Sanctions legislation to be refined

Legislation relating to the imposition of international sanctions are being refined through proposed regulations backed unanimously in Parliament this evening.

The proposed regulations amend the National Interest (Enabling Powers) Act which had already received a significant overhaul in 2018. Until then, sanctions imposed by the European Union or the United Nations were not implemented immediately in Malta, giving people a window of opportunity to shift funds away from the country.

The new regulations shift political responsibility over sanctions from the Prime Minister to the Foreign Affairs Minister. Minister Evarist Bartolo, however, emphasised that sanctions would be issued  upon the recommendations of the Sanctions Monitoring Board and of the Attorney General, and that he would not be able to interfere.

The bill also gives the Sanctions Monitoring Board the power to impose administrative fines on financial operators who fail to ensure compliance with sanctions, and to issue directives requiring them to take measures to remedy the situation.