Income Tax & Fringes
Social Security Contributions
Under normal rules, so as to be exempt from paying social security contributions in Malta, an expatriate has to provide official evidence to the Maltese authorities that he or she is paying national contributions elsewhere. In the case of the film industry, an exemption form payment of social security contributions can be obtained on the basis that the expatriate employees would only be present in Malta for a short period of time and in connection with a film production. A film company can make a block application listing the respective expatriates and their details. The Social Security Department subsequently issues one ‘en bloc’ exemption from Maltese social security contributions covering the said employees.
The income of any individual employed with a film production company, or employed with a company which offers its services to such film production company, shall be chargeable to tax at the rate of 15% of the gross payment receivable in respect of such employment exercised in Malta, and no set-off or refund shall be granted to any person in respect of the tax so charged, provided that:
a] the said individual is neither ordinarily resident nor domiciled in Malta, and
b] the said individual’s period of employment in Malta does not exceed 183 days, and
c] where the said individual is an actor, front of camera performer or film director the applicable tax rate shall be 10% of the gross payment receivable
The tax chargeable in terms of the immediately preceding paragraph shall constitute a final tax covering the Maltese tax liability of the said individual.
Where payment for the particular services through employment is made by a film production company, the obligation to withhold and pay the tax contemplated in the first paragraph of this provision shall be imposed on such film production company, even in cases where the film production company is effecting payment for such services to a service company.
The application of the final tax rate as aforesaid is subject to the following conditions being satisfied:
a] the film production company is a ‘qualifying company’ engaged in a ‘qualifying production’ as defined in the Financial Incentives for the Audio-Visual Industry Regulations 2008, issued under the Malta Film Commission Act [Cap 478], and
b] the Malta Film Commission submits confirmation to the Office of the Commissioner for Revenue of each qualifying company engaged in a qualifying production
All foreign nationals require a work permit to work in Malta. In respect of foreigners, the Government maintains a very restrictive policy and employment licences are granted only in exceptional circumstances.
Such work permits are issued to employers wishing to engage foreigners for a determined period and for a specific purpose, only after it has been ascertained that every effort has been made to engage a suitable Maltese citizen.
Film Service Providers / Production Coordinators of local or foreign film companies seeking to employ foreigners on film projects in Malta are to apply for work permits for their employees at the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs.
www.mhas.gov.mt / Departments / Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs
Foreigners seeking to work in Malta need to be in possession of a valid employment licence.
The Employment and Training Corporation is at present the entity that processes applications for the issue of employment licences (previously known as work permits) with regards to foreign nationals to be employed in Malta. If you are not a citizen of an EU country, you need an employment licence in order to be able to work in Malta. EU nationals [except citizens of Croatia], EEA and Swiss nationals do not require an employment licence to work in Malta.
Film Service Providers / Production Coordinators of local or foreign film companies seeking to employ foreigners on film projects in Malta are to apply for employment licences for their employees through ETC. Employment licences must be applied for by the employer and not by the jobseeker. For more information visit www.jobsplus.gov.mt
Young Persons & Minors Employment
The regulations set out by Legal Notice 440/2003 (Young Persons Employment Regulations), seek to protect young workers in employment. Young persons include children (minors) who have not yet attained the age of sixteen years and those between sixteen and under eighteen years, known as adolescents.
Before employing any children, production companies must obtain an approval in writing from the Director for Industrial and Employment Relations, as well as a letter of approval from the Education Department.
Before engaging or offering work to any young person, an employer shall carry out an assessment of the occupational health and safety hazards which may be involved at the place of work, and such assessment shall be repeated whenever there is any major change in working conditions. Parents or chaperones must be present at all times and shall have the right to be within sight and sound of the particular minors. All auditions and fitting activities for children under fifteen years of age are to be held after school hours and completed by 9 pm. Adults must be present at and during any call.
It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure children are not exposed to potentially dangerous situations which places them in clear and present danger to life or limb. The child, after discussing such conditions with the stunt coordinator and parent, is not obliged to work in such conditions. There must be one person designated on each set to coordinate all matters relating to the welfare of the child.
The Director for Industrial and Employment Relations may at his discretion attach a number of conditions relating to work by children as may be deemed fit.
The Civil Aviation Directorate of Transport Malta is the Aviation Regulator for Malta. As all the Maltese Islands fall within Controlled Airspace all Drone Operations need to be approved prior by the Authority.
Today no European Regulation exists for all Member States to be used unilaterally, certain Member States have local laws.
There are currently no local drone laws for Malta to regulate such an activity but certain provisions in the Air Navigation Order apply. However, permits for drone operation may be issued on a case by case basis by the Director General for Civil Aviation.
The Civil Aviation Directorate (CAD) has adopted, and uses with success, a risk based approach on a case by case basis depending on the scope and complexity of such a request and, more importantly, on the risk of such an operation.
In line with draft European laws and methodology, the CAD will not allow drone operations over
• Members of the public
• Vehicles or vessels
• Populated areas / towns / cities / villages
• Close to the approaches of runways or airports
• Areas of National Critical Importance (hospitals, power stations, buildings of Political importance, Osmosis Plants, etc.)
• In all of the above, to drop any articles without an exemption from the Malta Air Navigation Order being issued.
Standard Documentation to be presented to the CAD for the evaluation of an operation (commercial and/or leisure outside of leisure zones)
An operator must submit the following documentation to the CAD at least 7 working days before the initial date of operation
- Type of drone (or drones) to be used
- Submission of technical data or manual of instructions of each drone to be used
- Submission of any flight safety programmes or operations manual that the operator may have (if available)
- Submission of any previous authorisations from any other civil aviation authority or exemptions (if available)
- Submission of details of the operator (company) and proficiency of the pilot (ground station controller)
- Copy of the original signed insurance document for third party liability for the operation covering the geographical areas for such operation and specifically mentioning drone operations
Per Each Operation
Initially a generic overview and scope of the intended operation
Using a simple overlay of the area (using such a tool like Google maps) the operator must indicate clearly
• Area of operation with lateral operational limits in a Lat & Long format, including defining the maximum operating height
• Exact points of launching and landing (Latitude and Longitude) of the drone within this operational area
• Submission of a risk assessment of the exact operational areas, identifying hazards and the mitigations to be put in place on how to protect aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and property