Commerce Department

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Commerce Department

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Department of Trade

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

2000 -


The Commerce Department was set up towards the end of 2000, on the recommendation of the Operations Review carried out in the Ministry for Economic Services.

In 1969 Malta ratified the Universal Copyright Convention and in 1977 joined the World Intellectual Property Organisation. In 1994 Malta became a founder member of the World Trade Organisation and was thus bound by the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights as from 2000. That very same year the century old laws governing copyright, patents and trademarks were repealed and replaced by new legislation. In 2002 new legislation concerning design was also introduced.


Lascaris Bastions, Dahlet Gnien is-Sultan, Valletta, Malta

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

The mission of the Commerce Department is to assist business and facilitate trade whilst providing the necessary infrastructure to encourage the securing, utilisation and respect of intellectual property rights. Initiatives aimed at fulfilling this mission are undertaken through the concerted efforts of its three directorates namely the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate, the Trade Services Directorate and the Small Businesses and Crafts Directorate assisted ably by its Support Services arm.

Industrial Property Registrations Directorate: application and registration documents related to Trademarks, Patents and Designs.

Trade Services Directorate: general correspondence files with all Licensees and application forms and containing the application form proper, correspondence exchanged with the applicants, and proof of payment.

The Import and Exports Unit: records on all applications for dual-use and military licenses issued in the past.

Small Businesses and Crafts Unit: information about Crafts Persons registered with the Malta Crafts Council; information
about participants in competitions such as the Premju Gieh l-Artigjanat Malti and NESA; SOLVIT Cases and information about Public Officers registered in IMI.

Information and Public Relations Unit: the Commerce Registry mainly holds the Trade Directorate’s files plus the General Files. As for the I&PR Unit per se, contact details of service providers are kept.

The Secretariat Office: keeps, depending on the exigencies, files relating to the running of the Commerce Department. These files relate mainly to legislation, EU proposals
and ongoing projects.

Support Services: Support Services issues attendance sheets and handles sick certificates in addition to other formalities related to absences, namely the GP51 and GP70. When required by employees, this Unit also provides the GP47, comprising details in connection with the whole career of the individual in question. Support Services sends the GP53 to OPM, in line with the employment returns.

Mandates/sources of authority

Public Service Management Code (PSMC); Copyright Act (Cap 415); Trademarks Act (Cap 416); Patents and Designs Act (Cap 417); Trade Licensing Act and the
Subsidiary Regulation 441,07 Trade Licensing Regulations.

Internal structures/genealogy

The Commerce Department is headed by Director General Commerce and compromises two directorates namely the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate and the Trade Services Directorate. The Information and Public Relations Unit and the Small Businesses and Crafts Unit also form part of the Commerce Department. These Directorates and Units are assisted by Support Services, Secretariat, Registry and Reception services.

General context

Relationships area

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points


Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Creation: 04/10/2023




Commerce Department. (2012).

Maintenance notes

Created by Zvetlana Pace Cassar on 04/10/2023.

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