Archive for July, 2010

Insurance Made Easy

July 28, 2010

As part of 77 Great Estates’ concierge service, our real estate firm may introduce you to insurance firms and insurance broker firms which enjoy a licence to operate as an Insurance firm/broker by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

Said firms offer various and innovative types of commercial or personal lines insurance policies and life insurance products while striving to satisfy all your insurance requirements. Their organisations are made up of qualified and trained personnel who are able to give each customer the individual attention one deserves. They are also ready and willing to provide a quote or advise you as to what type of insurance product you may need.

Corporate

The main objective of the insurance brokers is the business of providing insurance coverage for clients who are situated throughout the Maltese Islands and the EU mainland. As brokers they obtain various quotes from the local market and from foreign markets in order to provide the best possible cover for the risk which is being covered. The insurance products sold are various, ranging from personal insurances such as home and motor policies to commercial policies for corporate clients. They are always pleased to meet up with clients and prospective customers to discuss and advise as to their insurance needs.

They also perform claims handling for its clients and have all the necessary experience from its staff to be able to handle all claims procedures. This ensures that there is a continuous high level of customer service from quote stage up until claims settlement.

The insurance broker firms operate under a very strict regulatory regime of the Malta Financial Services Authority which requires insurance broking companies to:

• have a minimum share capital of €100,000

• have a Professional Indemnity Insurance with a Limit of Indemnity of at least €1,000,000

• operate a “Business of Insurance Broking” bank account and

• hold a Fidelity bond of at least €12,000.

Some firms form part of international networks in order to tap into markets which are not always available in the local market. Said networks are made up of strong established companies each of which is able to offer the insight and expertise you need to ensure you get the best results from your global programme. This is peace of mind for you and your business not just in any language but in every language.

Products

1) Personal Insurance:

Health Insurance

A Health insurance is necessary to have because we all know how often we visit doctors and sometimes require surgery as well as to avoid unnecessary delays due to waiting lists for the public health service. The insurance firms may offer a wide range of plans starting from the basic individual health plan to the corporate health plan which may be tailor made to your company’s and your needs.

Motor Insurance

Anyone who owns a motor vehicle must have a valid motor insurance policy. The minimum cover required by law is Third Party Only which covers liability to third parties i.e. claims made by third parties against you for damage to their property.

Since this cover is very limited and covers no protection for the insured vehicle, one may purchase Third Party Fire & Theft insurance as well as Comprehensive cover. The former offers fire and theft cover to the insured vehicle whereas the latter pays for damage to the insured vehicle irrespective of liability for the accident.

Insurance firms are able to issue certificates and licences instantly and in this way ensure that the renewal of your motor insurance is absolutely hassle free.

Home Insurance

We all know how hard we strive to have a comfortable home. What could be worse than opening your front door to discover a fire has damaged your home.

Insuring your home can ease the difficulties faced in these and other circumstances that we all very well know could happen to us too not just to the neighbour down the road!

The market offers various home plans mainly covering the Buildings, Contents, Personal possessions (All Risks) and Liability. Many extensions such as freezer contents, sports equipment and the like are also available.

Marine Hull

Whatever boat you own, the insurance firms are able to offer insurance covering the hull as well as third party liability. This ensures you are fully protected when the boat is ashore as well as afloat.

Travel Insurance

There are different forms of travel insurance offered by the market varying from the basic travel policy to the executive type covering various types of holidays, be it a cruise or a skiing holiday, motoring holiday or a business trip. Contact us and with all the online systems available to the insurance firms, they are able to issue travel policies immediately and you will have your travel policy in the shortest time possible.

Life Insurance

Wherever you are in your life – setting up a business, buying a new home, starting a family or planning for your retirement, the insurance firms have the life insurance and investment products that are flexible to suit your ever changing needs throughout life. Whether it is individual, joint or corporate life, they have the solution for you.

2) Business Policies

The insurance firms offer a wide range of policies for the small to medium business as well as the large corporation. The following are some of the policies available and they would be only too pleased to meet you and discuss your insurance needs in order to have your business covered:

• Fire & Theft

• Employers Liability

• Public Liability

• Group Personal Accident

• Loss of Profits

• Freight Forwarders Legal Liability

Marine Cargo Insurance

Insurance firms offer cover on a wide range of goods from foodstuffs and electrical goods to personal effects and valuable paintings. They offer a complete service of issuing the certificate of insurance as well as claims settlement.

For the importer or exporter who deals with many consignments in a month, certain insurance firms offer them an open cover contract whereby consignments may be declared to the insurance firm on a monthly basis at the end of each month thus avoiding the hassle of informing the insurance firm of each and every consignment as and when they arise.

For further information, kindly contact 77 Great Estates on (00356) 2125 2455; (00356) 9944 7444; skype: info.77GreatEstates or info@77GreatEstates.com.

Advertisements

Taxation of Ship Management Companies in Malta, by Dr. Larry J. Gauci LL.M. (IMLI), LL.D. of Hugh Peralta & Associates – Advocates

July 20, 2010

Summary:

 For a ship management company to qualify for the fiscal benefits under the new tonnage tax regime as amended, the company has to operate from Malta.  Therefore the company must have an office in Malta manned with qualified personnel.

 Basically, qualifying ship management companies will not pay any income tax on profits arising in Malta, provided they pay 25% of the annual tonnage tax for each vessel under their management.  This applies both to ship management companies providing technical management and, also, to crew management companies. 

 This tax advantage is attractive for jurisdictions like Norway, Denmark and UK where the cost of operations are much higher than Malta’s.

 Article:

Following the publication of the EU Commission’s Communication providing guidance on State aid to ship management companies (2009/C132/06) last year, Malta has amended the fiscal benefits available under Malta’s tonnage tax regime with a view to extend the tonnage tax benefits to other qualifying persons, including, ship management companies. The link to the Malta flag is no longer a sine qua non requirement, and it is now possible for a Maltese shipping organization (private, limited liability) to own a vessel registered in a Shipping Register of another Member State, provided certain conditions are met.

 The amendment tonnage tax regulations cater for 3 new scenarios, which are the following:

            A Maltese shipping organization owning a vessel registered under another EU flag.

  1. A Maltese shipping organization owning, chartering, managing, administering or otherwise operating a vessel outside the EU; and
  2. A Maltese shipping organization whose objects are the carrying out of ship management activities.

 

  1. 1.       Vessel registered under another EU flag, owned / bareboat chartered by a Maltese shipping organization;

The new regulations have extended the fiscal benefits granted pursuant to the tonnage tax regime to vessels which qualify as “Community ship’.  A vessel shall only qualify as a “Community ship” if the shipping organization has paid in Malta 25% of the annual tonnage tax that would be payable had the ship been flagged in Malta.

  1. 2.       A vessel not being a “Community ship” as described in 1) above which is owned, chartered, managed, administered or otherwise operated by a Maltese shipping organization;

In order for a Non-Community ship to be eligible under this category, a number a conditions have to be fulfilled:

  1. the strategic and commercial management of all ships is actually carried out by the shipping organization from the Community; AND

 

  1. at least 60% of the total tonnage of the shipping organization is owned, managed or operated under a Community flag; OR

 

  1. its total percentage of Community-flagged tonnage is, on the date when the shipping organization starts operating the ship, not less than the percentage of the shipping organization’s Community-flagged tonnage on either the date on which the company was established or on the 17th January, 2004; OR

 

  1. the shipping organization’s percentage of Community-flagged tonnage that it owns entirely, charters, manages, administers or otherwise operates has not decreased over a period of 3 years or for such shorter period during which the shipping organization was in existence (if the company has been established for a period of less than 3 years).

 The last 2 conditions (iii) and (iv) are deemed to have been satisfied if, in the discretion of the Registrar-General, there is a commitment by the shipping organization to increase or at least to maintain the share of tonnage under the flag of 1 of the Member States.

Moreover, 25% of the tonnage tax that would be payable had the ship been flagged in Malta, will have to be paid in respect of such vessel.

 Income Tax exemptions to ship management companies:

A ship management company is a shipping organization which is established in the Community, which has assumed responsibility for either or both of the technical or crew management of a vessel and in respect of which the ship management company has paid 25% of the annual tonnage tax payable in respect of the particular vessel.  Furthermore, the ship management company has to comply with international standards and fulfils requirements established under EU and Maltese law. 

The ship management activities in respect of which the tax exemption applies are those activities carried out by a ship manager and consisting in, but not limited to, the entire crewing of a ship, and, or the provision of technical management thereto.  In other words, the income of a ship management company is exempt from tax in Malta, provided the following conditions are met;

  1. payment of 25% of the annual tonnage tax in respect of each vessel; and
  2. at least 2/3rd to the fleet managed by the ship manager is managed from the Community; and
  3. the tonnage managed by the ship manager must satisfy 1 of the following conditions;
    1. at least 60% of the tonnage is Community-flagged; or
    2. the percentage of Community-flagged tonnage immediately after it begins to operate an additional ship is not less than that obtaining as on the 11th June 2009 or 1 year after the ship manager began to operate, whichever is the later; or
    3. the percentage of Community-flagged tonnage has not decreased over a period of 3 years or for such lesser period during which the ship manager has been established.

Again, the last 2 conditions are deemed to have been satisfied, if in the discretion of the Registrar-General, there is a commitment to increase or at least maintain the share of Community tonnage, in respect of which ship management activities were being provided by it on the 11th June 2009 or 1 year from when the ship manager began to operate.

For further information, kindly contact 77 Great Estates on (00356) 2125 2455; (00356) 9944 7444; skype: info.77GreatEstates or info@77GreatEstates.com.

Jazz festival in groove for fans and musicians – Article by David Schembri, The Times of Malta, 20th July 2010

July 20, 2010

Richard Bona Photo: Gege Gatt

One trick in music is that if you hit a wrong note while playing, repeat it, and then it’s jazz.

If that were indeed the case, there must be something right with that “wrong note”, as the 20th edition of the three-day Malta Jazz Festival struck a chord with the music fans who turned up night after night to listen to the world-class line-up.

The festival kicked off with a bang on Thursday with Francesca Galea accompanied by Leonardo Montana, followed by nu-jazz trio The Bad Plus, after which fusion legend Mike Stern and his band hit the stage.

Also going off with a bang were the fireworks from the Kalkara feast, which had been postponed due to the World Cup. It was only after the fireworks’ display that young songbird Esperanza Spalding could do her set after Joshua Redman and his double trio, on Friday.

Ms Spalding had shown a particular appreciation for Malta and its history saying: “It’s beautiful. I understand why people wanna fight for this place; it’s gorgeous.”

The last night was opened by jazz veteran Charles “City” Gatt and his quartet, who injected a strong Maltese flavour with a jazzed-up traditional tune by the late Charles Camilleri.

Drummer Ari Hoenig of the Ari Hoenig Punk Bop Trio, renowned for playing melodies by altering the pressure on the drum, kept adding to the local flavour by playing Maltese folk tune Lanċa Ġejja w Oħra Sejra on his kit, then going on to fuse it with a jazz standard.

“I learnt it today,” Mr Hoenig told The Times, adding that as musicians they were used to “quoting” other songs while improvising.

Speaking on his technique of altering the pitch of the drums using his elbows, Mr Hoenig said he practised it “like any violin or cello player would, by learning at what positions different notes are”.

Quotations were also present in Richard Bona’s closing set, where at some point Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water was heard.

Mr Bona proved to be a true showman, interacting with the people who gathered on the bastions overlooking Ta’ Liesse to follow the show. He ended his set with people dancing in front of the stage and singing along – apart from when he asked the women over 40 in the audience to sing along with him and there was no response leading him to jokingly ask whether women of this age group had all been executed in Malta.

Speaking to this newspaper afterwards, the bassist, weary from signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans, said he would be back any day.

His approach to music, as technical as it might be to play, is simple. “Music should be fun,” he says.

For further information, kindly contact 77 Great Estates on (00356) 2125 2455; (00356) 9944 7444; skype: info.77GreatEstates or info@77GreatEstates.com.

Verdala International School – Building Bright Futures

July 9, 2010

Verdala International School (VIS) on Malta was founded to meet the needs of those families from overseas who do decide to stay, or Maltese families who seek a different style of education.  Today its unique campus is located inside Fort Pembroke, and its attendant barrack blocks, on the north east coast of Malta.

VIS is a non-profit organization that operates through a Board of Directors. The School’s Board is comprised of an appointee of the U.S. Embassy in Malta, an appointee of the Minister of Education of Malta, three elected parents, and two elected teachers.

VIS students have been awarded places at some of the most well-known and prestigious universities around the world.

For further information, kindly contact 77 Great Estates on (00356) 2125 2455; (00356) 9944 7444; skype: info.77GreatEstates or info@77GreatEstates.com.

Isle of MTV concert draws the crowds – Article, The Times of Malta, 01st July, 2010

July 1, 2010

 

A huge crowd on Wednesday evening filled up the Granaries in Floriana for the fourth Isle of MTV concert.

An enthusiastic crowd shouted and danced to the tunes presented by top performers Kelis, Scissor Sisters, Kid Rock and David Guetta in a mega show that is estimated to have been attended by some 50,000 people.

The people started filling up the Granaries hours before the concert started in a bid to secure a good position at the front.

For further information, kindly contact 77 Great Estates on (00356) 2125 2455; (00356) 9944 7444; skype: info.77GreatEstates or info@77GreatEstates.com.