Data Act: Commission proposes measures for a fair and innovative data economy

The European Commission proposed new restrictions on who can use and access EU data across all economic sectors on February 23, 2022. The Data Act would promote digital fairness, a competitive data market, data-driven innovation, and data accessibility. It will lead to new, creative services and cheaper repairs for linked products.

The proposal for the Data Act includes:

  • Measures to rebalance negotiation power for SMEs by preventing abuse of contractual imbalances in data sharing contracts. The Data Act will shield them from unfair contractual terms imposed by a party with a significantly stronger bargaining position. The Commission will also develop model contractual terms in order to help such companies to draft and negotiate fair data-sharing contracts.

  • New rules allowing customers to effectively switch between different cloud data-processing services providers and putting in place safeguards against unlawful data transfer.

Consumers and businesses will be able to access device data for value-added services like predictive maintenance. By having more information, consumers and users  may make smarter decisions like choosing higher-quality or more sustainable products and services, helping to Green Deal goals.

A competitive data market will provide businesses and industries more data. Aftermarket service providers will be able to offer more personalised services and compete with manufacturers. Data may also be used to create new digital services.

For more information click here.

Open Consultation – Integrated Nutrient Management Action Plan

The European Commission is inviting contributions to an open consultation on an Action Plan for better management of nutrients for a sustainable approach.

This Action Plan’s suggested extra EU-level action is required to enhance food security, safeguard public health, and maintain the ecosystem.

The Action Plan, announced in the EU Biodiversity Strategy and Farm to Fork Strategy, will help achieve the European Green Deal‘s 2030 target of reducing nutrient losses by 50%, while ensuring no deterioration in soil fertility. The objective of the two Strategies is to reduce fertiliser use by at least 20%, while enhancing the resilience of the food systems.

The submission deadline is August 26, 2022. For more information on the consultation please refer to the Servizzi Ewropej F’Malta website. Alternatively, you can go directly to the Commission online consultation webpage.

MBR advises companies to provide adequate electronic mail address

As communicated through a Notice published on 28 January 2022Act LX of 2021  introduces the requirement for companies to indicate their electronic mail address in the memorandum, in terms of article 69(1)(d) of the Companies Act.

The scope behind this amendment is two-fold. Firstly, electronic communication serves to increase efficiency through timely communication by reducing the reliance on paper format communication to a company’s registered office. Certain correspondence may well be served to a company electronically and is many times more effective in reaching the concerned company officers.

Secondly, the Malta Business Registry continuously strives as a central national registry and supervisory authority, toward implementing sustainable governance measures that correspond to corporate sustainability goals reflecting national and European Union initiatives in the sector. Limiting the amount of physical paper-format correspondence and shifting the emphasis to electronic means, will undoubtedly serve to reduce the use of paper and associated materials. Such measure is only one of those which will be undertaken as part of the responsibility in implementing measures synced with the European Green Deal.

Companies are hereby being notified that an adequate electronic mail address that is accessible to all the company officers, is to be provided to the Malta Business Registry by 30 September 2022.

It is advisable that this is done by filing an updated memorandum and articles of association. In instances whereby this is not possible, one may address a formal letter to the Registrar, sent to the attention of Ms Stefania Baldacchino.

Request for feedback on the revision of the EU Waste Framework Directive

The European Commission invites members of the Malta Chamber of SMEs to contribute to the revision of the EU Waste Framework Directive, laying down some basic waste management principles.

As part of this initiative, the Commission is also seeking feedback on establishing food waste reduction targets. These targets would then be included in the revised Directive.
Those who are interested in this directive are invited to express their views on waste reduction and prevention,  food waste reduction, separate collection systems, and regulatory and economic incentives.
For more information on the revision of the EU waste Framework Directive and the establishment of food waste reduction targets please refer to the SEM – Servizzi Ewropej f’Malta website.

Alternatively, you can go directly to the Commission online consultation webpage.

https://ec.europa.eu/…/13225…/public-consultation_en

SME Chamber organises a webinar with Parl. Sec. Chris Bonett on new EU grants

Following the announcement of new EU grants for businesses as part of the EU Recovery and Resilience Funds, the SME Chamber organised a webinar for its members with the participation of Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds Dr Chris Bonett.

The webinar focused on the 2 latest funding opportunities digitalisation and energy efficient schemes. A total of €35 million of these funds will be used for digitalisation-related projects; with €5 million for SMEs and €10 million for projects tied to the tourism and cultural sectors. Whilst €20 million will be used for schemes promoting more energy efficiency in buildings.

Parliamentary Secretary Hon. Chris Bonett, accompanied by the Director General at the Measures and Support Division Mr Claude Sammut and Mr Chris Magri, explained the schemes to almost 200 participants while they also replied to various questions made by members.

The webinar recording is available upon request for all paid-up members.

Should you need any further information kindly email Mr Fabian Demicoli on

The SME Chamber meets a delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

On the 13th of July, President Mr.Paul Abela, Deputy President Mr.Philip Fenech, and Council Member Mr.Beppe Muscat met a delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF works to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity for all of its 190 member countries. It achieves this through backing economic policies that encourage monetary cooperation and financial stability, both of which are necessary to boost economic growth, job creation, and productivity. 

While on a formal visit to Malta as part of routine talks with member nations, the IMF officials met with the Malta Chamber of SMEs.

The Chamber of SMEs examined the present state of the economy, the primary difficulties facing SMEs today, and ultimately the best course of action for resolving these issues.

SME Chamber Confirmed as Best Business Supporter

SME Chamber confirmed as best business supporter as it wins national award for second consecutive year

 

Left: SME Chamber CEO MS. Abigail Agius Mamo, Center: Mr. Godwin Warr – Head Commerce Department and Right: Head of EU Affairs and Communications Mr. Fabian Demicoli

The Malta Chamber of SMEs has once again won first prize at the National Supporting Business Awards under the remit of the Ministry for the Economy.

The Award was won on the basis of supporting businesses in their sustainable transition and support environmental aspects such as the circular economy, climate neutrality, clean energy and resource efficiency. The SME Chambers’ project is called ‘A Fair Deal for Maltese Businesses’. 

The Green Deal, which was first announced in December 2019, came with a very innovative concept. The European Commission (EC) immediately stated that the Green Deal is very ambitious and will require a big change in the private sector. Yet, The EC also said that this transition would be a fair and just one and that it will ask the Member States to ensure that nobody is left behind. 
The SME Chamber has risen to this great challenge and has taken it upon itself to ensure that, with the collaboration of many stakeholders, Malta would not just be on the forefront of the Green Deal but would also champion the theme and impact of having a just and fair transition.  
By engaging and collaborating with different stakeholders the SME Chamber is aiding in the implementation of new EU targets and requirements from a small business perspective and ensuring that these small businesses are at the heart of every strategy related to the green deal.  

The Malta Chamber of SMEs takes this opportunity to thank its collaborators in this project, mainly, the Ministry for Energy, Environment and Enterprise, Malta Enterprise, the Energy and Water Agency, the Water Service Corporation, CE Malta and the Ministry for the Economy and EU Funds.

Ms. Abigail Agius Mamo (Malta Chamber of SMEs), Mr Godwin Warr (Commerce Department) and Mr. Anthony David Gatt (Malta Enterprise)

Malta Chamber of SMEs positively welcomes measure aimed at addressing banking issues

The Malta Chamber of SMEs has been very vociferous in pushing for the improvement and the accessibility of banking services. Multiple discussions were held with the Prime Minister, the Minister for Finance, the Minister for the Economy and the banks and their representative Association.

The SME Chamber therefore greatly welcomes the measure announced yesterday by Economy Minister Hon. Silvio Schembri, some of which come out of proposals pushed by the SME Chamber itself. The SME Chamber commends the government on prioritising this important subject, given the drastic deterioration

of the banking services and also the failures in the market functioning. This marks a very courageous move from the governments’ side in support to businesses, something the SME Chamber greatly appreciates.

Enshrining the right to a bank account to self-employed and businesses is an important basic right that is a very good step forward. It is unfortunate that escalating the matter to a level that required legislative action was needed to give businesses this basic need.

The Steering committee that has been launched is also an important tool to define a common due diligence process so as to ensure consistency. Whilst the SME Chamber is in favour of having a robust and rigorous process, the Malta Chamber of SMEs maintains its position that businesses should not be overburdened with what is unnecessary, therefore much fine-tuning is required in that respect. The process should also run efficiently and automated as far as possible. Additionally clear timeframes must be set to avoid undue delay, and provide better guidance to all stakeholders.

The SME Chamber looks forward to seeing these measure implemented for the benefit of Malta as a whole and to ensure a fair and adequate eco-system for businesses to operate in Malta.

The Malta Chamber of SMEs will continue its work with the stakeholders involved to achieve further advancement in this respect.