Following years of delay, the Government has opened public consultations for a proposal to introduce separate licences for construction industry contractors involved in demolition, excavation, and construction.
In a statement, the Malta Developers Association welcomed the proposal and urged its members to participate in the consultation period. It also said the organisation will not accept members who lacked proper licences, and would dismiss members who have their licence revoked.
The proposed regulations foresee the establishment of a Construction Industry Licensing Committee, which will be appointed by the Minister responsible for the construction industry, after consulting with the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) board.
The Committee will be composed of five members serving three-year terms. One of the members will be designated as chairperson, and the latter member will be individuals with expertise in the industry.
One of the members will have to be a perit who has practiced the profession for at least 10 years.
The Committee will be empowered to evaluate applications and issues licences and implement directives issues by the BCA board concerning skill requirements in the industry, among other duties.
To be eligible for a licence, contractors will need to:
Each licence, whether it’s for demolition, excavation, or construction, will need to be applied for individually. Once approved they will be valid for three years, at which point they will have to be renewed.
Contractors involved in demolition will be required to have at least have two years of experience and be certified as a demolition plant supervisor.
Alternatively they may have a at least three years of experience and have detailed references from periti who were involved in projects with them.
If the applicant is an entity, unskilled employees in the construction site will have to be under constant supervision of a qualified and certified demolition plant supervisor.
Similar to demolition contractors, they’ll need at least two years of experience in the service and be a licensed excavation plant supervisor, or have a at least three years of experience and have detailed references from periti who were involved in projects with them.
For entities, the same rule applies with regards for unskilled workers as demolition contractors.
Individuals seeking to obtain a construction contractor licence will be required to obtain a mason’s licence, and a national occupational standards certificate in masonry work.
If the applicant is an entity, they’ll need to prove that they have at least three years of experience in construction management with references from at least two periti, who were involved in the project, along with details of the work carried out by the applicant.
Entities would also need at least one full-time employee, who is a licensed mason, a certified block layer. They would also require a certified assistant block layer.
They would also need to ensure that construction sites are always supervised by a licensed mason, or a person in possession of a national occupational standards certificate in masonry work.
Unskilled workers will only be allowed to operate under constant supervision from a qualified workers who is a licensed mason or a certified block layer.
Contractors will need to
Contractors who submit their application in time will be will be allowed to operate until their licence is approved.
However, if they break the rules they would be subject to enforcement procedures and may have their application rejected, and therefore prevented from engaging in the industry.
Those who submit their application after 1st November 2023 but before 1st May 2024 may be allowed to operate if they receive provisional clearance.
From 1st May 2024 onward, any contractor without a licence won’t be allowed to operate until they receive their licence.
Those operating without a valid licence past the transition period, will be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period of six months or a €50,000 fine, or both. If the offence is repeated then they’ll be handed a fine of € 5,000 for each day they continue breaking the rule.
If licensed contractors fail to uphold conditions and requirements set by the licence, they risk having their licence revoked, or temporarily suspended.
The public consultation is open until 21st April 2023, and can be accessed here.
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