In terms of the applicable regulation on the European Single Electronic Format (“ESEF”)[1] issuers must prepare Annual Financial Reports (“AFRs”) containing financial statements for financial years beginning on or after 01 January 2021 in a single electronic reporting format.

This Notice being issued by the Malta Business Registry (“MBR”) should be read in conjunction with the Circular (Clarification on European Single Electronic Format (“ESEF”) Annual Financial Reports (“AFRs”) issued by the Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”) dated 27 January 2022.

Currently, there is no reliant technology which facilitates the digital signing of AFRs in XHTML/iXBRL format using a qualified electronic signature, without causing validation or technical errors.

For this reason, and in order to implement the respective ESEF Regulation, the Registrar is accepting the Directors’ Declaration on ESEF AFRs (“the Declaration”). The Declaration is to accompany the copies of the same AFRs which are to be submitted to the Registrar as required by Article 183(1) of the Companies Act.

The Declaration, together with the recommended use of a Document ID on the ESEF AFRs should serve as adequate measures ensuring transparency and integrity for the implementation of the ESEF Regulation.

The Issuer is furthermore required to submit to the Registrar the Auditor’s Report held by the same Issuer for records purposes. The Auditor’s Report is to be duly authenticated, serving to satisfy the requirements under Article 179A of the Companies Act.

This Notice and procedure outlined herein, will remain effective until a more advanced and user-efficient system could be implemented.

Dr Geraldine A. Spiteri Lucas


[1] Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/815 of 17 December 2018 supplementing Directive 2004/109/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to regulatory technical standards on the specification of a single electronic reporting format

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