The Malta Independent 3 March 2024, Sunday
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Building contractors who do not apply for licence by 1 November cannot operate, government says

Marc Galdes Monday, 13 March 2023, 16:52 Last update: about 13 months ago

Building contractors must apply for licence by 1 November 2023 or else they will not be allowed to operate, the government said as it opened a public consultations on new regulations for the licensing of contractors.

The proposed regulations for the licensing of building contractors were presented and announced by Planning Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi on Monday during a press conference.

Prime Minister Robert Abela said last week that the Cabinet has approved a framework for the licensing of contractors.

Last November, Zrinzo Azzopardi said that contractors in the construction industry will “soon” require a licence to operate in the industry. Since then the government has been working on drafting the legislation to license contractors.

Zrinzo Azzopardi said that with the implementation of this license, there will be a distinction between those contractors who want to work seriously and those who do not.

“The purpose of this reform is to ensure better regulation for the construction sector, better quality and more enforcement,” Zrinzo Azzopardi said.

The public consultation period will go on for six weeks and end on 21 April. He said that he does not only want to involve major stakeholders, but also the general public who might be affected by this.

According to the government’s plan people can start applying for a license from 1 June, and an application must be submitted by 31 October. Failing to apply by this date will mean that they will not be able to operate from 1 November, and from 1 November all the obligations linked to the licence shall be enforced.

After 1 November the contractors who applied will be given provisional clearance so that they can operate, however, after 1 June 2024, they will need to be in possession of a full license to operate.

Zrinzo Azzopardi said that the cut-off point will be 1 January 2025, which is when all contractors will need a license to operate.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) board will be tasked with temporarily suspending or revoking licenses if the contractor breaks any regulations.

Zrinzo Azzopardi explained that whereas before the BCA could give a stop notice, now the BCA can suspend or revoke a license which means that the contractors will not be able to work on any other site.

There will not be one license for all contractors, but applicants will have the option to apply for three different licences: one for demolition, one for excavation and one for construction. Zrinzo Azzopardi added that following the issuing of these licences there will be the introduction of skill cards for workers.

The plan also includes the establishment of a construction industry licensing committee which will be tasked with issuing licenses for each service.

In order for an applicant to be issued a license, the applicant must meet a number of criteria. Applicants must at least be 18 years of age and not bankrupt.

With the licence, contractors will have to comply with regulations issued by the BCA, must be in accordance with instructions from an architect and in compliance with the method statement.

The applicants also need to have relevant work experience based on the license they are applying for and must also have a fair understanding of health and safety rules.

Demolition and excavation applicants will need to have two architects confirm that they have had three years of experience in the field. However, if have an MQF level 4 qualification in the sector, then you only need two years of experience.

Those seeking a building licence must be licenced as masons. Companies applying for a licence must employ a licensed mason and have at least three years of experience.

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