On 13 April 2018, the Malta Financial Service Authority (MFSA) published a circular to the industry about a consultation paper on the Financial Instrument Test. The objective of this test is to determine whether a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) asset, depending on its features, falls within the sphere of either the traditional European and local financial services legislation, or within the sphere of the proposed Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFAA), or is otherwise exempt from regulation
On 29 March 2018, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) issued a public document providing guidance on Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) and the acceptance of Virtual Currencies (VCs) through the implementation of a sandbox environment.
On 23 March 2018, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) agreed to take measures on the provision of contracts for differences (CFDs) and binary options to retail investors in the European Union (EU).
The Council of the EU has just reached an agreement to work on a directive intended to tackle cross-border tax planning. This agreement was reached on 13 March 2018 at a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council. The fundamental idea of the directive is to pre-empt tax planning schemes detrimental to the interests of the EU’s member states before they are actually implemented.
A new gaming bill has been tabled in the Parliament of Malta. On 13 March 2018, the Hon. Silvio Schembri, the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, tabled a motion in Parliament for the first reading of a new gaming bill.
On 13 March 2018, the Council of the EU published its latest amendments to its list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in matters of taxation. Changes include the removal of Bahrain, the Marshall Islands and Saint Lucia, and the addition of the Bahamas, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and the US Virgin Islands.
The Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive has been transposed into Maltese law by virtue of amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the enactment of new regulations under said act, and through the publication of various regulations intended to set up beneficial ownership registers for companies, trusts, associations, foundations and other legal entities.