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Amendments to the Merchant Shipping Regulations

On the 21st February 2020, Legal Notice 31 of 2020 was published, bringing with it various important amendments to the Merchant Shipping (Shipping Organisations – Private Companies) Regulations.

These Regulations are administered by the Registrar of Companies, which has also issued and informative circular on these amendments.

By means of the Legal Notice, the financial statements of companies regulated by the above-mentioned Regulations, for the year 2020, must be filed within the stipulated deadline. Any financial statements which are delivered to the Registrar of Companies, will be uploaded as unregistered documents on the Malta business Registry website.

In relation to companies incorporated prior to the 21st February 2020, there is no need to notify the Registrar of Companies if the yearend is not December. Companies are simply requested to file the financial statements within the stipulated deadlines from the relative yearend. For companies which have been incorporated after the 21st February 2020, and for which the year end is not December, a Form J needs to be filled in and submitted to the Registrar. This form needs to be filled in also when there are changes in the accounting reference periods.

Any necessary guidance in relation to the financial statements for small companies, qualifying as such in terms of these Regulations, will be issued in collaboration with the Malta Institute of Accountants.

Any changes in the existing forms, and any new forms which have been introduced, can be downloaded from the website of the Malta Business Registry.

As from 1st April 2020, fees regarding the continuation of companies, both in Malta and outside of Malta, and publication fees, are to be applicable to companies registered under the Companies Act as well as companies registered under the Merchant Shipping Regulations.

As of the same date, penalties will be imposed on companies registered under the Merchant Shipping Regulations in the same way as they are imposed on companies registered under the Companies Act.

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