Victor Galea, Executive Director at V.J. Salomone Marketing Ltd and former President of the Malta Chamber, said that business momentum had benefitted from the fact that no additional excise duties and other taxes had been imposed during the past two budgets.
“The Chamber has always gone on record to state that excise duties intensify the un-level playing field that exists amongst tax-abiding companies and others that are not,” he said in an address to the Parliament of Enterprises organised by the Malta Chamber.
“Chamber members are responsible operators. They comply both with their legal as well as environmental responsibilities. As far back as 2006, our members have paid fees to private waste management schemes to recover or recycle their packaging waste. The fees paid can be significant.”
“Over and above, we pay excise duties. These costs impact businesses negatively as they face unfair competition from non-compliant operators who abscond their legal duties due to non-existent market surveillance.”
Mr Galea said that in the past few months, the Chamber had been involved in discussions which will lead to the introduction of the Beverage Container Refund Scheme (BCRS), a system obliging all producers, importers and retailers of certain beverages to take responsibility for the beverage containers they are placing on the market.
“The Chamber’s involvement in these discussions was aimed at ensuring a system that would impose the least possible cost to the stakeholders concerned. This notwithstanding, the system will certainly impose costs on the participating businesses.”
He appealed on behalf of the Chamber to implement fair and effective enforcement in order to ensure a successful introduction of BCRS.
“The Chamber recognizes Government’s recent successes after strengthening the customs department and other regulatory bodies and hopes that effective measures in place can somehow guarantee fairness for the participating companies.”
“Through the Chamber, we as businesses are always open to participate in discussions that lead to fair, efficient and equitable systems for one and all.”