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          Newsletter, January 2017

Malta News

Debtors cannot use the passage of time as reason to not pay outstanding dues.
Effective from the 13.01.17, a debtor can no longer enter a plea of prescription in connection with certain short prescriptive terms whilst merely relying on the passage of time as an excuse not to effect payment of his dues. Read More

All shops are now allowed to open on Sundays.
As a result of recent reforms, retail outlets are now able to open on Sundays without incurring any additional cost, on the understanding that they will remain closed on another day during that seven day period.  Read More

Malta announces guidelines for Mutual Agreement Procedures under the Income Tax Act.
December 15th saw the Maltese Commissioner for Revenue issue guidance under Article 96(2) of the Income Tax Act, with reference to the use of Mutual Agreement Procedures (MAP). MAP refers to a specialist procedure which allows the Competent Authority (in this case, the Malta Competent Authority) to interact with counterparts in Contracting States/Parties, with the purpose of resolving international tax disputes.  Read More

 
EU and Beyond

Brexit: UK Government has lost it's appeal to the Supreme Court
In breaking news, the Supreme Court has ruled that to trigger Article 50, the legal instrument which will allow the UK to withdraw from the EU, parliament is required to vote on it and approve it before discussions with the EU can commence. Today’s ruling means that the referendum in June 2016 may only be considered as advisory, and cannot be considered as legally binding in any way. Read More

CJEU makes an important new judgement on data retention.
The CJEU has ruled that the EU Members States may not impose a general obligation to retain data on providers of electronic communications services. Read More

Amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention come into force.
As of 18/01/17 the 2014 amendments to the Maritime Labour convention 2006, entered into force. The changes provide more stringent financial security requirements in respect of crew repatriation, abandonment, and for compensation in cases of death or disability due to occupational injury, illness, or hazards. Ships that are now registered under the Maltese flag are now required to carry appropriate certification and other evidence to prove that a financial security system which protects the seafarers working on board, is in place. Read More

EU Council agrees its stance for negotiations on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.
On December 20th, 2016 the European Council came to an agreement regarding its negotiating stance on reinforced EU rules designed to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The directive comes as a direct response to the increased threat of terrorism and it seeks to balance the need for tighter security with the need to ensure the protection of fundamental rights and economic freedom. Read More
Firm News

Why Malta is not meeting it's legal aid responsibilities.
Legal aid is the concept of providing legal advice and assistance to individuals and entities that would otherwise be unable to afford legal representation and/or access to the court system. Legal aid is regarded as an important and central part of and functioning society and legal system as it ensures that all can gain access to justice, have the right to counsel, the right to a fair trial, and benefit from equality in the eyes of the law. Read More

Why Malta and the EU are in desperate need to specialists in Refugee Law.
‘Refugee’, ‘migrant’, ‘crisis’ – they are all buzzwords of today’s world, synonymous with a disgruntled right wing and a sympathetic left, and an unavoidable part of daily media consumption. 
Read More

New Year, New Start, New Website
After many months of preparation, January 2nd saw the launch of the new Fenech Farrugia Fiott Legal Website. If you have not yet had a chance to look at it, please do take the time to visit and to let us know what you think. Visit Website
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