LOCAL & FOREIGN TRUSTS UNDER MALTESE LAW

Malta's legislation allows for the settlement of Maltese trusts, provided that foreign aspects prevail. Under the Trusts Act, the applicability of which is in effect decided upon by a settlor, non-residents can create a trust by way of a written instrument in favour of identified or identifiable beneficiaries who are also non-residents. Maltese trusts must be registered, but registered trusts enjoy the benefit of being virtually tax exempt. Foreign trusts are recognised in Malta pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Law Applicable to Trusts and their Recognition. A foreign trust may be registered in Malta if it is capable of being recognised and some further requirements are satisfied. These ensure that foreign aspects prevail in the trust, and that the trust is more or less subject to the same requirements as Maltese trusts. The advantage of registering a foreign trust in Malta is that it will enjoy the same beneficial fiscal status and exemptions as a Maltese trust. As a result, both Maltese and foreign trusts in Malta are exceedingly suitable for tax and estate planning purposes.

The concept of trust companies has also found its way into the Maltese legal system. Trust companies, often confused with trusts, are companies which are capable of holding participations in their own name but on behalf of third parties. In Malta, the Companies Act provides for nominee companies, which must be licensed and satisfy certain criteria. A licensed nominee company can shield the identity of the beneficial owners on whose behalf shares are held in other companies. It should be noted, however, that the professional secrecy to which licensed nominees are bound is pierced in certain cases.

CCA's trust company, DALTRUST Nominee Ltd., is today Malta’s second largest trust company, accounting for 12% of all Maltese trusts. Chetcuti Cauchi Adwokaci provides assistance in the setting up of trusts in Malta or elsewhere, and in the recognition in Malta of foreign trusts. We can also arrange for our licensed nominee company to hold shares in a company incorporated by us if we are satisfied that the underlying reasons are legitimate.

See also:

Malta Trusts  

International Trading Companies 

International Holding Companies

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