Malta: Offshore Trusts Guide
Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Trusts in Malta were based on the Offshore Trusts Act 1988 which was largely based on Jersey trust law, itself a common law implant stemming from English trust law. Trusts under this Act had to have non-resident settlor and beneficiaries, and trust assets could not include Maltese real estate. This legislation was amended by The Trusts and Trustees Act 2004, which became effective in January 2005.
Maltese trust law establishes the confidentiality of trust documents and dealings and the actions of the trustee. The Professional Secrecy Act 1994 imposes strict confidentiality rules on all professionals, officials and other individuals who receive privileged information in the course of their duties; the sanctions are heavy fines and imprisonment.
The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) is responsible for the authorisation and supervision of trustees and the regulation of trusts. Its regulatory responsibilities also include the licencing and supervision of insurance companies, collective investment schemes and providers of investment services, banking and financial institutions.