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Commission Report [COM(1999) 69 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(1999) 508 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2000) 708 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1751 - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1407 - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1206 - Not published in the Official Journal]Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]


The 1999 Report noted that Malta would have to make substantial efforts in order to implement the entirety of the transport acquis, especially for maritime transport. Given the importance of maritime transport for Malta, priority should be given to implementing and enforcing the acquis in this sector.

The November 2000 Report highlighted the fact that, despite certain progress in the fields of road and maritime transport, Malta still had to make headway in all sectors of the transport acquis before it could achieve complete alignment. The necessary administrative capacity for implementing the acquis also had to be improved, particularly with regard to maritime safety.

The November 2001 Report noted that legislation had been aligned in the fields of road transport safety and maritime safety in particular, whereas Malta had made only limited progress in the field of air transport.

The October 2002 Report noted that Malta had made some progress in the maritime and aviation sectors. However, it needed to focus its efforts on aligning its legislation and stepping up its administrative capacity, especially in the field of maritime safety and transport.

The 2003 Report concludes that Malta is meeting the requirements arising from the accession negotiations as regards trans-European transport networks and in the areas of road and air transport. However, it needs to reinforce its administrative capacity for project management regarding trans-European transport networks, to complete alignment of its legislation on air transport and to further reinforce its administrative capacity to implement the acquis in the area of maritime transport.


The common transport policy is based on three main sectors.


As regards land transport, amendments to the Public Transport Authority Act, which partly transpose the Community acquis on transport into Maltese legislation, were adopted in August 2000, as were all the provisions of the acquis on driving licences. The new legislation on driving licences entered into force in 2001. A new Transport Authority, responsible for all land transport issues including inspections and controls, is already operational.

In 2002, regulations transposing the Directive on driving licences were issued, providing for the introduction of the credit card format for driving licences. Malta has started aligning vehicle taxes with the fiscal harmonisation acquis on charging for heavy goods vehicles. As regards the social field, Malta needs to complete its alignment with the acquis, notably regarding the three "admission to the occupation" criteria for all new and existing transport operators.

As regards trans-European transport networks, Malta has adopted a methodology for collecting information to bring its accounting system for expenditure on infrastructure into line with the acquis. The administrative capacity to prepare for the investments that will be needed in transport infrastructure requires further strengthening, in both qualitative and quantitative terms.

In the air transport sector, the framework legislation is in place and essentially in line with the acquis, but some modifications are needed, notably regarding noise reduction and ground handling. The administrative capacity is satisfactory in overall terms, but specific vacancies need to be filled and training of staff should be pursued.

The Regulation transposing the EC Regulation on the denied-boarding compensation system for scheduled air transport entered into force in 2001. A new Air Traffic Control Centre was inaugurated. There has been some strengthening of the Department of Civil Aviation through the recruitment of additional professional and technical staff. In 2002, a regulation was published to transpose the Community rules on allocation of slots at Community airports.

In the maritime transport sector, amendments to the Merchant Shipping Act were passed in July 2000 to align Maltese legislation with the Community acquis on crew qualifications and other maritime safety standards. New laws should also include safety regulations for passenger ships. Provisions on maritime cabotage still have to be transposed. There is now a complete register of ships flying the Maltese flag and the statistical records are constantly being improved. However, significant efforts are still needed to improve maritime safety. Malta should particularly endeavour to conform with Community rules on Port State controls and Flag State inspections by having more frequent inspections and by developing a framework for cooperation with classification societies. It must also ensure that there is a sufficient number of qualified inspectors to apply the acquis.

In 2001, Malta submitted an action plan to the Commission with the aim of establishing a timetable for alignment with the acquis.

In 2002, merchant shipping regulations on distressed seamen entered into force. Malta has acceded to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation and to the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms located on the continental shelf. In 2003, the relevant administrative structures were put in place, but staffing levels should be further strengthened. Malta should pursue its efforts to further improve safety standards.

Regarding horizontal issues, Malta must assess its transport infrastructure needs in order to prepare for its participation in the trans-European transport networks.

Last updated: 01.03.2004