- The Processing of Documentation
As established under the Subsidiary Legislation 595.27, the Malta Business Registry (the “MBR”) is an Agency regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (the “MFSA”). Interestingly, contingency plans in light of the COVID-19 pandemic seem to differ when comparing the MFSA’s approach to the processing of documentation to that of the national business registry. For an interim period, with effect from the 24th of March 2020 and until further notice by the MFSA, all documentation is to be submitted using the MFSA’s online portal or sent by electronic mail (if applicable). Notwithstanding this, original signed documents and/or certified true copies of original documents are still due for submission in hard copy to the MFSA upon the return to ordinary working circumstances, a hitherto unknown date.
The MBR has taken a business-as-usual approach to the processing of documentation, primarily focusing on the continuity of services in accordance with ongoing recommendations from the National Health Authorities. Therefore, whilst paper documents are set to be processed on the first working day after 72 hours from date of receipt, authorised users may continue to complete, digitally sign and submit select documentation online via the MBR’s portal.
- Filing Deadlines
In light of the implications of COVID-19 on corporate governance, the penalties ordinarily imposed by the MBR on a company for the non-submission of the annual return and/or financial statements shall be effectively waived if the submission date falls within the period between 23rd April 2020 and 31st May 2020. More importantly, this provision is subject to the filing of the annual return and/or financial statements by the 31st July 2020.
Furthermore, this limited time period of waiving penalties ordinarily imposed on a company for non-submission is also applicable to any other notification/return to be submitted to the MBR. An email including all relevant information (i.e. name and registration number of company, type of notification/return and cause for non-submission) must necessarily be sent to the MBR on email@example.com. In the event that a company fails to circulate such information to the MBR, penalties for non-submission of notification/return are to be imposed as per usual.
At Fenlex Group, we shall continue to closely monitor, assess and cooperate with any interim measures taken by the Registrar and Regulators in view of COVID-19 whilst maintaining a clear channel of communication with our clients. For further information and/or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us personally on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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