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Malta

Services

Updated 03/2013

Legal requirements

The EU Services Directive aims to eliminate barriers which hinder service providers' freedom of establishment throughout the EU. The directive will:

  • simplify administrative procedures to make it easier for a service provider in one country to become established in another;
  • prohibit particularly restrictive legal requirements;
  • enforce certain principles, including non-discrimination on the grounds of nationality;
  • improve competition.

Malta has implemented the Services Directive 2006/123/EC through the enactment of the Services (Internal Market) Act (Act 23 of 2009). This implementing act is a horizontal type act in terms of which various other pieces of legislation were amended and the provisions of the Directive were formally implemented and incorporated into Maltese national law.

The Act establishes general provisions facilitating the exercise of freedom of establishment for service providers and the free movement of services in the internal market. It also caters for the removal of legal and administrative barriers to trade in certain sectors. The Act excludes certain service sectors from its scope - as does the Directive - such as financial services, electronic communication services and networks, transport, gaming and private security services, amongst others.

The implementation of the Directive presupposed amendments to other legislation including the Commercial Code, the accountancy profession act, the engineering profession act and the Trading Licences Act.

Types of services

Financial services sector

The Malta Financial Services Authority Act establishes the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) as the regulatory authority responsible for the licensing, regulation and supervision of all financial service providers.

The Investment Services Act establishes the regulatory framework for investment services and for collective investment schemes. It provides for two types of licenses, namely an Investment Services Licence and a Collective Investment Scheme Licence.

The Banking Act incorporates a modern banking law which conforms with the best practices of EU banking regulations and supervisory requirements.

The Insurance Business Act lays down the framework for the regulation and supervision of insurance businesses.

The Financial Institutions Act regulates the business of financial institutions.

The Trusts and Trustees Act provides for the authorisation and supervision of trustees and trust management companies.

The Insurance Intermediaries Act regulates the registration and enrolement of insurance intermediaries and insurance intermediaries activities.

Different ways of providing services

Setting up a service business

When setting up a service business, the first step is the registration of a company.

Thanks to passporting regulations, foreign service providers dealing with investment services, insurance businesses or banking can passport their services to any EU country including Malta.

Rights of service recipients

In the case of passporting of services, the consumer would still be able to seek redress from the Office of the Consumer Complaints Manager housed within the Malta Financial Services Authority.

Complaints

The MFSA, as the regulatory authority for financial services in Malta, has appointed a Consumer Complaints Manager who receives complaints directly from the public.

The role of the Complaints Manager is to provide consumers of financial services with a free service for investigating complaints against financial entities. The Complaints Manager considers each case impartially and on its merits.

The Complaints Manager may be able to help if consumers have a complaint they cannot sort out with their:

Administrative procedures

The Services Directive: One-stop shops

The Services Directive is a European law that aims to make life easier for businesses that wish to provide services in the European Union – in their home country or abroad. The Directive defines the rules that apply to entrepreneurs wishing to establish a business or perform temporary services in the EU/EEA area (the 27 EU member states, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). It obliges member states to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy, simplify formalities for businesses and make public administrations more efficient.

For the implementation of the Directive, each member state had to set up ‘Points of Single Contact (PSC)’, e-government portals which help businesses complete their administrative procedures on-line. The PSCs provide comprehensive information on all administrative matters related to setting up or expanding a services business in a given country. This includes for example:

  • Which licences, notifications or permits do I need to obtain to start a business (at home or abroad)?
  • What do I need to do when I want to offer my services abroad on a temporary basis?
  • What do I need to do to apply for a licence? Which authority is responsible?
  • Are the licences subject to a fee? What kinds of deadlines apply?
  • Which acts and decrees apply in my sector?
  • What do I need to do to establish, for instance, a restaurant or a shop? Or to work as a tour operator in another country without actually setting up a company?
  • Where can I turn for personalised advice and further information?

With the PSCs, you no longer need to approach various authorities one by one!! The PSC allows you to find all relevant information and to send in your online applications to the responsible authority through one single contact point, the PSC. You can complete your administrative formalities electronically through the PSC. Just contact the PSC of the country that you want to do business in.

All PSCs are part of the European EUGO network; through a central website you can easily access all PSCs in Europe. Of course, the services of the PSCs are optional. You may always address yourself directly to the relevant authorities, too.

Points of Single Contact

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) is the "one-stop shop" financial services regulator in Malta.

Social security

All employed, self-employed, self-occupied as well as unemployed persons may be insured.

There are two classes of contributions:

  • the Class One contribution payable in respect of Employed Persons;
  • the Class Two contribution paid by Self-Employed Persons.

Contributions are payable by all persons between the age of 16 years and the age of their retirement which could be anywhere between the age of 61 years (60 in the case of females) and the age of 65 years. This depends entirely on the date on which the person chooses to give up employment or self-occupation in terms of the Social Security Act and claim a pension in respect of retirement.

There are different rates of contributions depending mainly on the income of the person concerned, and whether the occupation is of an employed, self-employed or self-occupied nature.

Employment Licence applications

The Employment and Training Corporation within the Ministry of Education and Employment is responsible for the issuance of Employment Licences.

Employment Licences may be issued under the following categories:

  • Bulgarian and Romanian Nationals and their family members (applicable until the end of December 2013)

Such licences are issued for a maximum period of one year, renewable, for a specific purpose.

An application would need to be submitted by the prospective employer of the Bulgarian and Romanian national. In view of transitional arrangements, first time applications for the employment of Bulgarians and Romanians are considered according to labour market needs. Applications for the renewal are not subject to labour market considerations.

Include also Form (One form both for new and extensions).

  • Third-Country Nationals

Such licences are issued for a maximum period of one year, renewable, for a specific purpose.

An application would need to be submitted by the prospective employer of the TCN.

The application is subject to a labour market test, security clearance and feedback from entities that would have a vested interest in the employment sector within which the TCN is to be employed.

  • Refugees and Persons enjoying Temporary Humanitarian Protection or Subsidiary Protection Status

Such licences are issued for a year and renewed on a yearly basis. The employment licence is issued to the applicant in his/her name.

  •   Asylum Seekers

Such licences are issued for a maximum period of six months, renewable, for a specific purpose. An application would need to be submitted by the prospective employer of the Asylum Seeker.

Licences issued following an application for the employment of an Asylum Seeker whose application for Refugee status would have been rejected in a definite manner, will be of three months duration. Such licences would still be renewable, pending repatriation of the Asylum Seeker to her/his country of origin.

Resources

When setting up a service business, the first step is the registration of a company. The attached brochure entitled "Guide to the Registration of Companies" provides the necessary information for the registration of a company.

The Internal Market Scoreboard shows how countries are progressing in the application of the Services Directive.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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