Complain to the Trader first - Before proceeding to register a complaint with the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA) all efforts need to be made to contact and reach an agreement with the trader with whom you are involved in a dispute.
When complaining to a trader you may do this in person, over the phone or in writing. If you complained in person or over the phone and don’t agree with the trader’s reply, you should follow up with a complaint in writing. Make sure that you send such notification to the trader through registered mail within 2 months from the date on which you detected the lack of conformity in the good in question.
Draft letters of notification: English Version, Maltese Version
Make sure to keep a copy of the letter. If you don’t get a reply to your letter after a reasonable time or you don’t agree with the trader’s reply, you can register a complaint with the MCCAA.
Registering a complaint with the MCCAA
You can register a complaint either by:
visiting the premises of the Complaints and Conciliation Directorate at Mizzi House, National Road, Blata l-Bajda or at our Valletta Office at 47A South Street. The office's opening hours in Winter (from 1st October to the 31st May) are from Monday to Friday between 8.30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., with the exception of Wednesdays when the opening hours are between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. In Summer (from the 1st June to the 30th September) the opening hours are from 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. – Make sure to submit all the relevant documentation e.g. copies of receipts and guarantees;
writing a letter addressed to the Director, Complaints and Conciliation Directorate, Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority at Mizzi House, National Road, Blata l-Bajda, HMR 9010;
completing the online form
downloading and filling in the complaint form sending it via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you choose to register a complaint by email or letter, make sure you include all the relevant details as to the facts of the case and copies of the related documentation. It is important that you include your identity card number, address and contact numbers in all written correspondence. It is also important that you include a statement in the your email/letter giving consent to the MCCAA to divulge your details to the trader/entity involved in your case in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Click here to download the consent statement.
Your case is evaluated and if your complaint is justified at law and falls within the remit of the MCCAA, it will be assigned to a complaint handler.
The complaint handler may request further information or documentation from your end. It is your responsibility to provide all the facts and documentation necessary for the complaint handler to carry out conciliation.
The complaint handler will contact the trader and inform him of his obligations at law. All efforts will be made to settle the case in an amicable manner. Note, however that the complaint handler’s role is limited to mediation, and that the resultant outcome will largely depend on the good will of the parties involved. The mediator will spare no effort to reach the ultimate aim of finding an amicable solution.
The complaint handler will inform you of any developments throughout the conciliation process.
If an amicable solution is not reached, you can either (at your request):
- submit a claim before the Consumer Claims Tribunal (CCT)*, or
- withdraw the complaint.
Referring a complaint to the Consumer Claims Tribunal – Note: The Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear and determine claims where the value of the claim (exclusive of interests and costs) does not exceed €3,500
If you choose to refer your case to CCT, you will be asked to fill in the ‘Notice of Claim’ form and submit it to the Consumer Claims Tribunal’s Registry at 47A, South Street, Valletta together with the applicable registration fee. The claim can also be filed by registered ‘advice of receipt’ mail.
The trader will be informed of your claim by the Consumer Claims Tribunal and will have the opportunity to register a Reply to the Claim. The trader may also choose to make a counterclaim against you. If the trader registers a Reply to a Claim and makes a counterclaim, you will be served with a copy.
The Secretary of the Tribunal will inform you as to when your case will be heard before the Arbiter.
You will appear before the Arbiter and will be given the opportunity to submit all the facts of the case. Make sure that you submit all copies of the relevant documentation and correspondence and where possible the goods, which are the subject of the complaint.
After the hearing/s, the Arbiter will issue his/her decision.
In certain instances, there is a right of appeal from the decision of the CCT. An appeal can be lodged within 20 days from the date of the decision by filing an application to the competent Court of Appeal.
Enforcement of a CCT Decision –
If the CCT decision is issued in your favour, and 20 days have lapsed since the date of the decision, you should contact the trader and demand that the Tribunal’s decision be honoured.
If the trader refuses to comply with the Tribunal’s decision, it is advisable that you seek advice from your private lawyer so as to seek the execution of the CCT’s decision through the applicable civil remedies.
In this respect, kindly note that Article 25 (3) of the Consumer Affairs Act (Chapter 378 of the Laws of Malta) provides that any Court fees payable in respect of any warrant issued for the purpose of enforcing a decision of the Consumer Claims Tribunal shall amount to one-half of the court fees that are normally due.