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Environmental law in Malta

Environmental law in Malta

The main legislation providing for the protection of the environment in Malta is the Environment and Development Planning Act. This law was enabled in 2010 as a measure of respecting EU regulations on the protection of the environment especially in the context of urban development. The Malta Environment and Development Planning Act also covers the display of advertisements in protected areas. The two authorities watching over Maltese companies involved in urban development projects are the Planning Authority and the Environment and Resources Authority.

Foreign investors should also know that in certain cases opening a company in Malta requires the approval of the Planning Authority when it comes to the place where the company will carry out its activities.

Environment licensing in Malta

Companies setting up plants or other industrial facilities in Malta are required to follow the regulations imposed by the two competent authorities when it comes to environmental protection. The regulations to be followed are:

  • –          the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Regulations, under which companies must apply for a special permit Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA);
  • –          the Waste Management Regulations.

Both laws provide for special licenses to be obtained with MEPA. Other permits may also be required depending on the activities carried out by the company. These activities include:

  • –          handling petrol or other combustibles;
  • –          handling volatile organic compounds (VOC);
  • –          marine discharges.

Our lawyers in Malta can provide you with specific information about the environment licenses you need depending on the activities undertaken.

Environmental compliance in Malta

All Maltese companies involved in activities related to any of the permits listed above must comply with certain audit requirements. These enterprises are to be inspected on a regular basis by the Environmental Permitting and Industry Unit. The authorities will verify that all conditions imposed in the permit are complied with. According to the Environmental Law in Malta, the frequency of the inspections depends on how well the companies perform.

For complete information about the Maltese law on environmental protection, you can contact our local law firm.