Following a previous meeting held with the Ministry for Finance, the Economy and Investment on the above subject it was agreed that GRTU would conduct a study in order to prove that there were excessive charges, impositions and bureaucracy on jewellers that could be eliminated. In summary GRTU argued as below:
In view of the decision of the European Court of Justice in case 30/99 of 21/06/2007, free movement of goods-precious metals-compulsory hallmarking (http://curia.europa.eu/), immediate action is needed so that the Consul will cease the imposition of his hallmarks at will.
The European Court of Justice held that the requirement of a hallmark consistent with the national legislation is not justified where the information provided by a hallmark struck by an independent body in another Member State is equivalent to that prescribed by the Member State of importation and intelligible to consumers of that State.
This implies that imports that are free circulating in other EU countries, according to the regulation of those other EU countries cannot be subjected to further imposition in Malta.
Removal the unnecessary fees imposed on the jewellery and precious metal traders as follows:
1. Authorised traders should not continue to pay the annual fee of €235 for exercising their right to have their own hallmark. One understands the imposition of a nominal, one time, registration fee, but the annual charge is in breach of free movement of trade, and discriminates against Maltese traders after the Services Directive is in action. The Ministry is requested to ensure that all impositions on this trade that are in conflict with the spirit and wordings of the Services Directive are removed.
2. The excessive overtime charge imposed by customs on all consignments of precious metals arriving by air should be removed. The charge is imposed irrespective of the number of consignments arriving and it reflects the inability of the customs department to meet its true obligations. Traders should no longer suffer this excessive administrative charge.
To further sustain our case GRTU also attached the situation found in Germany and Greece.
GRTU will be meeting the Ministry for Finance to discuss the above on the 10th of December. We will keep you posted on further developments.