Use of Cash (Restriction) Regulations

The Role

In October 2019, during the 2020 Budget speech delivered by the Minister for Finance and Financial Services, the Government announced Malta’s first policy decision to impose restrictions on cash payments for the acquisition of certain high-value goods. This was done primarily to curb cash payments in those sectors of the economy most susceptible to be used for money laundering purposes.

Following the announcement of this policy decision, in 2020 the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) was entrusted with a further function, that to monitor compliance with any restrictions on payments in cash introduced under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). To this end, amendments to Article 16(1) of the PMLA were introduced by means of Act I of 2020.

On 9th March 2021, the Use of Cash (Restriction) Regulations (S.L. 373.04) (“the Regulations”) were published in the Government Gazette as Legal Notice 81 of 2021 and came into effect on the same day.

Regulatory Context

Through these Regulations, it is now a criminal offence to make or receive payment or carry out a transaction in cash amounting to €10,000 or more (or its equivalent in another currency), whether in a single transaction or in several linked transactions. This restriction applies only in respect of the sale or purchase of any of the following:

  • Immovable Property
  • Jewellery, Precious metals, Precious stones and Pearls
  • Motor-Vehicles
  • Sea-Craft
  • Works of Art
  • Antiques

A fine of not less than 40% of the sum paid, received, or otherwise transacted in cash, in excess of €9,999.99, can be applied to any person who fails to comply with these Regulations. There is scope for a lesser administrative penalty through the conclusion of a settlement agreement upon the consent of the Attorney General. Directors, managers, or any other officers exercising executive functions in a company or other undertaking, or body of persons, can be held liable in solidum with the company, undertaking or body of persons in case of any such breach.

For further guidance on common interpretational issues of these Regulations, interested persons are invited to refer to the frequently asked questions (FAQs) below.


Use of Cash (Restriction) Regulations (S.L. 373.04)

Report Suspected Breach of the Cash Restriction Regulations

The general public can submit information with respect to a suspicious cash transaction via an online form. The person submitting this information can remain anonymous.

All subject persons need to use the goAML platform in order to submit a suspicious transaction in breach of the Cash Restriction Regulations and as such, registration on the goAML platform is mandatory.


These questions and answers do not constitute the entire set of obligations, penalties and powers relating to the Use of Cash (Restriction) Regulations but are intended to explain the more commonly asked questions by buyers, traders and other interested parties. These interpretations are not binding on the FIAU and do not constitute legal advice.


Skip to content