Importation into Malta of used Household and Personal Belongings upon transfer of Residence from a non EU country
Personal property belonging to persons transferring their normal place of residence from a non European country to Malta is admitted free from Import Duties according to Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1186/09 providing that:
- The said belongings have been used for a minimum period of six (6) months before date of exportation.
- Are intended for the same purpose at his/her normal place of residence.
- Cannot be lent, hired out, given as security or sold before a year from their entry into free circulation in the E.U.
- Have to be imported in full or part consignments either six (6) months before the person establishes his place of residence in the E.U. or until a year after his/her date of establishment in Malta.
- No relief shall be granted for food, alcoholic, tobacco products and restricted goods (list further on this notice).
The relief may be granted only to persons:
- Whose place of residence has been outside the E.U. for a continuous period of twelve (12) months. Proof of this, from a competent authority abroad is to be submitted.
- Who undertake to establish his/her place of residence in E.U. within a period of six (6) months after the importation of the personal effects.
Belongings include clothing, furniture, portable tools of trade and other things which are normally found around the house, cycles and motor cycles, private motor vehicles and their trailers, camping caravans, pleasure crafts and private planes.
Restricted goods include drugs, firearms, pornographic material, indecent or obscene material featuring children, flick knives and other offensive weapons, counterfeit currency, radio transmitters (walkie talkies, citizen band radios and certain types of bird callers etc) not approved for use in Malta, meat, poultry or other animal products , plants and plant produce including trees and shrubs, vegetables, fruit, bulbs and seeds; animals and birds whether alive of dead, stuffed, parts and articles derived from protected species including fur skins, ivory , reptile leather, stony corals and goods made from them.
A cash deposit as security is collected (Vide page 4) and refunded after a year from date of the last consignment imported as personal effects or a year after settlement of the importer, which ever date is the latter. It can be refunded once the importer proves that he has actually took up residence and that he has spent at least six (six) months in Malta in the last year, and that items imported free of imported duties are still in their possession.
When a person transfers residence from a non-EU country to an EU country (i.e. Malta), all customs documents have to be processed from the Customs Department, Customer Services Section.
How to clear goods from customs
The following documentation is required:
- The Original Passport/s (both if dual) issued at least a year prior to importation
- The Notice of Arrival bearing the consignee’s name. (Not the agent’s).
- An SAD form duly filled in and signed by the importer, or a printout by the agent who is making the declaration in the importer’s name.
- A detailed packing list valued and signed by the importer.
- The Customs Declaration for ‘Bringing Personal Effects in the Customs Territory from the European Community’ form to be filled in and signed by importer and a witness to signature.
- The National Statistics form for Persons Settling in Malta.
- Original proof of living abroad for the 12 months prior to arrival in Malta, from a competent authority, i.e. Embassy, Employer, Lawyer or Accountant.
- If the agent is clearing the goods in consignee’s name, an authorisation letter from the consignee is required.
- Certificate of Registration (Residence Certificate) from the Inland Revenue Department.
- If the owner of the goods has not yet come into the country and is giving Power of Attorney to someone else to clear his/her goods in his/her name, a proxy stating the above is to be presented to customs. All the above documentation still has to be presented to us by the person acting on their behalf. The owner will then have up to six months to take up residence and personally come to our office to clear all the relevant documentation.
On importation of:
- Motorcar, Motorcycle, Quad Bike : Duty free entry if the importer has stayed abroad for at least one year and vehicle has been in the ownership and in use for at least six (6) months before moving. A vehicle imported with exemption from tax may not be sold or transferred before vehicle has been in ownership for at least one year in Malta.
- Original/copy of commercial invoice or purchasing contract and Log Book are required. Release from Transport Malta and Police must be obtained. Values to be approved by Valuation Officers at Customs.
- ‘Importation of a private motor vehicle Customs Declaration’ form to be filled in and signed by importer and a witness to signature.
- Boat, Jet Ski: Certificate of registry and CE Conformity certificate are required. Values to be approved by Valuation Officers at Customs.
- Live Pets: A valid pet passport, Import Licence issued by Trade Department, CITES and BIP. On arrival pet is to be inspected by the VET at BIP (Border Inspection Post) together with Customs. Learn more
- Food, (other than list mentioned above) must be sealed, vacuumed and labelled in English. Approval from port health authorities must be obtained.
- Wine, Spirits: Importer is allowed to import 2 litres of still table wine, 1 litre of spirits or strong liqueurs over 22% volume OR 2 litres of fortified wine, sparkling or other liqueurs.
- Firearms: Import Licence issued by Trade Department and approval by Police Ballistics are required.
- New Items are subject to duty and VAT and must be declared on SAD form. Invoices are required.
The declaration is not approved until the deposit is paid at cash office.
The deposits are to be worked out as follows.
For personal effects, Firearms:
- A rate of 5.3% on the Cost & Freight value declared to cover any duties due and 18% to cover any V.A.T.
Vehicle, Quad Bike:
- A rate of 10% import duty on Cost & Freight value, as declared, subject to Customs Valuation review, and an overall rate of 18% VAT.
- A rate of 6% or 8% import duty on Cost & Freight value, as declared, subject to Customs Valuation review, and an overall rate of 18% VAT.
- Over 12 Metres No Duty, a rate of 18% VAT on Cost & Freight value as declared subject to Customs Valuation review.
- Under 12 Metres, a rate of 1.7% import duty on Cost & Freight value, as declared, subject to Customs Valuation review, and an overall rate of 18% VAT.
- Not Exceeding 100kg a rate of 2.7% import duty on Cost & Freight value, as declared, subject to Customs Valuation review, and an overall rate of 18% VAT.
- Exceeding 100kg a rate of 1.7% import duty on Cost & Freight value, as declared, subject to Customs Valuation review, and an overall rate of 18% VAT.
- A rate of 18% VAT on Customs Value. Vet has to confirm value of pet.
Importers are well advised to seek the services of one of the licensed clearing and forwarding agents who are more conversant with the clearance of household effects.
Refund of Deposit
After a year from the date of the last consignment imported as personal effects, the deposit may be refunded, once it is proven that importer has resided in the E.U. (Malta) for a period of one year (Proof of Residence in Malta) . This proof consists of:
- Proof from a competent authority, i.e. Employer, Lawyer, Notary etc., or if this cannot be obtained, a Promise of Oath will also be accepted.
If after two years from importation deposit is not claimed, it will be passed to revenue.