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Sarnia Yachts Limited

Navigating the Complex World of Yacht Ownership & Operation

Sarnia Yachts has provided yacht ownership and operational services for over 40 years. With offices in Guernsey and Malta, we formulate and deliver the best, long-term solutions for owners of both private and commercial yachts.
NEW Sarna 160x160

Location Information

PO Box 657
La Plaiderie House
St Peter Port
Channel Islands

Regions Serviced

  • World Wide

Products / Services

  • Yacht Fiduciary
  • Corporate Structures
  • EU VAT
  • Yacht Administration Services
  • Crew and Payroll
  • Consultancy and Guidance
  • Flag Registration


Sarnia Yachts provides a diverse and flexible range of services including yacht administration, VAT management, flag registration, crew employment and payroll and corporate yacht ownership.

Trusted by yacht owners, trust and family offices, lawyers and yacht brokers, Sarnia is one of the longest standing fiduciaries in the marine sector with a team of 26 in the Guernsey office and a further two in our new Malta office.

Yacht ownership and operations have become highly regulated with numerous laws and potential pitfalls to be avoided. It’s the details that make the difference and Sarnia guides you through these complexities so you can relax and enjoy your yacht with total peace of mind.

Sarnia is licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission to provide fiduciary services and Malta Financial Services Authority to provide corporate services.

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Considering the Future of Non-EU Flagged Yachts

Sarnia Yachts
Debate over non-EU flagged yachts operating within the EU has been a hot topic for several years.

With an ever-changing political landscape, and more non-EU flagged yachts taking to the waters than ever before, let’s explore the ongoing and future implications for those choosing to fly the non-EU flag.

Why Choose Non-EU?

It has become increasingly common to see charter yachts in the EU flying non-EU flags, particularly those of the British Overseas territories. So, what makes non-EU such an appealing option?

1. Flag Choice

Flag choice is down to personal preference or a desire to fly a particular flag. For others, the efficiency of the flag registration process is a big draw. Arguably, some flag states will also prove more amenable than others, making them a more appealing prospect.

2. Port

A choice of port can also increase the chance of obtaining a preferred yacht name, while the range of qualified jurisdictions for flag registration accounts for some deviation from EU options.

3. Industry Advice

Advice from industry professionals will also continue to play a part in opening up non-EU flag options to yacht owners.

The EU advantage

With a shifting political landscape, the ‘EU club’ seems to be pulling rank more tightly than ever before. This means that being in the EU to do business in the EU has never been more important for those in the yachting industry. Examples of this included the Returned Goods Relief requirements for non-EU flagged yachts, the requirements to fiscally register in each VAT jurisdiction, and duty-free fuel issues in Italy for non-EU flagged yachts.
Yachts within the ‘EU club’ have also had a much broader choice of where to pay social security contributions for crew compared to vessels with non-EU flags. With a shift towards closer unity amongst those in the EU and current communications coming out of Brussels, it looks like ‘protecting the EU club’ will remain paramount.

Brexit implications

Most yachts have favoured EU flags from the UK, Isle of Man and Malta, with domestic vessels operating in local waters flying other EU flags. As Brexit gains traction and the UK begin the process of leaving the EU, Malta will remain the more popular EU flag choice. Indeed, the number of Maltese flags in circulation seems to be increasing on a daily basis.

Malta office

Sarnia has the advantage of having an office in Malta, which makes face-to-face arrangements for yacht owning companies, including flag registration, much easier. An added advantage is that Sarnia can control every step of the process. The flag registration department at Transport Malta is already busy and Malta will need to gear up to cope with an influx of new business.
Relationships with various authorities are key to ensuring the flag registration process goes smoothly. Sarnia is in a strong position to process these applications thanks to its newly-expanded team and on-site network. Yacht owners know that exploring their options is crucial and Sarnia recognises the importance of providing the right advice for every line of enquiry.

Links & References

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