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Malta

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1) REFERENCES

Commission Report [COM(1999)69 final - Not published in Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(1999)508 final - Not published in Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 708 final - Not published in Official Journal]
Commission Report [SEC(2001) 1751 - Not published in Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - Not published in Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1206 - Not published in Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) SUMMARY

According to the Report of February 1999, Malta was to have made a major effort to transpose the Community acquis in the field of consumer policy.

In its Report of October 1999, the Commission emphasised that Maltese consumer protection law was not yet in line with the acquis. Although improvements had been made at institutional level and, on a more modest scale, at legislative level, much remained to be done.

According to the Report of October 2002, Maltese legislation was largely in line with the acquis in the area of consumer protection and negotiations on this chapter had been provisionally closed. Malta had not requested any transitional measures.

The October 2003 Report notes that Malta meets most of the requirements of the Community acquis in relation to non-safety measures (e.g. market surveillance) and non-safety-related measures (e.g. consumer associations). However, work remains to be done in the areas mentioned, for example those related to general product safety and some aspects of the non-safety-related measures.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.

THE COMMUNITY ACQUIS

The Community acquis covers the protection of consumers' economic interests (notably control of misleading advertising, indication of prices, consumer credit, unfair terms in consumer contracts, distance selling, package travel and timeshares), general product safety, as well as the cosmetics, labelling of textile products and toys sectors.

The new Community legislation which has recently been adopted (distance selling, comparative advertising and price indication) should also be taken into consideration.

EVALUATION

Safety-related measures

The acquis on safety-related measures has been properly transposed, with the exception of the revised Directive on general product safety. The Directive on liability for defective products is also yet to be implemented.

Market surveillance in terms of general product safety is in place.

In 2002, a mechanism to monitor the functioning of the market was put in place as a result of the coordination work carried out by the department for market surveillance of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and by the Directorate-General for consumers. Measures were also taken to set up a market surveillance committee. However, these bodies require a further increase in funds and staff.

Non-safety-related measures

The acquis has been properly adopted with regard to non-safety-related measures. Small adjustments still need to be made to the implementation of the acquis in relation to price indication and consumer credit.

Arbitration bodies also need to be strengthened, as they play a very important role in dealing with consumer complaints.

Consumer associations

Some progress remains to be made in the area of support for consumer associations and in respect of the implementation of projects intended to make consumers more aware of their rights and develop companies' sense of responsibility. To this end, Malta is currently encouraging non-governmental organisations to play a part in developing consumer policy. At present Malta has only one consumer association, which is insufficient both because it has limited funds and because it does not provide enough scope for action.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

 
Last updated: 23.01.2004
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