11 Jan 2021
The Company Service Providers (Amendment) Act (“Act”) of the 13th of November 2020, outlines various amendments to the Company Service Providers Act, Chapter 529 of the Laws of Malta (“Principal Act”). This Act is not yet in force, but Company Service Providers (“CSPs”), Auditors of CSPs and Advocates and legal professionals should take note of the amendments and new obligations imposed.
The main amendment that has been introduced through the Act is the creation of 3 classes which the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) will use to assess and classify an authorised person.
An authorised person is a person in relation to whom an authorisation to act as a company service provider has been issued by the MFSA in terms of the Principal Act.
The classes are the following:
Class A CSP - A company service provider authorised to provide, by way of its business, the following services to third parties:
Class B CSP - A company service provider authorised to provide, by way of its business, the service to third parties of acting as, or arranging for another person to act as director or secretary of a company, a partner in a partnership or in a similar position in relation to other legal entities.
Class C CSP - A company service provider authorised to provide, by way of its business, all of the services of a company service provider.
Note: ‘Company Service Provider’ is defined as a person which, by way of business, provides any of the following services to third parties: (a) formation of companies or other legal entities; (b) acting as or arranging for another person to act as director or secretary of a company, a partner in a partnership or in a similar position in relation to other legal entities; (c) provision of a registered office, a business correspondence or administrative address and other related services for a company, a partnership or any other legal entity.
If an authorised person is classified under Class A CSP or a Class B CSP, MFSA shall also determine whether such person is over-threshold or under-threshold. To determine this, MFSA may issue rules laying down the requirements, conditions, and criteria. Even though no such rules have been published by MFSA to-date, a consultation paper on such matter has been issued and anyone wishing to provide feedback is to do so by not later than 15th January 2021.
Other amendments of note introduced by this Act can be found in the table attached.