Changes introduced to the Maltese trade licensing process

Mark Anthony Debono | Published on 15 Oct 2012

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Any person opening a new business which is not related to the health or food industry will no longer have to apply for a licence with the Trade Department. Small Businesses Minister Jason Azzopardi announced these changes to the Maltese licencing process last week, promoting the primary objective of increasing efficiency whilst reducing bureaucracy.

The process has now been simplified to a procedure whereby after obtaining the necessary MEPA permit, a business owner would only have to notify the Trade Department about the respective commercial activity. One can issue this notification at any time up to 30 days after commencement of the commercial activity. It is estimated that around 80 per cent of new commercial activities would benefit as a direct result of these amendments.

Moreover, when a new commercial activity is initiated, the person responsible will no longer have to submit copies of the MEPA certificates and floor plans – the number of the MEPA permit will suffice. Other measures introduced by the minister included reductions in the cost of several licences.

These changes are expected to continue catering for the needs of the sector whilst preserving a heightened commitment to offer Maltese and Gozitan businesses the most accommodating legal framework possible in their respective industry.

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