The application process for UCITS in Malta

Essentially, the procedure for the application for a collective investment scheme licence follows three stages:

The Preparatory Phase

Fund promoters prepare a detailed proposal of their activities and discuss the terms at meetings with the MFSA

 The MFSA will respond with guidance and clarifications as necessary

 A draft application form together with all the required supporting evidence is submitted by the promoters

The documents will be reviewed by the MFSA and additional information may be requested.

The Pre-Licensing Phase

When all review points noted in the draft application are resolved, the MFSA will issue an ‘in principle’ approval for license. The Fund promoters must:

Finalise any outstanding issues

Submit a signed final application form together with all supporting document

A license will be issued once all pre-licensing issues are resolved.

The MFSA may only license a UCITS if it is satisfied that the UCITS will comply in all respects with the relevant legislation, regulations and rules and that its directors and officers, or in the case of a unit trust or limited partnership, its trustee(s) or general partner(s) respectively, are fit and proper persons to carry out the functions required of them in connection with the scheme.

The post-licensing / pre-commencement of business phase

The MFSA will determine whether the applicant needs to satisfy any post-licensing matters before formal commencement of business can begin. The MFSA has the right to vary or revoke any service license conditions (SLC) or to impose new conditions.

The MFSA would ordinarily require the following documents in support of an application for a CIS license by a UCITS:

  • Application Form
  • Application Fee
  • A near final draft of the offering document
  • A copy of the appropriate approval of the Offering Document by the Board of Directors
  • A near final draft of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the UCITS
  • Personal questionnaires of each proposed director of the UCITS
  • Personal questionnaires of the Directors and Qualifying Shareholders of external service-providers (i.e. those shareholders holding more than 10% of the shares in such entities) but only if such service providers are operating from non-recognised jurisdictions.

The time afforded by the UCITS Directive to the respective competent authorities of the Member States to approve (or refuse) an application for a UCITS licence is two months from submission of a complete application (six months for a self-managed UCITS).

A Maltese UCITS, that has been granted or has applied for a license may apply for admissibility to listing with the MFSA, acting in its capacity as the Listing Authority. An application for admission to listing must be submitted to the Malta Stock Exchange at the same time as application for admissibility to listing is made to the Listing Authority.