Customs regulations for your trip to Malta

Last modified: July 25, 2023
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Customs regulations

Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

The Union Customs Code (UCC) was adopted in 2013 and its substantive provisions apply from 1 May 2016.  It replaces the Community Customs Code (CCC).  In addition to the UCC, the European Commission has published delegated and implementing regulations on the actual procedural changes.  These are included in

Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446, Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/341, and the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2447.

There are a number of changes in the revised customs policy that also require an integrated IT system from the customs authorities.  In April 2016, the European Commission published an implementing decision (number: 2016/578) on the work program relating to the development and deployment of the electronic systems of the UCC. In March 2018, the EC published a proposal (EU) No 2018/0040 for a draft regulation amending Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 to prolong the transitional use of means other than the electronic data-processing techniques provided for in the Union Customs Code.  The EC continues to evaluate the timeline by which the EU-wide integration of the customs IT system can be implemented.  The current deadline of December 2020 may be extended until 2025 (Proposed RegulationKey Link: Homepage of Customs and Taxation Union Directorate (TAXUD) Website

Customs Valuation – Most customs duties and value added tax (VAT) are expressed as a percentage of the value of goods being declared for importation.

Given the magnitude of EU imports every year, it is important that the value of such commerce is accurately measured for the purposes of:

  • economic and commercial policy analysis,
  • application of commercial policy measures,
  • proper collection of import duties and taxes, and
  • import and export statistics.

Malta and the EU apply an internationally accepted concept of customs value.

The value of imported goods is one of three ‘elements of taxation’ that provides the basis for assessment of the customs debt, which is the technical term for the amount of duty that has to be paid, the other ones being the origin of the goods and the customs tariff.

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Original passport
  • Packing list
  • Letter of employment from origin
  • Valued inventory for Maltese Customs
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) / express release / air waybill (AWB)

Specific Information

  • Letter from the employer at origin must attest the following:
    • The owner of the goods has been employed outside the European Union (EU) for a period of at least 12 months.
    • It must show beginning and end dates of the employment period.
    • It must explain why the owner of the goods has been transferred to Malta.
  • Any other documents received from the Embassy or the Consulate at origin confirming that the owner of the goods has lived outside the EU for the past 12 months will be accepted.
  • Customs deposit is required by Maltese Customs.
    • The deposit will be refunded directly to the owner of the goods by Customs after approximately 12 months of living in Malta.
  • All imported items must be used.
    • If new items are found, Customs will assess duty and value added tax (VAT) charges, which must be paid prior to the release of the goods.
  • Shipment cannot be considered personal effects if goods are being returned back to Malta within12 months of outbound date.
  • Owner of the goods must be present upon shipment arrival and register at the Inland Revenue Department prior to the start of the Customs clearance process.
    • Foreigners must register at the expatriates section in Block 1.
    • Returning immigrants must register at Tax Payer Services in Block 3.
  • For all shipments originating outside the EU, deposits must be paid prior to examination of the goods.
    • Approximate deposit figures are paid to the Director General of Customs as follows:
      • € 600.00 for LCL or airfreight – deposit amount varies according to volume
      • € 1182.00 (minimum) for 20ft container
      • € 2364.00 (minimum) for 40ft container

Although there are no limits on the amount of alcohol and tobacco one can bring in from EU countries, customs officials are more likely to ask you questions if you have more than:

Tobacco products:

  • 800 cigarettes;
  • 400 cigarillos (max. 3g each);
  • 200 cigars;
  • 1kg smoking tobacco;

Alcoholic beverages:

  • 10 litres of spirits over 22%;
  • 20 litres of alcoholic beverages less than 22%;
  • 90 litres of wine (though no more than 60 litres of sparkling wine);
  • 110 litres of beer.

These quantities can be seized if customs are satisfied that they are of a commercial nature.

Free Import quantities when travelling from outside EU

Alcohol and alcoholic beverages

Over 17 years olds can bring (in personal luggage) the following quantities:

  • 1 litre of alcohol that does not exceed 22% volume of alcohol, or un-denatured ethyl alcohol 80% volume and over
  • 2 litres of alcohol that does not exceeds 22% volume of alcohol
  • 4 litres of still wine
  • 16 litres of beer.

The passengers can combine the first two types of alcohol as long the alcohol volume does not exceed 100%.

Over 17 years old that belong to the following categories:

  • persons residing in the frontier zone (region beyond the expanding borders of the European Union including: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro)
  • frontier-zone workers,
  • the crews of means of transport used between third countries and the Community,
    may bring (in your personal luggage) alcohol in the following quantities:
  • 0,5 litre of alcohol exceeding 22% volume, or un-denatured ethyl alcohol of 80% volume and over
  • a total of 0,5 litre of alcohol and alcoholic beverages of an alcoholic strength not exceeding 22% volume
  • 0,5 litre of still wine
  • 2 litres of beer.

The passengers can combine the first two types of alcohol as long the alcohol volume does not exceed 100%.Note that the consideration of what constitutes frontier countries lies entirely with EU and the list outlined above may change.

Tobacco products

When travelling by air or sea , over 17 years old can bring tobacco products for personal use only the following:

  • 200 cigarettes or
  • 100 cigarillos or
  • 50 cigars or
  • 250 g of smoking tobacco.

Each amount specified in above points will amount to 100% of the total allowance for tobacco products.

When travelling by land, over 17 years old can bring tobacco products for personal use only the following:

  • 40 cigarettes or
  • 20 cigarillos or
  • 10 cigars or
  • 50 grams of smoking tobacco.

Each amount specified in all the points will amount to 100% of the total allowance for tobacco products.

Other goods

  • Medication – for personal use only
  • Personal items of non-commercial nature worth up to 430 euro when travelling by air or sea
  • Personal items of non-commercial nature worth up to 300 euro when travelling by land
  • Personal items of non-commercial nature worth up to 150 euro for travellers under 15 years of age.

Non-commercial item are of an occasional nature and consist exclusively of goods for the personal or family use of the traveller, or of goods intended as presents. The nature and quantity of the goods must not be such as to indicate that they are being imported for commercial reasons.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • pets need to be identifiable (tattoo or an electronic identification system), vaccinated against rabies and have a health certificate. For more information please refer to the nearest embassy.
  • maximum of 10 kg of meat, milk and dairy products coming from Croatia, Færøer Islands, Greenland and Iceland
  • powdered milk for babies, food for children and special medical food (including pets food) may be allowed if they need not to be refrigerated prior opening and that it is brand packaged food and the packaging has original seal (unless in use at the time) and its quantity must not exceed the weight of 10 kg originating from Croatia, Færøer Islands, Greenland and Iceland, and of 2 kg if originating in other countries.
  • fish only if it is disembowelled and does not exceed the weight of 20 kg,
  • currency – no restrictions if coming from EU country. Declarable for all travelling outside EU when the amount exceeds 10.000 euro or equivalent in another currency.
  • coats, fur and leather shoes made of protected animals will need special authorization

Prohibited Items

  • Meat and milk and any items thereof from non-EU countries with the exception of limited amounts from Andorra, Croatia, the Faeroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and small amounts of specific products from other countries
  • Protected species and products thereof as listed by the CITES (Washington Convention) for example ivory, tortoise shell, coral, reptile skin, wood from Amazonian forests.

Miscellaneous (Pets, Motors, and others.)

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original express release / original bill of lading
  • Original car log book
  • Purchase invoice showing purchase price
  • VEH07 and all requested documents attached
  • Photos of the vehicle

Specific Information

  • The original car log book must be presented to the Customs officer when processing Customs documents.
  • Customs can opt to make valuation of vehicle and tax and duties will be applied on the value declared by Customs.
  • Imported used vehicles are subject to Customs duty as per Customs tariff and import registration fee as established by the Malta Transport Authority.

Pets

Documents Required

  • Pet passport
  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health record
  • Import license issued by the Director of Veterinary Services

Specific Information

  • Cats and dogs are subject to quarantine at Luqa Airport.
  • The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) allows some breeds of animals originating at qualifying countries to enter Malta without quarantine if all required criteria is met as follows:
    • Fitted with a microchip
    • Vaccinated against rabies
    • Blood tests showing adequate protection against rabies
  • Pets cannot enter Malta until at least 6 months from the date the blood test shows a successful result.

Pets:

Cats and dogs are subject to Regulation (EC) No. 998/2003 and Regulation (EU) 576/2013 . Cats and dogs may be subject to quarantine at Luqa Airport. Pet owners are required to advise, in advance, of their arrival, to ensure that BIP officers are available to release their pets without delays.

Pets must be accompanied by:

  • Import license from the Director of Veterinary Services; and
  • Certificate from the Veterinary Service of the country of origin according to the conditions of importation. Mammals and birds must be accompanied by an import license from the Director of Veterinary Services together with an official health certificate from the veterinary service from the country of origin.

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS):allows pet carnivores (cats, dogs and ferrets) originating from qualifying countries as well as those residing in Malta that travel to any of the qualifying countries to (re-)enter Malta without quarantine if satisfying all the conditions. Please consult www.veterinary.gov.mtfor an up-to-date list of qualifying countries. Note that this does not apply to other pet animals. To qualify for the scheme, the pet must be:

  • fitted with a microchip;
  • vaccinated against rabies;
  • be blood tested, the result of the test must show that the animal is adequately protected against rabies. Pets cannot enter Malta until at least 3 calendar months after the date from the blood test that gave a successful result;
  • issued with a Pet Passport, issued by the competent veterinary authority of the country of origin;
  • treated with praziquantel for tapeworm and with fiprinol for ticks 24-28 hours before commencing the journey to Malta.

Birds are subject to Decision (EC) No. 25/2007.

Please consult www.veterinary.gov.mt for an up-to-date list of qualifying countries and for full information on conditions and documentation for the import of pets, including those pets entering Malta from non-qualifying countries. Alternatively, contact the Malta Veterinary Services. Tel: 356 21 225363. Fax: 356 21 238105.

Baggage Clearance regulations:

Baggage is cleared at the first airport of entry in Malta.

Exempt: baggage of transit passengers with a destination outside of Malta if the onward flight is within 24 hours. Otherwise baggage has to be labelled to Malta and is cleared at the first airport of entry in Malta.

Currency

Currency Import regulations:

Same regulations as for Export apply.

Currency Export regulations:

Local currency (Euro-EUR) and foreign currencies: no restrictions if arriving from or traveling to another EU Member State .
If arriving directly from or traveling to a country outside the EU: amounts exceeding EUR 10,000.- or more or the equivalent in another currency (incl. banker’s draft and
cheques of any kind) must be declared.

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