Business News

Regulator gives breathing space to VFA sector ‘still in its infancy’

30th June 2020

Virtual Financial Asset agents given more time to settle supervisory fees

The Malta Financial Services Authority decided to give some breathing space to the fledgling VFA sector, extending the time in which Virtual Financial Asset agents must pay their supervisory fees.

The regulator has issued a circular “which effectively postpones the payment of annual supervisory fees till December 2020 to support the VFA sector, which is still in its infancy,” a spokeswoman said.

There are 20 VFA agents in Malta registered to carry out activities in line with the Virtual Financial Assets Act. The annual supervisory fees they pay are established in a schedule within the Virtual Financial Assets Regulations, 2018. There are three types of fees - €10,000, €12,000, and €15,000 – according to how the agents are registered under the law.

By law, VFA agents are expected to pay all amounts due to the MFSA promptly. Annual supervisory fees are payable on the anniversary of the agent’s registration.

A revised version of the rules published by the financial services watchdog provides an exception to the original conditions where the annual supervisory fees are due between 1st May 2020 and 18th December 2020. In such instances, the fees must be paid to the MFSA by 18th December 2020.

The law defines an VFA agent as a person registered with the MFSA and authorised to carry out the profession of advocate, accountant, auditor, or corporate services providers.

For the purposes of the law, a Virtual Financial Asset consists of any form of digital medium recordation used as a digital medium of exchange unit of account, or store of value and that is not electronic money, a financial instrument or a virtual token.

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