Hand reaching out to chalk drawing

COVID-19: Emergency Measures in Malta | Update 21

1. Legal Notices

  1. Legal Notice 171 of 2020 (Closure of Places Open to the Public (Amendment No. 2) Order, 2020)
  2. Legal Notice 172 of 2020 (Closure of Non-Essential Retail Outlets and Outlets Providing Non-Essential Services (Amendment) Order, 2020)
  3. Legal Notice 173 of 2020 (Number of Persons in Public Spaces (Increase in Number of Persons) Order, 2020)
  4. Legal Notice 175 of 2020 (Mandatory Non-essential Travel between Malta and Gozo (Revocation) Order, 2020
  5. Legal Notice 176 of 2020 (Epidemics and Infectious Disease (Suspension of Legal and Judicial Times (Amendment No. 2) Order, 2020)
  6. Legal Notice 177 of 2020 (Closure of the Courts of Justice (Amendment No. 2) Order, 2020)
  7. Legal Notice 178 of 2020 (Closure of Vehicle Roadworthiness Testing Stations (Revocation) Order, 2020)

2. Other Relevant Legal Notices

  1. Legal Notice 167 of 2020 (Rate of Interest in the Duty on Documents and Transfers Act Regulations, 2020)
  2. Legal Notice 168 of 2020 (Duty on Documents and Transfers Rules (Amendment) Order, 2020)
  3. Legal Notice 179 of 2020 (Tax Credit (Construction Waste Recycling) (2020 – 2023) Rules, 2020)

3. Administrative Notices

  1. Communication on Re-opening of Court Registry
  2. Malta Development Bank: Updated List of Accredited Commercial Banks as intermediaries of the COVID-19 Guarantee Scheme
  3. Press release from the Ministry of the Economy, Investment and Small Business

1. Legal Notices

1.1   Legal Notice 171 of 2020 (Closure of Places Open to the Public (Amendment No. 2) Order, 2020)

With effect from 4th May 2020, this Legal Notice amends Legal Notice 76 of 2020 to the effect that lotto booths are no longer required to be closed.

1.2   Legal Notice 172 of 2020 (Closure of Non-Essential Retail Outlets and Outlets Providing Non-Essential Services (Amendment) Order, 2020)

With effect from 4th May 2020, this Legal Notice amends Legal Notice 95 of 2020 to the effect that the closure has been restricted to vaping shops, whether operating in shopping malls and/or elsewhere. This means that shops whose principal business relates to the selling of clothing, sportswear, jewellery, hand bags and leather goods, costume jewellery and accessories, footwear, non-prescription eye-wear, perfumeries, beauty products, haberdasheries, soft furnishings, souvenir shops, discount stores, luggage shops, toy shops, hobby shops, furniture shops and florists were allowed to reopen.

Through Legal Notice 96 of 2020, vaping shops which fail to abide to such law shall be guilty of an offence, and shall, on conviction, be liable to the payment of a penalty of €3,000 for each and every breach.

1.3   Legal Notice 173 of 2020 (Number of Persons in Public Spaces (Increase in Number of Persons) Order, 2020)

With effect from 4th May 2020, this Legal Notice amends Legal Notice 112 of 2020, increasing the number of persons in public spaces to 4 persons.

Through Legal Notice 113 of 2020, persons who fail to abide to such law shall be guilty of an offence, and shall, on conviction, be liable to the payment of a penalty of €100 for each and every breach.

1.4   Legal Notice 175 of 2020 (Mandatory Non-essential Travel between Malta and Gozo (Revocation) Order, 2020)

Legal Notice 118 of 2020 has been revoked with effect from 4th May 2020, in terms of this Legal Notice, lifting the restrictions in relation to travel between Malta and Gozo.

1.5 Legal Notice 176 of 2020 (Epidemics and Infectious Disease (Suspension of Legal and Judicial Times (Amendment No. 2) Order, 2020)

With effect from 4th May 2020, this Legal Notice amends Legal Notice 61 of 2020 by removing reference to ‘the opening of its registry’, thus also reflecting the reopening of the registry of the Courts as per Legal Notice 177 of 2020.

The Legal Notice also provides that any time limits which were suspended prior to the coming into force of this legal notice shall remain suspended.

1.6 Legal Notice 177 of 2020 (Closure of the Courts of Justice (Amendment No. 2) Order, 2020)

With effect from 4th May 2020, this Legal Notice amends Legal Notice 65 of 2020 to the effect that reference ‘and the registry’ shall be deleted, such that the registry of the Courts will reopen as of 4th May.

The Legal Notice also provides that any time limits which were suspended prior to the coming into force of this legal notice shall remain suspended.

1.7 Legal Notice 178 of 2020 (Closure of Vehicle Roadworthiness Testing Stations (Revocation) Order, 2020)

Legal Notice 91 of 2020 has been revoked with effect from 4th May 2020, in terms of this Legal Notice, lifting the restrictions on the opening of VRT stations.

2. Other Relevant Legal Notices

2.1 Legal Notice 167 of 2020 (Rate of Interest in the Duty on Documents and Transfers Act Regulations, 2020)

This Legal Notice provides that, unless otherwise expressly provided, interest under the Duty on Documents and Transfers Act, Cap. 364 of the Laws of Malta, shall apply at the rate of 0.33% for every thirty days or part thereof.

The Legal Notice also provides that interest payable further to a declaration of a transfer causa mortis which is made more than one year after the transfer will be of 4% per annum (down from the 8% which was previously applicable).

2.2 Legal Notice 168 of 2020 (Duty on Documents and Transfers Rules (Amendment) Order, 2020)

This Legal Notice provides that:

-        any duty determined as refundable to a person shall be considered as having become due on the day of such determination, and shall be refunded by not later than 6 months from the day when it becomes due.

-        interest at the rate prescribed by the Minister shall be payable by the Commissioner on any refund after the expiration of the 6-month period.

2.3 Legal Notice 179 of 2020 (Tax Credit (Construction Waste Recycling) (2020 – 2023) Rules, 2020)

This Legal Notice provides that a person who is in possession of a permit issued by the Environment and Resources Authority for the acceptance in his quarry of construction and demolition material from third-parties is eligible for a tax credit equal to 5% of the gross fees charged by him for the acceptance of construction and demolition material from third parties at a fee not exceeding €12 per tonne. Such a tax credit may not exceed the tax chargeable on the income derived by the authorised person from the provision of these services.

This Legal Notice applies for calendar years 2020 – 2023.

3.Administrative Notices

3.1 Communication on Re-opening of Court Registry

Further to the publishing of Legal Notices 176 and 177 of 2020, the Chamber of Advocates held discussions with the Minister for Justice and the Courts Agency with a view to adopting a more orderly, gradual and managed approach to the re-opening of the registry. The points put forward by the Chamber and which were agreed to in principle are the following:

  1. The Closure of Courts of Justice Order will be partially revoked limitedly to the registry of the courts, both civil and criminal.
  2. The Closure of the Courts Order will not be revoked insofar as the Courts themselves are concerned, accordingly court sitting and processes will only be conducted in cases of (i) urgency; and (ii) where the public interest prevails;
  3. As of Monday 4th May 2020, the registry will accordingly have a 21-day time limit within which it will come into full operation. During this period the Registries of the Courts will function in a phased and managed manner.
  4. As of Monday 4th May 2020, it will no longer be necessary to open the registry for normal filings.
  5. The registry of the Criminal Courts will be fully functional as of 4th May 2020, except for administering affidavits and oaths to the general public. This service will be re-introduced at the registry of the Criminal Courts as from 18th May 2020.
  6. The registry of the Civil Courts will be functional as of 4th May 2020, but will adopt a phased filing of acts over the course of 3 weeks.  
  7. All acts filed in the registry of the Courts during the course of this 20-day period, independently of when filed, shall be deemed to have been filed on the 25th May 2020.
  8. The registry is expected to be in full operation as of 25th May 2020, and all Acts and the filing of sworn applications for new judicial procedures may be filed.

The Chamber of Advocates has also indicated that all legal and judicial times suspended under the provisions of LN 141 of 2020 would remain suspended until further notice. 

Source

3.2 Malta Development Bank: Updated List of Accredited Commercial Banks as intermediaries of the COVID-19 Guarantee Scheme

The Malta Development Bank have updated the list of accredited commercial banks as intermediaries of the COVID-19 Guarantee Scheme. Moreover, the maximum individual loan amounts that are subject to prior ad-hoc approval by the MDB have increased as follows:

-        €4 million to €10 million for SMEs; and

-        €8 million to €25 million for large enterprises.

Source

3.3 Press release from the Ministry of the Economy, Investment and Small Business

On 3rd May 2020, the Ministry of the Economy, Investment and Small Business issued a press release providing that a price capping will be introduced with respect to prices of disposal surgical masks and face shields, at EUR 0.95 and EUR 5 respectively. The price cap came into force through the publication of an Order by the Director of Trade in terms of regulation 3 of the Control on the Sale of Commodities Regulations, (S.L. 117.15), which order came into effect on 4th May 2020.

Source, Source