Trade and Market Information
Malta is a member of the World Trade Organization and the European Union and a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol, the Washington Convention, the Basel Convention, the Montreal Protocol and the International Coffee Agreement of 2001.
Some imports are subject to European permits: foodstuffs, commercial services, food which must pass veterinary inspection as must products dangerous for the ozone layer. Trade with other member countries of the European Union is not subject to customs duties. Trade with other countries is taxed at a rate based on the customs value, in accordance with the Common Customs Tariff.
Industrial products imported from outside the EU are taxed at approximately 4%, a rate that rises for textiles and the food industry to 17.3%. The TARIC code lists all the customs duties. The import of products into Malta requires the possession of a Single Administrative Document. An Entry Summary Declaration is also mandatory under the Import Control System (a global import protection system).
Retail in Malta is characterized by strong competition despite the smallness of the country. Stores are relatively small and large-scale retail and supermarkets are non-existent. Sea and road are the most commonly used transportation methods, depending on where goods must be forwarded to.
The pharmaceutical sector is one of Malta’s most dynamic sectors together with electronics, call centres, logistics and financial services.
Employment Legislation in Malta
The legal duration of the working week is 40 hours with a minimum monthly wage of 718 EUR per month. Employment contracts (fixed-term, permanent, full-time or part-time) meet the standards set by the Conditions of Employment Act. The retirement age is 60 for women and 61 for men.
Employers and the employees must each pay a social contribution of 10%.
The Malta General Workers Union is a very powerful union.
Intellectual Property Regime in Malta
|Type of rights||Legislation||Validity of protection||Agreements signed|
|Patents||Patents Act 2002||20 years|
|Brands||Trademarks Act 2001||10 years, renewable||– Trademark Law Treaty
– Nice Agreement on the International Classification of Goods and Services
– Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
|Designs||Industrial designs||5 years, renewable for a maximum of 25 years|
|Reproduction rights||Legislation on Copyright 2000||70 years after the author’s death||– WIPO Copyright Treaty|
|Industrial designs||Industrial designs||20 years|
Malta Political Data
The President (currently Marie Louise Coleiro Preca) is elected by the Parliament for a period of five years, and he/she appoints the Prime Minister (currently Joseph Muscat). The latter exercises executive power and runs the Government. Legislative power is held by the House of Representatives which comprises 65 members who are appointed by general election every five years.
The political landscape is dominated by two parties: the Nationalist Party, a Christian democratic party, and the Labour Party, a social democratic party.