Green light from Brussels for new contractors licensing regime

European Commission gives Maltese government the go-ahead to introduce a new licensing regime for building contractors

Building contractors will have to be licensed to carry out demolition, excavation and construction work
Building contractors will have to be licensed to carry out demolition, excavation and construction work

A new licensing regime regulating the demolition, excavation and construction sectors can come into force after the European Commission gave its go-ahead, MaltaToday has learnt. 

Brussels informed the Maltese government last Friday the legal notice can come into force after it underwent a rigorous “proportionality test” as demanded by EU directives. 

The test is required whenever legislation impacts the performance of any profession. 

It is expected that the legal notice will be published in the next few days in the Government Gazette. 

Immediately, it will be followed by a call to all contractors working in the fields of demolition, excavation and construction to apply for a licence by 31 October 2023. Those who do not apply by this date will not be able to operate as from 1 November. 

The applications will be evaluated by a Licensing Committee to be established within the Building & Construction Authority. 

Contractors waiting for their licence will be able to continue operating during the evaluation period. 

Those who shall apply for a licence after the 1 November, will have to wait for the evaluation of their application and the eventual issuing of the licence to be able to operate. 

This is the first time that a licensing regime has been introduced for building contractors, a decision spearheaded by Planning Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi. 

The legal notice was drafted following a consultation process with stakeholders and the public during the months of March and April. 

The green light from Brussels arrived in the same week government faced widespread criticism over its refusal to hold a public inquiry into the death of Jean Paul Sofia. 

Sofia died last December when a building under construction collapsed.