Launching the Public Consultation document on the proposed
regulations under the eCommerce Act
The Minister for
Competitiveness and Communications, the Hon. Censu Galea has
launched the public consultation document on proposed regulations
under the eCommerce Act.
The Electronic Commerce
Act (eCommerce Act) was conceived back in 2000 as one of a set of
three laws intended to pave the way for the realisation of the
information society. Since the enactment of the Act, Malta has seen
a major uptake of electronic commerce (taken also to include the
provision of on-line information by commercial enterprises).
The proposed regulations
establish a light but effective supervisory regime that will serve
to ensure that regulatory obligations are complied with whilst
reinforcing the consumer rights already enshrined in the Electronic
Commerce Act. The regulations also seek to complete the
transposition of the eCommerce Directive and the eSignatures
In drafting these
Regulations the Ministry has sought to avoid the introduction of
unnecessary regulatory burdens and has only included measures
strictly necessary to encourage undertakings to provide on-line
services whilst ensuring that the rights of consumers are adequately
They require information
society service providers to provide basic information to their
clients in order to ensure that customers know who the service
provider they are dealing with is. They also introduce obligations
intended to introduce an appropriate level of transparency with
respect to commercial communications provided on-line.
The regulations provide
for out of court dispute settlement procedures by granting powers to
the supervisory authority – the Malta Communications Authority to
hear disputes between service providers and their customers.
The regulations introduce
measures aimed at ensuring that information society service
providers established in Malta are not subject to unnecessary
bureaucracy. Information Society Service Providers will only be
subject to the rules applicable in Malta even if they provide
services in other member states according to what is commonly
referred to as the country of origin principle. Furthermore such
services will not be subject to any form of licensing regime. At the
same time the regulations empower the Malta Communications Authority
to take action to ensure compliance with the provisions of the
regulations by service providers.
These proposed Regulations have been published for public
consultation. This explanatory memorandum is intended to give an
overview of the substantive provisions included in the Regulations.
Both the Regulations and the explanatory memorandum are intended to
be read in conjunction with the eCommerce Act. Reference must also
be made to the Malta Communications Authority Act, Cap 418.
Issued On: 2/9/2005