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A Vessel’s Seaworthiness Addressed by the Merchant Shipping Directorate in Malta

  January 22, 2016     By CSB Advocates
Under Maltese law, all sorts of vessels can be registered under the Malta flag, hence the type of vessel which may be considered for registration can vary and amongst others may include yachts, oil rigs, and also vessels under construction.

Posting of Third Country Nationals to Malta: The Vander der Elst Application in Malta

  January 18, 2016     By CSB Advocates
As a matter of rule, individuals who are not citizens of an EU Member State (also known as Third Country Nationals-TCNs) must be in possession of an employment licence (also known as work permit), in order to both legally reside and work in Malta.

MFSA Conducts a Thematic Review on Compliance with the Requirements on Corporate Governance in Malta

  January 7, 2016     By CSB Advocates
In 2015, the MFSA conducted a Thematic Review Questionnaire amongst 60 authorised trust companies (‘authorised persons’), which represent approximately half of the licence holders authorised in terms of the Trusts and Trustees Act. The Questionnaire focused on the governance structure of authorised trustees and other fiduciaries to verify the extent to which selected companies have proper governance structures in place.

Belgium Lags Behind in Implementing the Single Permit Directive

  December 29, 2015     By CSB Advocates
The EU Commission has recently announced that to date Belgium has failed to transpose the Single Permit Directive (Directive 2011/98/EU) into its national law. Hence, the EU Commission referred Belgium to the EU Court of Justice in order to address the lack of progress in transposing this Directive.

MFSA on Governance, Compliance & Risk Management Regarding Investment Services Licence Holders in Malta

  December 23, 2015     By CSB Advocates
On the 22nd December 2015, the MFSA issued a letter to the Compliance Officers of Investment Services Licence Holders to inform them of the shortcomings the MFSA identified during focused reviews which it carried out on investment services providers licenced in Malta (“Licence Holders”).

European Bank Authority Consultation on Regulatory Technical Standards on Passporting under PSD II

  December 22, 2015     By CSB Advocates
On the 11th December 2015 the European Bank Authority (“EBA”) launched a consultation on its draft technical standards on the framework for cooperation and exchange of information between competent authorities for passporting under Payment Services Directive II (“PSD II”).

Unfair Dismissal in Malta?

  December 17, 2015     By CSB Advocates
Recently a case was brought before the Industrial Tribunal by an aggrieved employee who had his employment terminated after being in employment for six years pursuant to an indefinite contract with Maltco Lotteries Limited.

What to Expect from the Seller when Making an Online Purchase in the EU

  December 17, 2015     By CSB Advocates
As 2015 comes to a close, the e-commerce industry is expected to make €185.39 billion this year. In the EU, the average online shopper spends €970 yearly, and these numbers continue to grow annually. EU Directive 2011/83/EU details the rights of EU consumers when shopping online and was transposed into Maltese law through Legal Notice 439 of 2013.

The Layman’s Guide to the European Institutions

  December 3, 2015     By CSB Advocates
Ever since the horror that was the Second World War, Europe has reorganized itself into a democratic union of states, which has proved to be economically beneficial for all involved. However, the aim of the European institutions is not only economic advancement, but also political representation and civil rights. Here the aim is to differentiate between the various courts and institutions found in Europe, which can be quite a conundrum.

Can Copyright Be Claimed by Athletes in their Sporting Performances?

  November 17, 2015     By CSB Advocates
One may question whether athletes would be able to claim copyright on their performance. It is well known that artists are able to do so and in fact do claim copyright on their work, such as song writing.

European Parliament Shoots Down Amendments Protecting Net Neutrality

In a vote that took place on the 27th of October, the European Parliament has rejected a number of legal amendments to the proposed net neutrality bill. Net neutrality is the principle that every point on the web can connect to any other point on the web, regardless of the origin, destination or type of data. This allows for a free flow of information, innovation and competition. Users can exercise their right to receive and impart information, and their right to expression, online.

Secure Securitisations in Malta

Securitisation transactions in Malta, that is the raising of capital through the transfer of assets and risk from the transferee (“Originator”) to special purpose vehicles (“SPVs”) and converting the same into financial instruments issued by the latter, are regulated by the Securitisation Act (Chapter 484 of the Laws of Malta) (“Act”).

The Commission Refuses to Comment on Germany’s Data Retention Laws

The Data Retention Directive was enacted as a reaction to the 2004 and 2005 terrorist attacks in Europe in order to harmonize the investigation and prosecution mechanisms throughout the EU, especially with regards to organized crime and terrorism.

Malta's Government Measures to Increase Employment of Persons with Disability

The employment of persons with disabilities is currently regulated by the “Persons with Disability Employment Act” (Chapter 210 of the Laws of Malta), and at the same time the Employment and Training Corporation (ETC) has set up and to date maintains a Register of Persons with Disability.

No Breaks for Kit-Kat

The latest in Nestlé’s attempt to trademark its iconic four-finger chocolate is at odds with EU law.

The Murky Waters of Software Patents

Software patents have been the subject of much debate – not only in the US, but also in Europe. This has been a thorny issue for many years and the future of software patents still remains unknown. At the outset, a breakdown of the differences between patents and copyrights will highlight why the patent is the form of intellectual property which is proving to be the most problematic with regards to software.

New Guidelines on the Issuance of Employment Licenses in Malta

Employment and Training Corporation (ETC) has recently published new guidelines on employment licenses (also known as the work permits) issued with respect to Third Country Nationals who wish to reside and work in Malta.

Regulating Drones within the European Aviation Market

Drones, which are also known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems or Unmanned Aircrafts have recently gained popularity across Europe and internationally.

Firms with Intellectual Property Rights Perform Better

A report published by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market – ‘Intellectual property rights and firm performance in Europe: an economic analysis’ – sheds light on the link between companies with intellectual property rights and a superior economic position.

Binary Options Trading in Malta

Trading in binary options is considered to be a high risk practice and therefore the MFSA has issued a circular setting out additional conditions in this regard which complement those conditions set out for Investment Services Providers within the Investment Services Rules.

UCITS – ESMA Developing a Common Understanding on Share Classes

On the 23rd of December 2014 the European Securities and Markets Authority ("ESMA") published a discussion paper on share classes of UCITS Funds with a view to developing a common understanding of what constitutes a share class of a UCITS Fund.

To Bank or not to Bank? Maltese Law Rules Governing the Banking of Work Hours

Annualisation of hours is a term used to describe a contract which states the agreed number of guaranteed hours the employee is contracted to work through a twelve month period. Annualisation schemes are implicitly promoted both by EU Legislation on working time and by EU policies and recommendations, which – among others – allow EU Member Countries to adopt flexible working time schedules.

Registration and Licensing of Motor Vehicles Amendment Regulations in Malta

Before the introduction of the Registration and Licensing of Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Regulations, published on the 5th of June 2015, if an individual bought a car abroad and imported the car into Malta the law did not authorise the individual to use the car on the Maltese roads until the registration process was completed and until the Maltese number plates would have been obtained.

Facebook Taken to Court by Belgium over Privacy Breach Claims

The Belgian Commission for Privacy Protection (CPP) is claiming that Facebook is monitoring the web movements of both users and non-users through plug-ins and cookies and gathering information about their browsing habits.

Do Not Forget about the ‘Right To Be Forgotten’

Last year, European citizens were granted the right to submit a request to Google for the delisting of personal information deemed to be harmful, out of date or irrelevant, through a ruling issued by the European Court of Justice. This means that the information would no longer come up in search results following searches carried out on European websites.

European Parliament Approves ‘International Standards of Combatting Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation’

On the 20th of May 2015, two years after the European Commission first proposed the 4th AML Directive, the European Parliament approved the final text of the 4th AML Directive intended to address the threat of money laundering in 2015 and beyond.

Company Service Providers in Malta

In terms of the the MFSA Rules for Company Service Providers (“CSPs”), CSPs are required to submit a Certificate of Compliance and an Annual Financial Return.

Fund Managers in Malta

On the 13th May 2015, the MFSA issued a Circular addressed to Fund Managers on the inclusion of Retained Earnings as part of the Own Funds’ Computation.

The Digital Single Market Top Priority for EU

Creating a Digital Single Market is one of the ten priorities of the EU President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker.

Commercial Yacht Code Has Been Amended in Malta

The Authority for Transport in Malta has advised that following consultation with all the stakeholders involved, the Commercial Yacht Code 2010 has been revised.

Malta Conduct of Business Rulebook: MFSA Issue Consultation Document

The Malta Financial Services Authority (the “MFSA”) is currently in the process of setting up a Conduct Supervisory Unit. This is being done for the purposes of implementing the regulatory framework and securing adequate client protection in the industry through a supervisory regime aiming to address potential or emerging risks for clients in the financial services industry. The aim is also to strengthen the fair treatment of customers by regulated entities.

Posted Workers’ Rights and Working Conditions

According to the EU Legislation, a posted worker is a person who, on behalf of the employer, is sent for a limited period of time to carry out his/her work in the territory of an EU Member State (i.e.: “host” State) other than the State in which s/he normally works (i.e.: “posting” State).

€35,000 awarded for Unfair Dismissal and Discrimination in Malta

Recently the Court of Appeal confirmed a compensatory sum awarded by the Industrial Tribunal to a British High Commission employee for unfair dismissal and discrimination.

Overhaul Aimed at Making all Media Equally Available throughout Europe

The European Union has recently unveiled a planned reform for the 28 Member State’s digital market aimed at boosting ecommerce and overhauling Europe’s telecoms market.

Intellectual Property Rights in the European Union

Earlier this month the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) together with the Malta Commerce Department hosted the Intellectual Property Information session on the European Trademark and Design session.

Malta - Streamlining its PIF and AIF Regimes

On the 10th of March 2015 the Malta Financial Services Authority ("MFSA") published a consultation paper on the regulatory approach applicable to collective investment schemes licenced as professional investor funds (“PIFs”) and alternative investment funds (“AIFs”) in terms of the Investment Services Act.

Malta IIP – The National Development and Social Fund

The Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme was established by LN 47/2014, in which the Government of the Republic of Malta grants naturalisation by investment to reputable individuals and their dependants on the basis of a firm and thorough due diligence process and a significant contribution to the social and economic development and investment in the country.

Better Protection for Trade Secrets in the EU

During the past months, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a directive on the protection of undisclosed material and business information, also known as trade secrets, and against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure. The idea of this proposal is for the protection against the misappropriation of business information and the safeguarding of confidential business practices.

Malta Sixth Largest in the World and Largest in Europe Maritime Law Malta

Transport Malta, the Authority responsible for the Malta Ship Register in Malta, has reported that as at the end of December 2014 Malta’s ship registry saw a growth of 13.6%, which is equivalent to over six million gross tonnes and a growth of 18% in yacht registration, totalling the number of merchant vessels under the Malta flag over 2,500, making the Malta Ship register the sixth largest in the world and the largest in Europe.

Amendment to International Owner Malta Shipping & Yachting Law

Through Legal Notice 22 of 2015, the individuals who are qualified to own Maltese vessels, have also been extended to include citizens of the European Economic Area and of Switzerland, while prior to this amendment this was limited only to citizens of the European Union.

A Question of Substance - Malta's Financial Services Sector Stability

Malta continues to receive glowing reviews internationally as a stable financial services centre of repute within the European Union.

Malta Preparing for Solvency II Directive

On the 22nd of December, 2014 the MFSA commenced a consultation process on proposed amendments to the Insurance Business Act (Cap. 403 of the Laws of Malta) and the Insurance Intermediaries Act (Cap. 487 of the Laws of Malta).

Malta Ranks 6th in the Index of Best Places to Retire

Forbes/International Living has announced that Malta has featured sixth in the index of the best places to retire for Americans.

Secure Securitisations in Malta

Securitisation transactions in Malta, that is the raising of capital through the transfer of assets and risk from the transferee (“Originator”) to special purpose vehicles (“SPVs”) and converting the same into financial instruments issued by the latter, are regulated by the Securitisation Act (Chapter 484 of the Laws of Malta) (“Act”).

European Securities and Markets Authority Issues Consultation Paper on Asset Segregation

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has recently published a consultation paper on the asset segregation requirements under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).

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.

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.

Google’s Privacy Policy Questioned

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

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.

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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