Full-Service Law Firm in Swatar, Malta

CSB Advocates

CSB Advocates
The Penthouse, Tower Business Centre
Tower Street

Swatar BKR4013
Malta

Phone+356 2557-2300
Fax +356 2557-2310

Website www.csb-advocates.com
E-mail  Contact Dr. Andrew J. Zammit

Other Offices: Valletta  

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Law Firm Overview

CSB Advocates is a leading corporate and financial services law firm in Swatar, Malta. Established in 2006, our firm handles a range of cross-border transactions. This has opened new avenues and scope for interacting with international consultants, all of whom are connoisseurs in their own field. CSB Advocates specializes in corporate law, shipping, yachting, aviation, employment & industrial relations, tax, technology, media & telecommunications, trusts & estate planning, competition/antitrust regulation, insolvency, intellectual property, real estate, litigation & arbitration.

Our firm has been recognized for providing stress free legal advice and support to their clients. We have a very proactive approach and deal with every case individually. Our firm has been consistent in delivering the best possible service experience to the clients. In this endeavor, CSB Advocates have been guided by a specific mission and value statement which helps its workforce stay focused. Our team has evolved with time, and for us our clients' problems become ours until they are solved.

At CSB Advocates we analyze complex cases and recommend the best possible solution in terms of legal procedures. Clients coming to our firm have access to resources and support of a proficient group attorneys who have the expertise and experience required to deal with their cases.

Year this Office was Established: 2006

Languages: French, Italian, Maltese, English

Areas of Law


Additional Areas of Law: Control of Concentrations; Incorporation of Commercial Partnerships; Employment agreements; Privacy Issues; Dismissals; Investment Funds; Online Rolling Spot Forex And Derivative Trading Services; Credit & Financial Institutions; Electronic Money Institutions (Emis); Captive Insurance And Re-Insurance’ Funding Of Terrorism; QROPS And QNUPS; Igaming; Shipping; Double Taxation Treaties; Electronic Communications; ICT Law; Website Takedowns; Yachting; Yacht Leasing Structure; Commercial Yacht Registration; Pleasure Yacht Registration ; Short-Term Yacht Charters.


Areas of Law Description

CSB Advocates has a wealth of experience representing clients in a broad spectrum of legal practice areas:

- Aviation

As an EU member state and a leading financial services jurisdiction, Malta has established a clear strategic political vision supporting the aviation industry. Following its worldwide success in the maritime sector, Malta is now working towards building the same strength and growth of its aircraft register.

- Competition / Antitrust Regulation

The regulatory implications arising out of competition / antitrust law must be taken into account in all spheres of commercial activity, and the right legal and strategic advice is essential to ensure compliance with the legal regimes existing in the European Union and worldwide.

- Company Law and Corporate Finance

The foundations of CSB Advocates lie in our corporate practice. We act for a predominantly international clientele, providing timely and down-to-earth advice on all aspects of Maltese corporate structures. Our firm has assisted with several international merger and acquisition transactions, tender offers, corporate restructurings, transfers of business, spin-offs and leveraged buy-out transactions, primarily in relation to the Maltese subsidiary companies of multi-national corporate clients, both regulated and unregulated.

* Mergers & Acquisitions

CSB Advocates has been involved in several international merger and acquisition transactions, tender offers, corporate restructurings, transfers of business, spin-offs and leveraged buy-out transactions, primarily getting involved in relation to the Maltese subsidiary companies of multi-national business groups, both regulated and unregulated.

- Data Protection

The Information Age is characterized by ease of transfer of information and the possibility of instant access to knowledge, brought about by continuing advances in technology. The benefits of this phenomenon are innumerable; however it is also evident that the other side of the coin, amongst other issues, is an increased threat to personal privacy.

- Employment Law and Industrial Relations

CSB Advocates provides an array of employment-related solutions including contracts of service, dismissals, redundancies, transfers of employees between undertakings, equal treatment on the workplace and the implementation of appropriate systems and procedures for clients’ human resources.

* Employment Contract

Maltese Labor Law is essentially based on the contractual agreement entered into between employer and employee, provided that the statutory conditions of employment are respected. Thus, whereas certain conditions of employment are strictly regulated as a matter of law, other conditions are left entirely up to the parties to agree upon, as long as these are also considered to be objectively reasonable.

* Residence and Work Permits in Malta

CSB Advocates provides full support to its clients in obtaining residence and work permits for their staff and in administering client payrolls, co-coordinating all relevant paperwork with the relevant authorities and guiding clients through the procedures and pitfalls in the course of administering these formalities.

- Finance

Our firm is well-established in the field of finance, dealing with asset, corporate and project finance transactions and providing practical legal advice and solutions in relation to the formality, validity and enforcement of in rem and in personal security rights in terms of Maltese law.

- Financial Services

The firm’s financial services department provides bespoke advice in the area of financial services, assisting clients with all regulatory formalities and clearances. The firm’s services include the following: Advice and assistance in relation to the structuring, licensing and establishment of Collective Investment Schemes and Professional Investor Funds; Advice and assistance in relation to the licensing and establishment of Affiliated Insurance Companies (otherwise known as “AIC” or “captive insurance companies”); Advice and Assistance relating to regulated activities in the areas of banking, electronic money institutions and other financial activities.

- iGaming Law

iGaming has become a major contributor to Malta’s GDP and government revenue from the iGaming industry is expected to reach €19 million in 2009. Over the past years, Malta has successfully established itself as a leading, serious and well-regulated European remote gaming jurisdiction and is estimated to host around 10% of the world’s online gaming companies.

- Insolvency & Bankruptcy

Corporate Insolvency and Personal Bankruptcy invariably bring a number of legal issues to the fore affecting the rights of all stakeholders, the ranking of creditors, and the compliance with various legal procedures intended to safeguard the various interests involved.

- Intellectual Property

The firm’s intellectual property interests lie primarily in technology- and software- related issues. With Malta’s steady development as a center for ICT excellence, internet-based industries including remote gaming and financial services have seen a dramatic growth over the past five years.

- Litigation & Arbitration

We have a solid litigation and arbitration practice dealing primarily with material commercial issues having an international dimension. Our litigation practice has been entrusted with some high-profile litigation matters before the Maltese Courts, the Malta Arbitration Centre and also in reaching amicable out-of-court settlements.

- Real Estate

The Maltese real estate sector has provided a steady record of healthy financial return for property owners. The island has also experienced a considerable influx of foreigners who are acquiring properties on the island for their business requirements or as a home.

- Shipping

Malta’s strategic position in the heart of the Mediterranean has played an instrumental role in shaping its history throughout the centuries. Today, as the eighth largest maritime flag in the world and the second largest in Europe, the Maltese flag has clearly earned the confidence of ship owners, financiers and management companies the world over.

- Malta Tax

Malta’s tax system has been and remains an important factor in securing the country’s steady and significant growth as a reputable financial services center. The tax system was vetted thoroughly by the European Commission upon Malta’s accession to the European Union and has since been approved as fully compliant with all requirements of EU law.

- Technology, Media & Telecommunications

In view of the indispensability of computers as an everyday business tool, the evident reliance of modern-day business on electronic communications, the ever-increasing volumes of online consumption, the associated need for reliable back-end payment gateways for online merchants, and the associated legal issues relating to security, privacy, execution of digital contracts and cross-border application of licensing and legal requirements, the firm has been retained on a number of ICT-related consultancy and research jobs, making it one of Malta’s leading legal consultants in the field.

* E-Commerce

Establishing an online presence has today become a mandatory part of doing business, with most companies across the world owning and operating, wholly or partially, through a website. Such companies are not always aware of all the laws which they must comply with, when operating their website.

* Electronic Communications

The electronic communications sector is a vast and dynamic sector spanning infrastructure based issues related to fixed, mobile, television, internet services and other related matters. As technology continues to advance and the digital divide continues to expand, legal frameworks must cope with issues from injecting competition into a monopolized market, to issues such as convergence, next generation access and high speed data transfers, making regulation of the sector a truly challenging endeavor.

- Trusts & Estate Planning

We offer a complete range of trust-related advice and support including the following: Creation of bespoke trust structures; Escrow agreements; Protection of assets; Fiduciary arrangements; Security trusts; Advice to Trustees; Charitable trusts and foundations.

- Yachting

Our maritime practice also provides the following services: Registration and deletion of yachts under the Malta flag; Structuring and implementation of tax-efficient yacht-owning structures; Co-ordination of commercial yacht certification; Co-ordination of temporary importation procedures; Searches of the Malta yacht register; Searches of Maltese yacht-owning entities; etc.



Associates

Davinia Cutajar Dr. Davinia Cutajar
Compliance Officer
Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Contracts, Corporate Law, Estate and Trust



Lawyers

Carla Barthet Dr. Carla Barthet
Lawyer
Banking and Finance, Business and Industry, Commercial Law, Contracts, Corporate Finance

Ann Bugeja Dr. Ann M. Bugeja
Lawyer
Aviation Law, Contracts, Corporate Law, Employee Benefits, Employees Rights

Kurt Hyzler Dr. Kurt Hyzler
Lawyer
Banking and Finance, Business and Industry, Commercial Law, Contracts, Corporate Finance

Andrew Zammit Dr. Andrew J. Zammit
Managing Lawyer
Aerospace Law, Aviation Law, Banking and Finance, Bankruptcy, Business and Industry


Affiliations

  • LNI International
  • Employment Law Alliance (ELA)
  • International Bar Association (IBA)
  • International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL)

More Information on CSB Advocates

Malta Company and Corporate Finance Lawyers
Financial Services Law Firm in Swatar, Malta
Aviation Law Office in Swatar, Malta
Swatar, Malta Finance Law Firm
Shipping Lawyers in Swatar, Malta
Swatar, Malta Yachting Law Firm
Tax Law Office in Swatar, Malta
CSB Advocates News and Publications

Articles Published by CSB Advocates

 The Most Awaited Third Pillar Pension Scheme

In light of the launch of a regulatory structure for private pensions forwarded by the MFSA the Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna recently launched the Third Pillar pension scheme, also referred to as the Personal Retirement Scheme which is accompanied by another scheme called the Individual Savings Account.

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 Malta - A Jurisdiction for Private Equity Funds

The MFSA is currently amending its legislative and regulatory framework in order to make Malta an efficient jurisdiction for structuring private equity funds.

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 Google’s Privacy Policy Questioned

European Union privacy regulators have been urging Google to refine its privacy policies for quite some time.

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 Malta’s Banking Institutions Considered Sound and Resilient by the European Central Bank

The European Central Bank (ECB) has published the results of the stress-test that it has conducted over the past year in respect of the 130 largest banks in the euro area, considering their financial position as at the 31st December 2013.

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 Malta Applicants for Online Forex Trading - Category 2 / Category 3 Investment Services Licence

The MFSA recently circulated a notice outlining additional criteria with respect to the licensing of entities that would like to offer online forex trading to retail clients in terms of the Investment Services Act, Chapter 370 of the Laws of Malta.

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 MFSA on the Alternative Investment Fund Managers National Private Placement Regime

The MFSA recently published a set of documents formalising the implementation of the National Private Placement Regime (‘NPPR’) in Malta.

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 MFSA Thematic Review on Compliance with the Requirements on Governance, Compliance & Risk Management in Malta

The MFSA recently published a circular addressed to the compliance officers of investment services license holders with consolidated feedback from the Securities and Markets Supervision Unit.

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 Malta Financial Services Authority Issues a Consultation Document on the Proposals for Securitisation Cell Companies Regulations

Cell companies have been an established feature of Maltese legislation since 2004, following the enactment of the Companies Act (Cell Companies carrying on business of insurance) Regulations, 2004 (the “PCC Regulations”). Since then the cell company concept in Malta has not only taken root among market operators and practitioners but has also influenced the development of other legal frameworks in the insurance and funds sector.

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 Equal Treatment in Employment in Malta

An amendment to our laws, now makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against transgender individuals, on grounds of sex. Prior to August 2014, the law only made reference to sexual orientation, without specific reference to those who underwent gender reassignment.

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 Plans for a New Marina in Sa Maison, Pietà Malta

The Authority for Transport in Malta plans to issue a request for proposals for the development and operation of an all-weather marina with up to 240 berths and shore facilities at Sa Maison in Pietà.

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 2014 Amendments to the Malta Retirement Programme Rules

Legal Notice 269 of 2014 has amended the Malta Retirement Programme Rules which were originally promulgated in 2012.

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 Malta Residence Programme Rules 2014

By virtue of two legal notices published on the 8th of July, the High Net Worth Individuals Rules (HNWI Rules) have now been amended to reflect the Global Residence Programme threshold, both in terms of tax and property value (be it purchase or lease), and a new special tax status is presented.

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 Your Rights as a Consumer in Malta

When purchasing a product in terms of the Maltese Consumer Affairs Act, consumers have clear-cut legal rights. The warranty provided by the supplier or the manufacturer cannot curtail or negatively affect the consumer’s rights.

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 EU Nationals Working in Malta

According to a Parliamentary answer by the Maltese Employment Minister Evarist Bartolo, a total of 10,035 EU nationals were working in Malta as at end of December 2013.

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 Data Retention Directive is to be Succeeded in the UK by Emergency Data Law

The EU Data Retention Directive (2006/24/EC) was introduced into EU legislation during the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Madrid, London and New York, and provided that communications firms should keep data about subscribers’ activities for a period of between 6 and 24 months.

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 AIFMD News Update: Distinguishing between Open and Closed-Ended Funds

When the AIFMD was adopted, no harmonised definition of “closed-ended” Alternative Investment Funds (“AIFs”) was provided within the Directive’s text.

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 FATCA - Malta on the Way to Implementing its IGA

Following the signature of the intergovernmental agreement (“IGA”) between Malta and the US on the 16th December, 2013 whereby the latter agreed to implement Foreign Account Tax Compliance provisions (commonly known as FATCA) in Malta, the Inland Revenue Department (“IRD”) has issued draft FATCA Regulations and Guidelines implementing the said intergovernmental agreement.

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 A Potential Regulatory Regime for Virtual Currencies is Proposed by EBA

The European Banking Authority (EBA) published on the 4th of July 2014 an Opinion addressed to the EU Council, European Commission and European Parliament setting out the requirements that would be needed to regulate ‘virtual currencies'.

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 The Regulation of Virtual Currencies - A Positive Step Undertaken by the EBA

On Friday the 4th of July the European Banking Authority (EBA) published an opinion addressed to the EU Council, European Commission and European Parliament outlining its view on how ‘virtual currencies' should be regulated.

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 An Update on the UCITS V Directive

The UCITS V Directive shall shortly be published in the Official Journal of the European Union later on this year.

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 Loan Funds Take the Stage in Malta

Spurred by various enquiries on the matter, the MFSA has last week launched the Investment Services Rules for Loan Funds (the “Rules”) which provide for the licensing and regulation of collective investment schemes investing through loans (“Loan Funds”). This paper will analyse the Rules and how these fit into the current Maltese fund legislation.

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 Part-Time Self-Employed Tax Submission in Malta

The form for the submission for tax purposes of part-time, self-employed individuals has been amended by virtue of Legal Notice 186 of 2014 [Part-Time (Forms of Self-Employed) (Amendment) Rules, 2014], therefore replacing the previous form in toto.

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 Netflix Accused of Mudslinging

Verizon, the US telecommunications giant, has issued Netflix with a “cease and desist” letter following media reports claiming that Netflix was blatantly telling its customers that the Verizon network was responsible for faulty streaming.

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 Moneyval's Statement Calling for Enhanced Due Diligence Measures for Bosnia and Herzegovina Transactions

On 1st June 2014, the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) issued a public statement about the persistence of deficiencies in the anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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 The Protection of Depositors in the Event of a Bank Failure

The liability of financial supervisory authorities and deposit-guarantee schemes. However, it has proved not to be sufficient: bank failures still do happen, causing serious negative consequences not only on depositors’ personal level – they become unable to recover their savings – but also on a general level, since the solidity of the financial sector will appear undermined. With a view to limit such risks, deposit-guarantee schemes have been created and are being constantly improved.

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 Corporation Ordered to Pay €205,694, in Lieu of Salaries and Repatriation Expenses

Last month Judge Padovani Grima ordered the Ladybug Corporation to pay the 22 crew members, the sum of €205,694, in lieu of salaries and repatriation expenses, after that the owners had stopped communication with the International Transport Workers’ Federation, refused to take calls and had abandoned the crew and vessel.

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 Is Apple in Breach of EU Consumer Rights Law?

On the 13th May 2014 the Norwegian Consumer Council lodged a complaint against Apple with Norway’s Consumer Ombudsman. According to the complaint, Apple’s iCloud service violates European consumer law by allowing Apple to change its terms and conditions at any time without giving notice to its customers.

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 Update on MiFID II and MiFIR

ESMA, the European Securities and Markets Authority issued consultation documents for the implementation of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR) on 22nd May 2014.

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 Oracle vs Google – Software Copyright Case

The US Court of Appeals ruled last Monday the 12th of May that software source code can qualify for copyright protection in certain circumstances.

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 Google Receives Influx of Take-Down Requests

Google has certainly had some experience dealing with take-down requests in the past – primarily dealing with copyright infringing content – but nothing was to prepare it for the overwhelming influx of requests it reportedly received following the ECJ ruling on the subject last week.

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 US Authorities Granted Power to Search Foreign Servers

Last week a district judge in New York ruled that US authorities can access and search through electronic data stored by US companies on servers based outside the US.

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 An Update on MiFID II/MIFIR in Malta

On the 23rd of April 2014, the European Parliament adopted updated rules for MiFID II. The Directive and the Regulation are expected to enter into force in June 2014.

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 Malta - Industry Update - UCITS V

On the 25 February 2014 an agreement was reached for the amendment of the UCITS Directive (2009/65/EC). UCITS V has been designed to enhance investor confidence and protection by introducing additional safeguards:

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 MFSA Clarifies the Limits Applicable to Cross Sub-Fund Investments

Subject to certain conditions, a sub-fund of a PIF or of an AIF which is constituted as a SICAV is allowed to invest up to 50% of its assets into another sub-fund or sub-funds within the same umbrella scheme.

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 Malta Confirms its Individual Investor Programme (IIP)

The Malta Individual Investor Programme (IIP) is to allow for the grant of citizenship by a certificate of naturalization to foreign individuals and their families who contribute to the economic development of Malta.

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 Regulating Corporate Services Providers in Malta

On the 24th December 2013, Chapter 529 of the Laws of Malta was promulgated, comprising the new Company Service Providers Act. This Act aims to regulate corporate services providers with a view to strengthen the industry’s arsenal against abuse of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering and terrorist financing.

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 EU Mobile Roaming Charges - Moving Towards an Open Internet

The concept of ‘net neutrality’, or of ‘open internet’, refers to the notion that internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally. Advocates of this concept envisage an internet where people can use their internet connection from anywhere and for anything with no additional charges and/or restrictions.

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 The Fage Greek Yoghurt Case

The world renowned manufacturer of Greek Yoghurt, FAGE, has recently won an ‘extended passing-off’ case against Chobani UK Limited and Chobani, Inc in the United Kingdom. Interestingly, an extended passing-off claim, unlike a classic passing-off claim, may be brought by one or more members of a class of traders which share the collective goodwill in a mark.

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 The EU Court Rules Linking to Free Web Content is Legal

Last month the European Court ruled that websites can link to freely available content without the permission of the copyright holder.

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 Merkel Calls for Data Protection Reform in Europe

The strengthening of data protection laws in Europe has been a pet cause for German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, for some time now. In July 2013, Merkel was strongly backed by the European commission in her call for tougher data protection laws, particularly in the ICT sector.

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 Jurisdictions with Strategic Deficiencies Identified by FATF

On 21st February 2014, the MFSA issued a Notice to Financial Services Licence Holders informing them on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) identifying jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies, as outlined in the recent publication of two public documents. These countries are considered to have strategic deficiencies regarding anti-money laundering& and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).

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 Surf’s Up: New Consumer Directive Makes some Waves - Malta

In Europe, online sales are set to reach 191 billion Euro by the year 2017. Faced with these numbers, businesses simply cannot afford to pass up the opportunities presented to them by online channels. Neither can they afford to remain in the dark about developments in the e-commerce regulatory sector. The ever-changing landscape of the world market necessitates a fast reaction time and a keen adaptability for businesses to remain relevant.

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 New Amendment to the Highly Qualified Persons Rules - Malta

Legal Notice 16 of 2014, has brought into effect amendments to the Highly Qualified Persons Rules, applicable retrospectively from year of assessment 2013.

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 The Malta-Alderney MOU: Is It a Game-changer?

Following the announcement of the signature of a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding between Malta and Alderney between the Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) on the 9th October 2013, several operators await further details about the MoU with some anticipation.

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 Managing changes in Material Interest in Maltese Listed Companies: A Survivor’s Guide

The Regulatory Landscape: Whilst the Maltese Companies Act (Chapter 386, Laws of Malta) (the “Act”) provides the general legal framework for the creation and operation of public companies, listed companies are also subject to the Listing Rules (the “Listing Rules”) issued by the Listing Authority in virtue of powers granted by Articles 11 and 13 of the Financial Markets Act (Cap.345 of the Laws of Malta).

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 MiFID II – Taking it to the next level

After two years of negotiations, on 14th January 2014 a high-level agreement was reached between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on the updated rules for markets in financial instruments which are designed to address certain shortcomings of the first Directive.

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 AIFMD: Distinguishing between Open and Closed-Ended Funds

When the AIFMD was adopted, no harmonised definition of “closed-ended” Alternative Investment Funds (“AIFs”) was provided within the Directive’s text.

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 AIFMD – Implementation of the Depositary Lite Provisions - Malta

Following the finalisation of the consultation process which commenced on the 18th September 2013, the MFSA has revised the Investment Services rules for Investment Services Providers in order to introduce the Depositary Lite regime.

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 Malta Named European Domicile of Choice - HFR SP, 2013

The prestigious Hedge Funds Review Service Provider Rankings (HFR SP) 2013, has ranked Malta as Europe’s top hedge fund domicile, marking another achievement for Malta’s ever growing financial services sector and reaffirming its position as a leading financial jurisdiction.

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 Nomad Aviation Granted Air Operator Certificate from Malta

Nomad Aviation (Europe) Ltd., a subsidiary of Nomad Aviation AG in Switzerland has received its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from Transport Malta’s Civil Aviation Directorate. CSB Advocates is proud to have assisted the Nomad team with this process.

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 Malta Citizenship Scheme Presented

The Maltese Prime Minister has presented the Individual Investor Program (IIP), a scheme that will grant Maltese citizenship against investment by high net worth individuals (HNWI).

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 Malta – Liechtenstein Doble Taxation Treaty

Malta's continuous effort in extending its tax treaty network (nearly 70 treaties entered into by Malta up to the end of October 2013) is again evidenced by a new tax treaty signed with Liechtenstein.

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 Virtual Currencies - A Question of Trust

The pressing need for regulatory clarification on Bitcoin and other virtual currencies in Europe and beyond.

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 Updated Article Life in the Sun: The Ease of Benefitting from Tax Residence in Malta

Further to the suspension of the Permanent Residents Scheme in December 2010, the Government of Malta has put in place a scheme for special tax status aimed at attracting internationally mobile, high net worth individuals (HNWI) to become tax resident in our islands and benefit from a favorable tax rate of 15% on any income remitted into Malta.

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 UCITS Report: Can a Leopard Change its Spots?

The European UCITS brand is a seal of quality recognized in financial centers the world over, spanning from Asia to the Americas. The widespread appeal of Ucits-compliant funds exists notwithstanding the significant additional compliance burden that is pinned unto UCITS-compliant managers. This is a success story that began in 1985 and has undergone three subsequent and significant amendments, with another one, possibly two, in the regulatory pipeline.

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 Special Tax Rate - Malta

It was reported in the past weeks that a “total of 320 professionals who have taken up residence in Malta are benefiting from a maximum tax rate of 15% on their €75,000-plus salaries”.

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 World Economic Forum Confirms Malta’s Placing as a Top-20 Financial Services Jurisdiction

The Global Competiveness Report 2013-2014, prepared by the World Economic Forum, has ranked Malta’s financial services sector amongst the top 20 world nations, out of 148, with regards to issues related to soundness of its banking institutions (14th), the regulation of Securities Exchanges (17th) and the strength and reporting standards (13th), thereby reaffirming Malta’s position as a leading financial jurisdiction.

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 AIFMD - MFSA Issued a Consultation Document on the Depositary Lite Regime - Malta

On the 27th June 2013 the MFSA launched the new Investment Services Rulebooks which effectively transposed the AIFMD into the MFSA’s Rules.

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 Abandoned Seafarers Find Remedy

The seafarers of the MV A Lady Bug, a Panamanian flagged vessel have been granted a warrant for the arrest of the vessel by the Courts of Malta.

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 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) Comes into Force - Malta

The Maritime Labor Convention has come into force on the 20th of August 2013, after its adoption by the International Labor Organisation in February 2006.

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 The Relevance of Cybersecurity Risk Management - Malta

The majority of enterprises nowadays rely on information technology as an essential tool for meeting their business objectives as well as safeguarding their intellectual property, financial information and the Company’s reputation, amongst others. Concurrently, critical digital assets are being targeted and the potential impacting businesses has never been greater.

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 ESMA’s Opinion on the Practical Arrangements for the Late Transposition of the AIFMD

ESMA - the European Securities and Markets Authority - published its opinion on arrangements for the late transposition of the AIFMD on 1st August 2013.

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 Reduced VAT on Short-term Yacht Charters Commencing in Malta

On the 29th July 2013, the VAT Department published guidelines in relation to the Malta VAT treatment of short-term yacht charters starting in Malta, which guidelines are largely similar to the interpretation which applicable to long-term yacht leases.

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 Payment Services New Rules for the Benefit of Consumers and Retailers - EU

In order to adapt the EU payments market to the opportunities of the single market and to support the growth of the EU economy, the European Commission adopted a package on 24th July 2013.

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 Amendment to the High Net Worth Individuals Rules for Non-EU/Non-EEA/Non-Swiss

Following the launch of the Global Residency Program earlier this month, the Government has (by means of Legal Notice 178 of 2013) amended the HNWI Rules.

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 FIAU Annual Report 2012 - Malta

On the 15th July 2013, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) issued a Notice for the purpose of formally notifying all Financial Services License Holders of the recent publication of the Malta Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) Annual Report for 2012, issued in terms of Article 42(1) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (Chapter 373, Laws of Malta).

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 EC Proposal for New Investment Fund Framework - ELTIF

On the 28th June 2013, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) issued a Circular to the Financial Services Industry on the proposal by the European Commission for the implementation of a new investment fund framework designed for investors desirous of effecting long-term investments into corporate entities and projects.

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 MFSA Circular - Binary Options

On the 17th July 2013, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) issued a Circular to the financial services industry confirming its position in respect of investment services provided in relative to binary options. The Circular follows clarification by the European Commission of the relevant issues in terms of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, 2004/39/EC, (MiFID) and expressly confirms that binary options do fall within scope of the said MiFID Directive.

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 AIFMD Q&A - Malta

We are a custodian bank based outside the EU currently considering establishing a presence in Malta with a view towards servicing Malta-licensed alternative investment funds. When should we expect Malta-based funds to be required to engage the services of a Malta-based depositary in conformity with the new AIFMD requirements? Are there any exceptions that apply, permitting other non-Maltese depositaries to service Malta-licensed funds?

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 Global Residence Program Launched - Malta

The 2013 Global Residence Program Rules have been finally published. Conversely as what has been expected however, these Rules are only applicable to non-Maltese, non-EEA and non-Swiss nationals.

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 Proposals for a Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive - EU

The European Central Bank ("ECB") and the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee ("ECON") have issued opinions following the adoption by the European Commission, on 5th February 2013, of a Proposal for a Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive and a Proposal for a Regulation on Information Accompanying Transfers of Funds, to reinforce the EU's existing rules on anti-money laundering and fund transfers.

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 Malta Is AIFMD Ready

With approximately a month to go from the transposition deadline, Malta has announced that it is first member state to have fully transposed the Alternative Investment Fund Management Directive (“AIFMD / Directive”).

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 Note for Consultation - Implementation of AIFMD - Malta

On the 18th June 2013, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) issued a Note for Consultation on the proposed implementation of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (‘AIFMD’).

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 Amendment to the Highly Qualified Persons Rules - Malta

Legal Notice 152 of 2013, has brought into effect amendments to the Highly Qualified Persons Rules, applicable retrospectively from the 1st of January 2013.

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 The Merchant Shipping (Training and Certification) Regulations, 2013 - Malta

By virtue of Legal Notice 153 if 2013, measures contained in the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, as amended, and in Directive 2012/35/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21st November 2012 on the minimum level of training of seafarers are being adopted.

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 Amendment to Article 211 of the Companies Act – Private Exempt Companies

By virtue of Act 3 of 2013 Article 211 of the Companies Act was amended such that, the words "is holder of, or has any interest in, any shares or debentures of the company or" in paragraph (b) of sub-article (2) thereof have been deleted.

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 Industrial Tribunal Decision – Maria C. Debono vs Foster Clark Products – Injury Leave - Unfair Dismissal

On the 4th June 2013 the Industrial Tribunal, following a claim for unfair dismissal filed by Mrs Maria Concetta Debono, awarded a decision in her favor and ordered her re-instatement with Foster Clark Products Limited and the payment of wages for the duration of her unemployment.

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 Malta – Redefining Collective Investment Schemes

The Investment Services Act (CHAP. 370 of the laws of Malta) currently defines collective investment schemes as arrangements which, inter alia, “operate according to the principle of risk spreading”. By virtue of this definition, the requirement of risk spreading has been imposed on all licensed collective investment schemes alike and this irrespective of the type of collective investment scheme licence.

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 Updated Publication Cross-Investments between sub-funds of Malta-registered SICAVs

An investment company with variable share capital (“SICAV”) is by far the most common vehicle utilised by promoters for the licensing of Collective Investment Schemes in Malta. This is attributable to the flexibility associated with such vehicles, as provided by the Companies Act (Investment Companies with Variable Share Capital) Regulations (the “Regulations”).

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 The Application of VAT Exemptions on Commercial Yachts Registered Under the Malta Flag

In the judgement S&D Yachts Limited vs MY Nautonnier delivered by the Court of Magistrates in Malta on the 3rd May 2013, it was held among other things that a vessel registered as a commercial yacht was not automatically entitled to an exemption from VAT.

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 DMLC II May Commence

Further to ratification of the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labor Convention) Rules of 2013, the Maltese Authority has announced that Recognised Organisations may commence with the DMLC II reviews and the conduct of on board inspections.

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 MLC shall enter into force for Malta in August 2013

Further to Malta’s ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) on 18th of January 2013, the Merchant Shipping Directorate has announced that the Convention will enter into force on 20th of August 2013.

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 MFSA Publishes a Self-Assessment Questionnaires for Fund Managers & Self-Managed Collective Investment Schemes - Malta

In view of the AIFMD coming into force on 22nd July 2013, Category 2 Licence Holders authorised to provide investment management services to collective investment schemes; Self-Managed Retail Non-UCITS Schemes; and Professional Investor Schemes licensed in terms of the Investment Services Act, 1994 (the “Act”), will be issued with a revised licence to operate as AlFMs, unless they opt for the ‘de minimis’ classification in accordance with the provisions of the AIFMD.

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 Malta and India Renegotiate Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement

India and Malta renegotiated the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between the two countries with the intention of aligning to changes in domestic laws.

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 Re-Launch of Malta Permanent Residence Scheme

The Maltese government has announced that it will be re-launching the permanent residence scheme by the end of May. This scheme was suspended by the previous government in December 2010 after a series of abuse on the system.

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 Change in Place of Supply Rules Affects the Maltese Leasing Structure

The 2013 amendments to the VAT legislation brought about changes to the place of supply rules in relation to long-term leases of yachts (leases for more than 90 days) to a non-taxable person.

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 Malta Does Not Face Same Bank System Risks as Cyprus

On the 16th April 2013, Fitch Ratings issued a statement regarding a special report published by Fitch, highlighting the main differences between the Maltese and Cypriot banking systems and concluded that these differences far outweigh the similarities and that, as such, ‘Malta Does Not Face Same Bank System Risks as Cyprus’ meaning the Maltese banking sector does not present the same level of risk to the sovereign that was seen in Cyprus.

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 Film Companies Demand Google Perform Takedowns in Secret

Google has long provided the service of blocking search results in pursuance to website takedown requests.

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 An Update on the Forthcoming CRD IV Rules - Malta

On 27th March 2013, the Permanent Representatives Committee approved the compromise text on the Capital Requirements Directive, better known as the “CRD 4” package proposed to amend and replace the existing rules on capital requirements, applicable to banks and certain investment firms. The new proposals come in the form of a Directive that governs access to deposit-taking activities and a Regulation that establishes the prudential requirements that institutions need to respect.

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 EFF Implements Right of Data Access in California

In the EU, the “right of access” to one’s personal data has existed for over a decade. The US, on the other hand, seemed to be moving in a vastly different direction.

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 Consultation Document- De Minimis AIFMs - Malta

On the 22nd March 2013, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) issued a Consultation Document on the proposed rulebook applicable to De Minimis Licence Holders in terms of Article 3 of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (‘AIFMD’), which provides for exemptions and lays the foundations for the said de minimis regime.

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 Icann Listing Trademarks to Stifle Cybersquatting

The internationally recognised regulator of web addresses Icann (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is constantly seeking new ways to avoid abusive use of domain names. One of the more common abuses is that of cybersquatting, the act of registering domain names consisting in somebody else’s trademark in order to make gains of that trademark’s reputation. There are several types of cybersquatting, however this is the most common.

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 The MFSA Publishes New Regulations which Transpose the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive

Following the issuance of the consultation paper on the 03rd September 2012 with respect to the proposed transposition of certain requirements of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (“AIFMD”) and as part of the transposition by Malta of the AIFMD, on the 08th March 2013 the MFSA published the following legal notices in the Malta Government Gazette

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 EU Court fleshes out Community Trademark Rules

The concept of the Community Trademark (CTM) has long been considered very straight-forward in its approach. The common understanding is that it gives protection of a trademark applicable to all 27 Member States of the EU. Naturally, this could be easily abused if a CTM were registered and only used in one Member State.

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 Neelie Kroes pushes Tech Creativity in the EU

When we think about creativity in the field of technology, we normally think about the U.S. and Japan. The European Union Commissioner for technology and the digital agenda Neelie Kroes is now actively trying to challenge this notion. Few people realize, for example, that Angry Birds and Skype were actually created in Europe. These may not trump the prolific success of Silicon Valley, but they are certainly a start.

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 EU Commission Follows through and Fines Microsoft

For over a year, Microsoft has been under the watch of the EU Commission regarding a perceived breach in EU competition law due to their “Windows” operating system being shipped with a pre-loaded internet browser.

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 Cyber Security Directive May Prove Difficult - Malta

The EU has long been considering the implementation of frameworks and legal solutions to address mounting concerns in regard to cyber security. In addition to the introduction of a new strategy in this regard, the Commission made a proposal in February 2013 to introduce a directive to facilitate the creation of a harmonized network and to standardize information security throughout the EU.

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 Official EU Patent Now a Reality

After a series of debates spanning around forty years, the EU has finally approved the new unitary patent system as of 19th of February, 2013.

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 The MFSA Issues the Corporate Governance Manual for Directors of Funds - Malta

Spurred by the belief that the role of directors is vital for the proper operation of an investment fund and aware of claims that directors of such entities failed to properly react to the global financial crisis, the MFSA has recently issued the Corporate Governance Manual for Directors of Investment Companies and Collective Investment Schemes (the “Manual”).

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 Balancing it Out - Family and Employment - Malta

The recent increase in maternity leave has created strong views, unsurprisingly divided into two broad categories: those who insist that the increase of the maternity leave to 18 weeks was essential and inevitable, and those who feel that the extended maternity leave will prove to be too much of a financial burden for the employer.

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 Combatting Counterparty Risk with Central Counter-Parties - Malta

Chasing payment of dues is a mundane yet critical element of every business process. Hugely time consuming, it could expose any activity large or small to counter-party risk, even more so in times of economic crisis.

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 Amendment of FIAU Implementing Procedures - Malta

The Malta Financial Services Authority has issued a Circular addressed to the investment services industry regarding the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism (Amendment) Regulations 2009, following the revision of Part I of the Implementing Procedures which changes are being introduced through the inclusion of a new Chapter 9 and additional paragraphs to Section 6.1 of the Implementing Procedures.

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 Protection of Clients Assets - Malta

On 8th February 2013, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a consultation paper on recommendations regarding the protection of client assets – Consultation Report CR02/13.

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 Malta Stood Up to the Cruise Industry

Jim Walker, an internationally known maritime lawyer and cruise safety advocate, has prised Malta for “standing up to the cruise industry”.

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 App Developers Sceptical about New FTC and EU Policies on Data Privacy

EU Application (App) developers for smartphones and tablets are anxiously awaiting new guidelines from the Article 29 Working Party which is composed of representatives from all national EU data protection authorities.

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 EU Patent System Being Finalized

The European Union has spent a good number of years trying to consolidate bloc-wide intellectual property regimes to improve the efficiency of the Single Market.

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 Malta Ratifies Maritime Labor Convention

The Government of Malta has deposited with the International Labor Office of the United Nations, the instrument of ratification of the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) on 18th of January 2013 in Geneva.

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 EU Bent on Reform in Telecoms Sector

On the 14th January 2013, Neelie Kroes, in her capacity as Commissioner responsible for telecommunications within the European Union, issued a statement that the EU will dedicate this year to introducing reforms in the regulation of the pan-European telecoms market.

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 Google Survives US Investigations – EU Investigates Further

The software giant Google has recently come under scrutiny from both the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the European Union Commission for suspected anti-competitive behaviour. It was initially being suspected that Google was doctoring search results in a manner that would prejudice its competitors.

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 European Union may Soften Copyright Law on the Internet

On the 5th of December 2012, the Commission of the European Union announced that it will begin the process of reviewing existing EU copyright laws. The aim of this review is to better define what is considered fair use of copyrighted material on the internet. This, in turn, would further clarify what constitutes piracy on the web.

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 Revision of the Insurance Mediation Directive

On the 3rd of July, 2012, the European Commission adopted a proposal for the revision of the Insurance Mediation Directive (“IMD”) which is part of a wider legislative package focusing on consumer protection related issues.

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 Brussels Clamps Down on Credit Rating Agencies

The Financial Services Chief of the European Union Michael Barnier declared on the 27th November 2012 that credit rating agencies are to follow stricter rules so as to make them accountable for mistakes in case of negligence or intent.

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 European Court Holds that Companies are Now Liable for Joint Ventures They Control

The concept of a joint venture has been a difficult issue for legislators and legal professionals alike since time immemorial. Every time a joint venture is created a great variety of issues arise, primarily with respect to the way that such a joint venture will affect the market from the perspective of competition.

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 Update: Apple Forced to Show Samsung Its Settlement with HTC

Samsung have been successful in their petition to the courts to compel Apple to disclose the contents of the settlement it made with HTC.

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 MFSA to Propose Rules on Cross Sub-Fund Investments - Malta

According to a Circular issued by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) on the 30th October 2012, addressed to the investment services industry, the MFSA is in the process of finalising the relative rules on cross sub-fund investments to be included in the Investment Services Rules for Professional Investor Funds.

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 MFSA Issues Amendments to the Q&A on Recognized Incorporated Cell Companies - Malta

In terms of a Circular addressed to the investment services industry issued by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) on the 12th November 2012, the Authority amended the information available on the Q&A section of its website in relation to Recognised Incorporated Cell Companies (RICC).

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 Samsung Demands to see HTC License

Apple’s on-going patent wars have made new developments. In the wake of the recent litigations with HTC, it appears that Apple has actually chosen to licence some of their patents to HTC.

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 Preliminary Injunction over TV Platform that Skips Adverts fails

A group of American TV providers have recently sued Dish Network, a satellite television provider, for copyright infringement because of its “Autohop” service.

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 European Commission Re-Ignites the Browser Wars

In 2009, Microsoft made an agreement with the European Commission, in its capacity as the pan-European antitrust watchdog that it would offer the opportunity to users to choose which web browser to use on its Windows 7 operating system. The discussions that brought about this agreement were labelled as the “Browser Wars”.

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 Web Host Found Liable in Damages for File Sharing Website - Malta

A recent Dutch court decision declared that XS Networks was complicit in copyright infringement after it failed to take down the website for “SumoTorrent” which was hosted on their servers. XS Networks had already been notified that the content on this site was illegal and therefore knew the risks of leaving it in place. This meant that it was liable for the damages caused by the sharing of the illegal content as if it were its own doing.

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 Common EU Data Protection Framework Demanded - Malta

Service providers in the mobile and ICT sectors are currently calling for a review of the existing EU level framework concerning the protection of personal data. They have pointed out that the 2002 “ePrivacy Directive” and the newly proposed “Data Protection Regulation”, if left as they are, would create discrepancies in data protection standards that would be detrimental to industry, consumer and operator alike.

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 Fighting Precarious Employment - Malta

The recent media blitz in respect of precarious employment brought about the introduction of Legal Notice 44 of 2012 entitled Employment Status National Standard Order. However, neither the Legal Notice nor any other local legislation provides for a definition of precarious work. Precarious work is not formally defined in any legislation, but is associated with atypical work, low paid work and illegal work practices.

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 Malta Retirement Program Rules 2012

In October 2012, the Maltese Government has issued a special tax status for retirees from EU, EEA countries and Switzerland when remitting their pension into Malta. A fixed tax rate of 15% will be due on the pension remitted, and the minimum tax payable shall be of €7,500 for the beneficiary and €500 for every dependant (if any).

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 Discussion on Digital Rights following ACTA - Malta

In the wake of the controversial law commonly called ACTA, the Maltese government has undertaken a public consultation exercise in order to enshrine “digital rights” in our Constitution. Currently, these rights are known to be the following: - The right to internet access; - The right to access information online; - The right to online freedom of expression; and - The right to exchange information online.

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 Google Hides “The Pirate Bay” - Malta

Under a new initiative to distance itself from anything illegal on the internet, Google has updated its search engine to eliminate “The Pirate Bay” results from its auto-complete forms. This site has stood for many years as the Tortuga of the internet, providing what is probably the most comprehensive torrent database on the internet.

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 Introduction of the Malta Recognized Incorporated Cell Company

In the 17th April 2012, the Companies Act (Recognized Incorporated Cell Companies) Regulations (the “Regulations”) were incorporated into Maltese law by virtue of L.N. 119 of 2012. The said Regulations are supplemented by the MFSA Investment Services Rules for Recognized Incorporated Cell Companies (“RICC”) and Incorporated Cells which have been integrated into the existing MFSA investment services regulatory framework...

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 One DMCA Takedown - 1.45 Million Blogs Taken Down in Malta

A recent DMCA takedown request to the web hosting company “ServerBeach” resulted in the temporary denial of access to 1.45 million education related blogs. The notice regarded the website “Edublogs” which hosted all the blogs in question, all of which were housed on ServerBeach’s hardware. The subject of the notice was a questionnaire from 2007 which was under copyright protection in favour of a company going by the name of “Pearson”.

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 US Patent Office to Clamp Down on Bad Patents - Malta

Patents have been the subject of some of the largest industrial claims in worldwide legal history. Only recently, we have seen that a successful patent claim over a good invention can be worth very large sums of money. Regardless, this reality is also open to abuse. In the US, the practice of having “Non-Practicing Entities” (NPE’s) register patents only to use them for legal claims has become a serious issue of concern.

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 Depositor Compensation Scheme in Malta – The Central Bank Urges its Extension

The Depositor Compensation Scheme (“DCS”) has been in force since 2003 through Legal Notice 369 of 2003, following the transposition of the EU Directive 94/19/EC on Depositor Guarantee Scheme obligations amended by EU Directive 2009/14/EC, with the scope to provide a rescue fund for depositors of failed banks licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”).

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 Brussels Calls for Standards in Consumer Electronics

In the wake of Apple’s recent announcement of the iPhone 5, the Brussels based consumer standardisation group ANEC has expressed its “dismay” at Apple’s decision to market its new product with yet another new “stand-alone” piece of technology.

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 File Sharing Frenchman Fined for Piracy

A French court recently fined an individual €150 for pirating two music tracks. A French court recently fined Alain Prevost €150 for pirating two tracks by the artist Rihanna. The irony is that it was actually his wife who had downloaded the tracks without his knowledge. Unfortunately, Prevost found himself targeted by this action because he was the bill payer for the internet connection through which the songs were downloaded.

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 MFSA Consultation Procedure on the Proposed Transposition of Certain Requirements of the AIFMD - Malta

On the 3rd September 2012, the MFSA issued a ‘Consultation on the proposed transposition of certain requirements of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive’ (“AIFMD”) that regulates the activity of alternative investment fund managers.

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 Late Payments Directive Provisions Updated in Commercial Code - Malta

The updated provisions of the European Union’s Directive on Late Payments have been incorporated into our Commercial Code by virtue of Legal Notice 272 of 2012. By means of this Legal Notice, creditors now have the right to charge interest on late payments, equivalent to eight per cent (8%) over the European Central Bank base rate.

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 Google Declares Software Patents Strangle Innovation

On the 21st August 2012 Pablo Chavez, Google’s public policy director, released a statement saying that software patents, rather than promoting innovation and creativity, are actually stifling it. He further commented that these measures have the effect of harming consumers who have less varied products to choose from on the market. This was after Motorola Mobility, one of Google’s many subsidiaries, sued Apple, demanding an import ban on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

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 UK Courts Step Aside on Issues of Abusive Domain Names for Nominet UK

The High Court in the UK recently rejected an appeal made by Michael Toth in regard to his loss of the domain name ‘emirates.co.uk’. Toth, who possessed an extensive portfolio of domains, such as ‘china.co.uk’ and ‘maldives.co.uk’ appealed to the high court stating that his registration of the domain ‘emirates.co.uk’ was not done abusively.

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 Silence on Cyber-Security

A recent EU report has concluded that cyber-security incidents have a tendency to remain unreported. This was recently concluded through statistics collected by the “European Network and Information Security Agency” (ENISA).

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 EU to Propose Banking Union Plan in Due Course - Malta

The most recent EU Summit held in June 2012 saw the creation of a tentative action aimed at addressing the current problems with bad banks and grossly indebted governments. This is currently being called the “Banking Union Plan”.

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 EA Suing Zynga over Copyright Infringement in Malta

“Electronic Arts” (EA), best known for the FIFA series and the recent smash hit series Mass Effect has recently chosen to sue the Facebook media giant “Zynga” for copyright infringement. In the digital gaming industry, also called the video game industry in most parts of the world, the most important asset at one’s disposal is intellectual property. This stands as the basis for a series of successful products whenever a particular franchise takes off – as well as a lot of profit.

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 EU Attempt to Improve Royalties System for Musical Copyright

On the 11th July 2012, the European Commission presented a draft bill aimed at the elimination of music piracy as well as strengthening copyright protection for music. The main target of this bill is to ensure that companies managing music rights would pay royalties to the artists they represent in a shorter timeframe.

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 The Ease of Benefitting from Tax Residence in Malta

Further to the suspension of the Permanent Residents Scheme in December 2010, the Government of Malta has put in place a scheme for special tax status aimed at attracting internationally mobile, high net worth individuals to become tax resident in our islands and benefit from a favourable tax rate of 15% on any income remitted into Malta.

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 Google Reaching Amicable Settlement with the EU Over Anti-competitive Practices

On the 17th July 2012 the European Commission announced that it had reached an agreement with internet giant ‘Google’ that would put to rest recent anti-competitive practice claims against Google. The EU has been investigating Google since 2010. This started when European search providers began complaining that Google was burying search results for products that competed with Google’s own, without disclosing the alleged bias.

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 Brussels Seeks to Address Market Rates Abuse

Michael Barnier, the Commissioner for the single market is expected to propose serious changes to the market abuse directive (2003/6/EC) and the proposed regulation ‘on insider dealing and market manipulation’ in the near future.

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 Summit Closes Patent Conflict for the EU - Malta

The conclusion of the latest EU summit held on the 29th June 2012 brought with it a new consensus between the leaders of the Member States in the EU in regard to the idea of having an EU based patent court. The final agreement involved dividing the main functions of the courts between France, Germany and Britain, all of whom have been vying to act as the hosts of this court for a while.

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 Presidential Candidates Brawl out their Campaigns through the DMCA - Malta

It would appear analysts were correct during the Arab Spring in guessing that the Internet would be the new battleground for politicians. In recent events, American presidential candidate Mitt Romney had a campaign video of his taken down from YouTube. This has raised concerns in the United States with regard to the right to free speech, a right held in very high esteem on that side of the Atlantic.

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 Malta - Switzerland Double Taxation Agreement Comes into Force

Malta’s double taxation agreement (DTA) with Switzerland has entered into force on the 6th July 2012. This DTA was signed on the 25th February 2011 and replaces the agreement signed on the 18th December 2008 which used to be limited to the taxation of income derived from ships and aircraft.

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 Google Kills 1.2 Million Search Results in a Month - Malta

Due to high level of content copied without website's permission, Google offers the opportunity to have the replica removed from its search listings. From a legal perspective, this is done through the enforcement of copyright. Copyright laws practically everywhere in the world provide for this sort of situation and have now allowed companies like Google to give copyright owners their due by ensuring that these infringing websites are not found through the search engine.

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 Open Wi-Fi Network Owner Not Liable for Copyright Infringement - Malta

In a recent ruling, a Finnish District Court held that when an act of copyright infringement takes place through the use of a person’s open Wi-Fi network, by somebody other than the owner of the network, that same owner cannot be held liable for the infringing acts. The case was brought by the Finnish Anti-Piracy Centre, a coalition of intellectual property right holders. They collectively sued a woman who owned the network for €6,000.

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 Recognized Incorporated Cell Companies - Malta

On the 17th April 2012, the Companies Act (Recognized Incorporated Cell Companies) Regulations were incorporated into Maltese law by virtue of L.N. 119 of 2012. The said Regulations are supplemented by the MFSA Investment Services Rules for Recognized Incorporated Cell Companies (“RICC”) and Incorporated Cells which have been integrated into the existing MFSA investment services regulatory framework.

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 Myth Busting – Taking a Closer Look at Malta’s Working Time Regulations

An outlook on the differences between night work, shift work and overtime in Malta employment law. The Employment and Industrial Relations Act (EIRA), Chapter 452 of the Laws of Malta, is Malta’s primary source of employment legislation. However, employees working in specific economic sectors are regulated by Wages Council Wage Regulation Orders.

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 European Pirate Party Speaks Up about ACTA - Malta

With discussions on ACTA slowly reaching a point, a group of MEP’s known as the European Pirate Party (EPP) recently also issued their stance in regard to the trade agreement. In reply to the controversies that arose over the last months, the EPP released a 107 page eBook entitled ‘The Case for Copyright Reform’. The scope of this eBook is to make clear the EPP’s vision regarding the reconciliation of copyright protection and the widespread reality of digital sharing through the internet.

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 EU Commission to further harmonise mobile roaming costs - Update

Update: The Agreement drawn up at EU level regulating this matter will come into force as of 1st July 2012.

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 Bilateral Taxation Avoidance Agreement Signed between Malta and Guernsey

A comprehensive double tax agreement between Guernsey and Malta was signed on the 12th March, 2012.

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 Cyber-Squatting: No Man’s Land?

Internet has opened up new routes for unethical, abusive and opportunistic behaviour. One such form of behaviour is the practice of “cybersquatting”, which can be generally defined as the malicious registration of and dealing in domain names having third party goodwill rights or interests with a view to extorting a profit therefrom.

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 Attracting the “Best of Breed” for Malta’s Financial Services Industry

An outline of the Highly Qualified Persons Rules, 2011 - Managing Growth - Malta has attracted much media attention as an up-and-coming onshore financial centre, particularly since the 2008 economic slowdown.

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 Malta and Saudi Arabia Sign Double Taxation Agreement

A double tax treaty between Malta and Saudi Arabia was signed in Riyadh on the 4th January 2012.

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 Tax Information Exchange Agreement Signed between Malta and Gibraltar

Malta and Gibraltar signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) on the 24th January, 2012. It is understood that the Malta - Gibraltar TIEA is based on the bilateral version of the OECD Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters.

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 Tax Information Exchange Agreement Signed between Malta and the Bahamas

A Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) has been signed between Malta and the Bahamas enabling a full exchange of information between the two countries on tax matters.

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 A Severe Blow to Anti-Piracy Bill in US Congress

Following a seemingly worldwide internet protest on the 18th of January 2012, support for the controversial ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ (SOPA) and ‘Protect Intellectual Property Act’ (PIPA) stalled abruptly as eight members of Congress withdrew their support for the bills.

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 European Watchdog Calls for Stricter Regulation on ‘Cookies’

The European online privacy watchdog known as the ‘Article 29 Working Party’ has called for stricter regulation on the practice of using ‘cookies’ for online advertising. A cookie is a tracking program uploaded to a computer by advertising companies in order to monitor the activities of an internet user. This, in turn, allows the advertising company to forward advertisements to the user tailored to their personal interests.

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 European Parliament Calls for Gaming and Betting Law at EU Level

A recent vote take by the European Parliament (EP) resulted in a report causing a shift towards a more commonly adopted approach to issues arising from online gambling.

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 Malta Financial Services Authority Licenses the First Electronic Money Institution in Malta

On the 24th October 2011, Syspay Ltd, under the assistance and guidance of Zammit & Associates- Advocates and CSB Group, became the first Electronic Money Institution to be licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).

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 Hong Kong and Malta Sign Double Taxation Agreement

A double tax agreement between Hong Kong and Malta has been signed.

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 Malta Tax Revenues in 2010

The Malta National Statistics Office confirmed that domestic tax revenue increased by €54.6 million in 2010 to €2,048.9 million.

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 New Malta – China Double Tax Agreement

A new double tax agreement between Malta and China entered into force. The new agreement replaces the previous long-standing double tax treaty between the two States and applies in respect of income or gains derived on or subsequent to 1 January, 2012.

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 Zammit & Associates - Advocates Re-launches its Vessel Registration Fee Calculator

Zammit & Associates - Advocates vessel registration fee calculator has now been re-launched, containing the new calculations lately issued by the Malta Maritime Authority. This is a free and practical tool which allows ship owners to instantly calculate the cost of registering vessels under the Malta flag.

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 Malta and Israel sign Double Tax Convention

A Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation has been signed by Malta and Israel. The Convention fixes maximum withholding tax rates chargeable in the source State on interest payments at 5% and on dividends derived from portfolio investments at 15%.

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 New EU Common Sales Law Seeks to Boost eCommerce

The EU Commission has recently presented a draft regulation with the purpose of creating a standard sales regime across the European Union.

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 Complaints against Microsoft’s Acquisition of Skype

Microsoft is currently in the process of acquiring the well known VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) provider Skype. This move has caused a great deal of concern to competing companies, some of which have filed objections in all applicable jurisdictions where the merger is being examined.

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 European Court of Justice Does Not Rule Out Foreign Television Services

In a preliminary ruling passed by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice on the 4th October 2011, the court laid down a variety of principles which may bring about changes for the television service market.

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 Malta Permanent Resident Scheme to be replaced by High Net Worth Individuals Scheme

Malta’s finance minister Tonio Fenech announced this morning that a High Net Worth Individuals Scheme will be replacing the now obsolete Permanent Residency Scheme.

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 EU Commission to Further Harmonise Mobile Roaming Costs

The European Commission is persisting in its efforts to bring about further accessibility to consumers roaming within its borders by further standardizing the cost of voice calls, Short Message Service (SMS) and data transfer across the European Union whilst roaming. A new roaming regulation which will be updating the current one should be announced on the 6th July 2011 The regulation must be approved by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers before being implemented.

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 Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) - Malta

QROPS are Pillar II pension schemes established outside the UK and which are recognized as such by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The administrators of a pension scheme established in Malta may apply to HMRC for formal acceptance of the scheme as a QROPS. Once approved as a QROPS, the Maltese scheme could accept funds/assets transferred from existing UK pension schemes.

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 The Registration and Enforcement of Mortgages and Other Security Interests over Malta-registered Aircraft

Following its success in the maritime sector, Malta has undertaken an ambition to replicate that success in the area of aircraft registration. Complex aircraft finance transactions often share many characteristics with ship finance in the sense that both involve assets of great value which may be utilized to grant significant security to financiers and both industries are intrinsically international in nature. Moreover aircraft and ships require registration.

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 EMIs: A Shift to a Lighter Regulatory Regime - Malta

Recent amendments to the Financial Institutions Act (Chapter 376 of the Laws of Malta) (the “Act”) have effectively brought the regulation of EMIs in Malta, previously regulated under the Banking Act (Chapter 371 of the Laws of Malta), within the remit of the same Financial Institutions Act. The change has undoubtedly led to a much more attractive regime for operators looking to set up an EMI in Malta.

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 Malta Tax Treatment of Royalties Derived from Patents

Royalties accruing to a person ordinarily resident and domiciled in Malta would be subject to tax in Malta – regardless of the source of such royalties. However, should non-Malta source royalties accrue to a person who is not both ordinarily resident and domiciled in Malta, such royalties would not be chargeable to tax in Malta except to the extent that they are received in Malta.

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 The Malta Option is “in-the-Money”

Fund managers don’t like surprises. And it is this aversion to anything unknown that has caused the more “traditional” financial centers like London, Luxembourg, Ireland and Switzerland to boom as financial centers towards which fund managers have gravitated and established themselves over the past 20-odd years.

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 Regulatory Challenges Related to Mobile Gaming - Malta

Until a few years ago, a mobile phone consisted of a handheld device which enabled a subscriber to make and receive voice calls whilst mobile, as opposed to accessing the public telephony network from a fixed location. As technology progressed, however, both in terms of the handheld device, and in terms of the transmission capabilities on mobile networks, the mobile phone became a ‘smarter’ device, combining voice services with e-mail, fax and/or Internet access.

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 The Enforcement of Malta-registered Mortgages, ‘In Rem’ Actions Against Vessels Sailing in Maltese Waters

Considerations of (i) the procedures required for a mortgagee to enforce a registered mortgage over a Malta-flagged ship and (ii) the arresting of a vessel by a mortgagee in security of its maritime claims, giving rise to the ‘in rem’ jurisdiction of the Maltese courts.

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 The Reinforcement of Malta’s Role as a Regulatory Hub for Remote Gaming

Whilst much has been said and written both for and against the removal of barriers to the free movement of gaming services within the European Union, anyone trying to get to grips with understanding how remote gaming is regulated within the EU is bound to have a tough time in digesting the variables involved - not to mention the legal “black-holes” created by the inter-jurisdictional structuring of operators’ affairs, with different laws applying in each of these jurisdictions.

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 The Aircraft Register of Choice within Europe - Malta

Spurred by the prosperity and solid reputation of Valletta's maritime register over the past 20 years and the increasing number of US-based owners looking towards Europe for their aircraft registration requirements, the Maltese Government is currently in the course of implementing a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework for the registration of aircraft- primarily business and private jets- on the Maltese aircraft register.

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 Employment Law Overview - Malta

The right of all citizens to work and the state’s role in promoting the conditions to make this right effective is enshrined in Malta’s 1974 Republican Constitution. It upholds the principles of workers’ rights, including the max number of daily working hours, a weekly rest day, holidays without pay, the establishment of a min working age, gender equality, professional and vocational training, contributory social insurance and the provision of the means of subsistence for those unable to work.

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 The Implications of the Bwin Judgment for Malta Remote Gaming Licensees

An analysis of the legal implications in the case of Portugal versus Bwin and how it applies to Malta Remote Gaming Licensees.

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 The Reinforcement of Malta’s Role as a Regulatory Hub for Remote Gaming

A consideration of the salient legal and political developments that have strengthened the foundations of Malta’s remote gaming industry

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 CSB Advocates launch Vessel Registration Fee Calculator

Instant and free calculation of fees and tonnage tax due in respect of Malta-flagged vessels with innovative website tool

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 Easing the Prohibition of Financial Assistance Rules in Malta - Recent Developments

Maltese law by the Companies Act in 1995, replacing the Commercial Partnerships Ordinance originally promulgated in 1962. Drawing extensively on the UK rules, the Maltese law provisions were introduced to bring Maltese law in line with developments in company law theory and practice in Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions in this regard, primarily curbing abusive practices in takeovers and acquisitions by protecting the company’s capital and, safeguarding its shareholders, creditors and employees.

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 Ship Registration and Finance in Malta

The Maltese flag has earned the confidence of several reputable ship owners, ship financiers and ship management companies as attested by the increasing registered tonnage. As at end of June 2008, the total number of Malta-flagged vessels was nearing the 5,000 mark with a total gross tonnage of over 32 million tonnes and an average age of 16.72 years. The current registered tonnage makes Malta the eighth largest maritime flag in the world and the second largest in Europe.

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 Employment Law Overview: Malta

The right of all citizens to work and the state’s role in promoting the conditions to make this right effective is enshrined in Malta’s 1974 Republican Constitution which upholds the basic principles of workers’ rights, including:

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 Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Activities in Malta

Malta's commitment to the fight against money laundering and the funding of terrorism is firmly rooted in the country's interest in safeguarding its role as a reputable financial services centre, and buttressed by the country's status as a full member of the European Union and signatory to the main international multilateral treaties intended to tackle the affliction of money laundering in the world’s financial markets.

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