The Malta Independent 21 April 2024, Sunday
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Balancing control and facilitating legitimate trade

Malta Independent Friday, 5 July 2013, 10:00 Last update: about 11 years ago

Finance Minister Prof. Edward Scicluna underlined the importance of the Customs Department’s function of maintaining the balance between enforcement and the facilitation of the flow of trade into and out of Malta.

The role of the Customs Department remains as crucial as ever,” Prof. Scicluna said. “It is responsible for maintaining the delicate balance between administrating the law, while at the same time minimising the bureaucratic burdens to traders, thus safeguarding the flow of trade both into and out of the country.”

Prof. Scicluna was speaking during a tour the Customs Department Building in Lascaris Wharf, Valletta, on Wednesday  He was accompanied by the Customs Director General Joe Brincat.

Speaking during a brief address before the Department’s senior officials, Prof. Scicluna underlined the Custom Department’s importance in the overall functioning of the Government, stressing that it is not only intimately linked with both Malt’s external trade and competitiveness, but is also one of the Government’s main sources of revenue.

In 2012, the total revenues collected by the Customs Department stood at €316 million, representing Import Duties (€16.3 million), Excise Duties (€206.3 million), other revenue (€1.2 million), and VAT collected on imports from third countries on behalf of VAT Department (€92.2 million).

During his address, Prof. Scicluna also emphasised that his Ministry is fully aware of the Department’s importance, noting its function of concurrently facilitating trade while carrying out necessary enforcement measures in line with Malta’s responsibilities as a member of the European Union.

The Customs Department is also primarily responsible for the supervision of international trade, thereby contributing to fair and open trade, and the implementation of external aspects of the internal market, common trade policy, and other common EU policies having a bearing of trade, ultimately safeguarding the security of the overall supply chain.

The Customs Department is also responsible for protecting the EU from unfair and illegal trade while supporting legitimate business activity.

In his address, Prof. Scicluna also underlined the importance of regular dialogue between the Department and other branches of Government in the interest of sustained and effective cooperation. He noted with satisfaction that a number of positive and productive meetings with Customs Director General Joe Brincat had already been held.

“There are a number of areas that will require further investment and restructuring, in the light of the ongoing merger that will soon bring together the Customs Department with the Inland Revenue Department and the VAT Department,” Prof. Scicluna said, adding that the Customs Department has his full support in its work.

During the tour, during which Prof. Scicluna met with Department officials and staff, a presentation detailing a rundown of the Customs Department’s structure and responsibilities was also delivered.

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