Transport Malta shuts down a VRT Station

Transport Malta has revoked the operating licence of a VRT Station, revoked the licence of its tester and issued an administrative fine of €11,000 for serious breaches.  Last month, this station issued thirteen pass certificates without carrying out a test, issued six pass certificates for failed tests and issued another five pass certificates for incomplete tests.  

Following a report last month, Transport Malta initiated an extensive investigation into the operation of this particular VRT station and uncovered a list of serious misgivings.  The breaches amounted to a series of penalty points and hence the €11,000 fine.  The breaches were serious enough for TM to shut down the station immediately and revoke its tester’s licence.  The tester can no longer work in any VRT station and the station has been disconnected from the system.  The operator of the station has the right to appeal before the Administrative Review Tribunal, however the station will remain shut down unless the tribunal decides otherwise.  The vehicles which were found to have obtained illegitimate pass certificates will be asked to re-do the VRT test.

Transport Malta implements a quality assurance mechanism on VRT Station Operators and Testers to ensure they comply with regulatory requirements. Data collected from the performance of individual VRT Stations is analysed on a regular basis and used to identify those VRT stations that pose a risk of non-compliance. The risk rating attributed to each VRT Station determines the frequency and level of oversight exercised by the Authority on each Station. Surveillance on all VRT Stations is carried out on an ongoing basis and includes covert and random spot-check inspections, full day inspections and also randomly calling in and re-inspecting certain vehicles that would have just passed a VRT test.

On a yearly basis, the Technical Unit within Transport Malta carries out around 300 full-day and spot-check inspections at VRT Stations and retests more than 1,200 vehicles that would have just undergone a VRT test.  These quality assurance measures are beyond other road-side technical inspections and the SMS Alert Scheme that are carried out on a regular basis by the Authority’s Enforcement arm.

In recent years, Transport Malta has revoked six operator licences and another 5 tester licences