Malta Legal Articles

Law related articles writen by lawyers
and experts witnesses practicing in Malta

► Malta Law Firms

EU Mobile Roaming Charges - Moving Towards an Open Internet

  April 3, 2014     By CSB Advocates
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.

The Fage Greek Yoghurt Case

  March 26, 2014     By CSB Advocates
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.

The EU Court Rules Linking to Free Web Content is Legal

  March 13, 2014     By CSB Advocates
Last month the European Court ruled that websites can link to freely available content without the permission of the copyright holder.

Merkel Calls for Data Protection Reform in Europe

  February 28, 2014     By CSB Advocates
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.

Jurisdictions with Strategic Deficiencies Identified by FATF

  February 27, 2014     By CSB Advocates
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).

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

  February 19, 2014     By CSB Advocates
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.

New Amendment to the Highly Qualified Persons Rules - Malta

  February 13, 2014     By CSB Advocates
Legal Notice 16 of 2014, has brought into effect amendments to the Highly Qualified Persons Rules, applicable retrospectively from year of assessment 2013.

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

  January 30, 2014     By CSB Advocates
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.

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

  January 27, 2014     By CSB Advocates
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).

MiFID II – Taking it to the next level

  January 23, 2014     By CSB Advocates
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.

AIFMD: Distinguishing between Open and Closed-Ended Funds

  December 30, 2013     By CSB Advocates
When the AIFMD was adopted, no harmonised definition of “closed-ended” Alternative Investment Funds (“AIFs”) was provided within the Directive’s text.

AIFMD – Implementation of the Depositary Lite Provisions - Malta

  December 12, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

Malta Named European Domicile of Choice - HFR SP, 2013

  November 28, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

Nomad Aviation Granted Air Operator Certificate from Malta

  November 8, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

Malta Citizenship Scheme Presented

  November 7, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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).

Malta – Liechtenstein Doble Taxation Treaty

  November 7, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

Virtual Currencies - A Question of Trust

  November 3, 2013     By CSB Advocates
The pressing need for regulatory clarification on Bitcoin and other virtual currencies in Europe and beyond.

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

  October 30, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

UCITS Report: Can a Leopard Change its Spots?

  October 25, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

Special Tax Rate - Malta

  October 4, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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”.

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

  October 2, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

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

  October 2, 2013     By CSB Advocates
On the 27th June 2013 the MFSA launched the new Investment Services Rulebooks which effectively transposed the AIFMD into the MFSA’s Rules.

Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) Comes into Force - Malta

  August 22, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

The Relevance of Cybersecurity Risk Management - Malta

  August 20, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

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

  August 8, 2013     By CSB Advocates
ESMA - the European Securities and Markets Authority - published its opinion on arrangements for the late transposition of the AIFMD on 1st August 2013.

Reduced VAT on Short-term Yacht Charters Commencing in Malta

  August 5, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

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

  August 5, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

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

  July 25, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

FIAU Annual Report 2012 - Malta

  July 24, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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).

EC Proposal for New Investment Fund Framework - ELTIF

  July 19, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

MFSA Circular - Binary Options

  July 18, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

AIFMD Q&A - Malta

  July 17, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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?

Global Residence Program Launched - Malta

  July 9, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

Proposals for a Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive - EU

  July 9, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

Malta Is AIFMD Ready

  July 3, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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”).

Note for Consultation - Implementation of AIFMD - Malta

  June 26, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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’).

Amendment to the Highly Qualified Persons Rules - Malta

  June 19, 2013     By CSB Advocates
Legal Notice 152 of 2013, has brought into effect amendments to the Highly Qualified Persons Rules, applicable retrospectively from the 1st of January 2013.

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

  June 18, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

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

  June 17, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

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

  June 16, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

Malta – Redefining Collective Investment Schemes

  June 12, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

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

  June 6, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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”).

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

  May 16, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

DMLC II May Commence

  May 15, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

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

  May 13, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

Malta and India Renegotiate Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement

  May 8, 2013     By CSB Advocates
India and Malta renegotiated the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between the two countries with the intention of aligning to changes in domestic laws.

Change in Place of Supply Rules Affects the Maltese Leasing Structure

  April 22, 2013     By CSB Advocates
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.

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.

Film Companies Demand Google Perform Takedowns in Secret

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

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.