The Malta Free Zones Act XV of 2019 published on the 31st May 2019 (the “Act”) enables the Minister responsible for Customs to set up a Free Zone Authority vested with enough power to create and manage new Free Zone areas with a view of attracting investment into Malta’s manufacturing and logistics sectors. The Commissioner for Revenue will act as supervisor and controller and in some instances as a decision-making body.
In terms of EU regulations, a member state is entitled to designate parts of the customs territory of the Union as ‘free zones’ where goods imported from outside the EU would not be subject to:
- import duty;
- other charges that may be provided for under other relevant provisions in force;
- commercial policy measures, insofar as they do not prohibit the entry or exit of goods into or from the customs territory of the Union.
The Act will enable authorised undertakings to carry on specific activities linked to the manufacturing and logistic sectors within a Free Zone area and thus benefiting from the Free Zone advantages.
This Act does not apply to any Free Zones which are governed by any other law in force in Malta, such as the Malta Freeports Act, which shall remain governed in accordance with the respective enabling laws and regulations.
(Article by Rachid Saoudi)