Cross-Border (Temporary)

​Establishment of a business vs. Free (temporary) provision of services?

Establishment means the actual pursuit of an economic activity by a service provider, as referred to in Article 49 of the FEU Treaty, for an indefinite period and through a stable infrastructure from where the business of providing services is actually carried out.

Free provision of services is the exercise of a service activity in a Member State on a temporary basis. It is characterized by the absence of a stable and continuous participation in the economic life of the host Member State by a service provider which is established in another Member State.

The line between these two concepts must be drawn in view of all factual and legal circumstances. The temporary nature of the activity in question has to be determined not only in light of the duration of the provision of the service, but also in light of its regularity, periodicity or continuity. The fact that the provision of services is temporary does not mean that the provider of services within the meaning of the Treaty may not equip himself with some form of infrastructure in the host Member State (including an office, chambers or consulting rooms) in so far as such infrastructure is necessary for the purpose of performing the services in question.




Citizens of an EU Member state, and an architect or civil engineer in their respective country

European legislation defines two ways by which a professional architect or civil engineer, citizen of an EU member state, can practice the respective profession in Malta.

One of the fundamental tenets of the European Union is the freedom of professionals to establish themselves in any member state. This requires the mutual recognition of professional qualifications by the member states. The Periti Act has transposed the requirements of Directive 2005/36/EC, as amended by Directive 2013/55/EU. Article 46 (Section 8 of Chap. III) defines the minimum academic studies and professional training requirements for recognition. Annex V lists the academic titles awarded by Universities, which have notified the relative courses to the other member states, and which courses have been deemed as in conformity with the requirements of the Directive; as well as any professional certificates (warrants) issued by the respective Member states. Annex VI lists the lists of formal qualifications that benefit from acquired rights. The professionals, whose studies and professional status are listed in Annex V and Annex VI, benefit from automatic recognition as architect in every member state, including Malta.

The recognition of civil engineers is based on Chapter I of Title III. The process is referred to as the General System for the Recognition of Evidence of Training. (The General System may also be used for architects, whose formal qualifications are not listed in Annex V). In general, the access to the regulated profession of civil engineer depends on evidence that the qualifications held entitle the holder to practice this profession in the home state. In other words, if a professional has been recognized as qualified to practice as a civil engineer in his home state, then he/she shall be entitled to practice the same profession in Malta. If there are significant differences between the training undertaken in the home state compared to the training required to be undertaken in Malta, then the applicant must be given the opportunity to undertake compensation measures, such as an aptitude test, or an adaptation period of up to three years. If such differences are too large to be addressed properly by compensation measures, the applicant may be granted “partial access” to the profession, meaning that he/she can practice only that part of the profession for which the professional is fully qualified to undertake in the home member state.

If you are a professional architect or civil engineer wishing to establish yourself in Malta, you should submit an application to the local designated authority, competent to receive applications and take decisions on applications for recognition, that is, the Periti Warranting Board. This link gives information about the way such an application should be submitted and the process to be expected. You can apply online on the Official Application page.

A second important tenet is the freedom to offer services across borders. This is regulated by Directive 2006/123/EC, also transposed in the Periti Act. Consequent to this Directive, a professional architect or civil engineer has the right to offer professional services, on a temporary and occasional basis, in a member state, without the need for establishment in such state, and without undertaking the procedures that are prescribed for the formal recognition of professional qualifications.

If you wish to offer professional services in this way, you are still required to advise the Periti warranting board advance, and to submit the information as is prescribed in the law.

Veterinary Surgeon

Veterinary Surgeon

To apply for a Warrant to Practice as a Veterinary Surgeon in Malta please send an e-mail to for application details.

Legal Profession

EU (Non-Maltese) Legal Professionals wishing to practice their legal profession in Malta will be required to register with the local competent authority. Such registration will entitle them to practise under their home country professional title.  For more information please click here.


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