,” concluded Minister Ian Borg.

Malta Maritime Summit 2020 launched – The Voice of the Industry

Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg launched the theme for the Malta Maritime Summit, which will be organised in Malta for the third time in October 2020, after two successful editions in 2016 and 2018, a summit which will have the theme ‘The Voice of the Industry’. Last year, more than 300 participants from 21 different countries attended this summit.

“An appropriate theme as ahead of us we have a forum that presents an excellent opportunity to continue discussing opportunities and challenges with the industry. The success we are experiencing today in the maritime sector is thanks to continuous dialogue and collaborative work between the Government and the industry. We are speaking about an industry that contributes 12% of the Gross Domestic Product, which creates 23,000 jobs,” said Minister Ian Borg.

He also reminded those present of the investment which this industry is drawing to our country and which makes space for the creation of several ancillary services and added that this is why it is even more important to continue collaborating and discussing.

“Today Malta has great potential to become a centre of maritime excellence in the Mediterranean. Our Country is blessed with natural ports and a strong maritime tradition, and this together with our work with the industry has resulted in a lot of success. Last year, the Maltese Register registered more than 6% growth and we have more than 82 million gross tonnes under our flag, which is renowned for excellent service. After all we also had great success in the superyachts niche, with 90% growth over five years ago. Government will continue investing in ports, marinas, appropriate high-quality infrastructure, and we will continue working hand in hand with the industry,” concluded Minister Borg while thanking the organisers for working hard together with Transport Malta towards the success of the Malta Maritime Summit.

From his end, organiser Mr John Gauci-Maistre said, “Now a fixture in the international maritime calendar, the Malta maritime week comprises a summit and three conferences once again convening the most influential maritime stakeholders and specialists from all over the world. They will be airing and sharing their views on the most pressing concerns particularly policies, energy, sustainability, finance and yachting demands currently faced by the shipping industry at a time of notable geopolitical shifts and technological advances. Having posited itself as ‘The Voice of the Industry’, the forthcoming debates continue to enhance Malta’s reputation as a key maritime nation.”

Dangerous boulders removed

Transport Malta removed dangerous concrete boulders from Ħondoq Bay, the picturesque Gozo Bay overlooking Comino, yesterday morning.

The boulders were a potential danger for divers who could hit the boulders when jumping off the shore.

The boulders ended up at the bay following one of the major storms that have hit the islands over the past months.

Transport Malta’s contractor used a specialised crane to lift the boulders from the sea bed.

50 swimmer zones for Summer

“As summer has begun, the beach and leisure season, it is important to enjoy ourselves responsibly and in a way that does not put us or others in danger,” said Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and capital Projects Ian Borg while he was launching the second part of the ‘Be Safe at Sea’ campaign, promoting responsible behaviour and safety at sea. Minister Borg reminded those present that this year in May he launched the first part of the campaign, aimed at those making use of sea vessels, i.e. those that drive boats, and said that on this occasion of the first day of summer, the second phase of this campaign is being launched with swimmers as its audience.

The Minister made reference to the bay known as Exiles in Sliema and said that this is one among 50Swimming Zones designed by Transport Malta. These zones, which can be identified by signs installed by the Transport Authority as well as by the fact that they are segregated by buoys, are dedicated to swimmers and boats cannot enter, so people should make use of them for increased safety.

He added that the Authority will be delivering the educational messages of this campaign through several means, including radio and social media as well as through information near these swimming zones, while there will also be a strong presence of enforcement officials at sea, as was done last year. Minister Borg explained how last year saw more than 1,000 inspections on sea vessels, which resulted in more than 200 warnings, more than 200 administrative charges, and more than 400 fines, while more than 550 vessels were found to be in good order. He said that apart from these figures, more than 1,000 additional inspections were carried out on commercial boats in Comino’s Blue Lagoon.“Enforcement is important, but as always, I stress that each and every one of us should do our best to be responsible for our behaviour, not because of enforcement but because we understand what irresponsibility can lead to. I thank Transport Malta workers, especially enforcement officials who work while others are enjoying themselves, and I emphasise once more the importance of being safe at sea. Our life is precious, and we should see to its safety and the safety of the lives of others and take this seriously,” concluded Minister Ian Borg.

Other Notes

Among rules for swimmers:

  • We advise the public to swim in swimming zones, not exceeding the red and yellow buoys.
  • Swimmers will find relevant information and emergency contacts on a number of boards in these
  • zones.

Among rules for boats:

  • Driving a boat of more than 30 HP requires a nautical licence, an insurance certificate and a registration certificate.
  • Speed in ports, 300 metres out of sandy beaches and 200 metres out of rocky beaches is limited to 10 knots.
  • Speed in marinas and near berths is limited to 3 Knots.
  • Every boat should have all necessary safety equipment and someone who will not be on the boat should be told where you plan to go and when you plan to come back.
  • What is known as the 1/3 Rule is important – when using a boat make sure that you have enough fuel to go, enough to return and as much as you used to leave in case of emergency.
  • Always follow the Notices to Mariners available on the Transport Malta website, while checking the weather forecast.
  • Officials at sea will be distributing information during their patrols.

Swimmer Zones

  • Il-Bajja tal-Mellieħa
  • Ir-Ramla – Gozo
  • Il-Bajja ta’ San-Pawl il-Bahar – Buġibba (opposite Dolmen Hotel) Qawra
  • Il-Bajja tas-Salina (opposite Coastline Hotel)
  • Il-Bajja ta’ San Ġorġ (San-Ġiljan)
  • Sliema (Font Għadir)
  • Ir-Ramla ta’ Għajn Tuffieħa
  • Il-Bajja taċ-Ċirkewwa (Paradise Bay)
  • Salina Bay (Suncrest Hotel)
  • Mġarr ix-Xini – Gozo
  • Il-Bajja tax-Xlendi – Gozo
  • Il-Bajja tal-Qbajjar – Gozo
  • Il-Bajja ta’ Marsalforn – Gozo
  • Il-Bajja ta’ San Blas – Gozo
  • Il-Bajja ta’ Ħondoq ir-Rummien
  • Il-Bajja ta’ l-Armier
  • Il-Bajja tal-Mellieħa – It-Tunnara
  • Il-Bajja ta’ L-Imġiebaħ
  • Il-Bajja ta’ San Pawl il-Baħar (Selmun)
  • Il-Bajja ta’ San Pawl il-Baħar (Tal-Fekruna)
  • Il-Bajja ta’ San Pawl il-Baħar (Xemxija)
  • Il-Bajja ta’ San Pawl il-Baħar (Għajn Rażul – Veċċja Breakwater)
  • Il-Bajja ta’ San Pawl il-Baħar (Għażżelin)
  • Il-Bajja ta’ San Pawl il-Baħar (Buġibba Square)
  • Ix-Xatt ta’ Spinola (opposite Cavallieri Hotel)
  • Ix-Xatt ta’ Spinola (St. Julians)
  • Ix-Xatt ta’ Spinola (Sliema)
  • Ta’ Xbiex (Marsamxett)
  • Valletta – Waterpolo Pitch (Marsamxett)
  • Il-Bajja tar-Rinella
  • Il-Bajja ta’ Marsascala (Waterpolo Pitch)
  • Il-Bajja ta’ Marsascala (opposite Ex Jerma Hotel)
  • Il-Bajja ta’ San Tumas
  • Xrobb l-Għaġin (Dellimara)
  • Kalanka it-Tawwalija (Dellimara)
  • Il-Bajja ta’ Birżebbuġa (San Gorġ)
  • Il-Bajja ta’ Birżebbuġa
  • Il-Bajja tal-Ġnejna
  • Ir-Ramla tal-Mixquqa (Golden Sands)
  • Tigne
  • Marsaxlokk
  • Iċ-Ċirkewwa
  • Spinola Bay (Balluta Bay)
  • Il-Bajja ta’ B’Bugia (Qajjenza)
  • St. Peter’s Pool
  • Kalkara
  • Marfa (Ir-Ramla tal-Bir)
  • Torri l-Abjad

New Lighthouse Lanterns

Seafarers can now see the lanterns of Malta’s lighthouses from as far as 20 nautical miles away.

Transport Malta has installed new lanterns for the light houses in Delimara, St. Elmo, Valletta and in the iconic Fanal tal-Ġordan in Għasri, Gozo.

The new lanterns use LED technology and thus use up much less energy than their sodium-based predecessors.

TM has also installed new LED lights at the Mgarr Harbour terminal in Gozo and on the Marfa pier.

Burnt yacht wreckage recovered

The wreckage of the pleasure craft, that caught fire and sank off Bighi last week, has been recovered from the sea bed yesterday afternoon. The wreckage has been towed ashore and placed on land for further investigations.

Transport Malta monitored the situation closely since the accident and was in contact with the owner of the craft and the Police. As soon as the Police gave their authorisation, the Authority instructed the owner to remove the wreckage, as soon as possible, to minimise any associated risks or dangers.

The owner cooperated fully and engaged the services of a firm, to remove what was left of the boat from the seabed, using divers and specialised equipment. TM officers from the Vessel Traffic Services, Port Inspectors Unit and Maritime enforcement officers ensured that the operation was carried out safely.

On the day of the accident, TM officials were on site to monitor for any kind of spillage or potential contamination. Personnel from the Marina itself, Civil Protection Department and other entities, collected debris which resulted from the fire, more specifically debris which could have posed a danger to the navigation of other vessels.

The Authority kept monitoring the wreckage and cooperated with other entities to minimise any potential contamination. It was aware of a thin sheen that formed off Kalkara following the accident, however, nothing could be done to recover it. The sheen has since evaporated and dispersed naturally.

Transport Malta takes this opportunity to highly commend the brave actions of the Marina employees, whose quick thinking and effective action helped avoid a much more serious accident.

Nautical Licence and small ship register

Transport Malta notifies that with immediate effect and until 31st December 2019, the Completion Certificates issued by the relative Training Centres, signed and stamped by the Transport Malta examiner indicating a “PASS” in 2019, are considered as equivalent to the official Nautical Licence issued by Transport Malta.  A copy of this Certificate should always be carried on board in lieu of such Nautical Licence. Certificates issued prior to 2019 are not considered as equivalent to the official Nautical Licence and application for the Nautical Licence must be immediately done.

Registered owners of small ships (S Register) are further reminded that, subject to no changes made to the small ship’s details, the renewal of the registration and the presentation of the Insurance Certificate (when applicable), can be effected by one of the methods listed hereunder:

Online: By visiting Small ships’ (S Register) owners are required to be in possession of an e-ID account. A copy of a valid Insurance Certificate may be required when applicable.

Mail: By using the Transport Malta self-addressed envelope provided with the renewal notice and sending a cheque payment payable to Transport Malta.

SSR Office: By calling at the Small Ships Register Office at the Malta Transport Centre, Triq Pantar, Ħal Lija. Office hours are Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays), between 08:30hrs and 13:00hrs.

Renewal of Nautical Licences can be effected by mail using the Transport Malta self-addressed envelope provided with the registration renewal notice.

Transport Malta reminds that all drivers of craft equipped with an engine or engines with a combined power of 30HP or more, must be in possession of a valid Nautical Licence.

The Authority wishes to remind all owners that a Certificate of Registry is valid until date of expiry thereof.  In this respect, the Authority hereby advises that failure to renew the registration on time and within 30 days following the expiry date, the registration will be closed and the small ship in question will be subject to a re-registration process.  Such process includes the submission of all required documentation and subject to the payment of the applicable fee.

This new procedure shall be applicable as from 1st June 2019.

The Authority takes this opportunity to remind all in respect of the offences and applicable fines laid down in the Third Schedule to the Small Ships Regulation (S.L. 499.52).

Abandoned wreckage outside Paradise Bay

A local diver has uploaded the video below on social media.  The video shows what seems to be an abandoned ship that sank outside Paradise Bay.  
Transport Malta was not informed about this incident by the master or the operator, as required by law and only got light of the wreckage through the video. The Authority is currently establishing whom the owners of the vessel are, in order for them to take the necessary action and remove the wreckage.

Transport Malta would like to thank the producer of this video for his contribution and encourages others who come across such irregularities to report them.  The public can get in touch with Transport Malta by sending an email on, by calling on the free phone 80072309 or through a private message on Transport Malta’s Facebook Page.