importing a vehicle

A few beneficial pointers about importing a vehicle

We have all seen that cars in other countries are somewhat more worth buying and at some point in time, the idea of importing vehicles from abroad crossed our mind. However, one tends to question, what is the process?

Below are a few pointers which are beneficial when importing vehicles from abroad.

New vs Used Vehicle

One must distinguish between a used vehicle and a new vehicle. A used vehicle is any vehicle which was already registered in a country.  An exception to this is, a vehicle which is less than 6 months old or has less than 6,000km. In such circumstances, for VAT purposes (payable to Transport Malta (TM)) this vehicle will be considered as a new vehicle. However registration tax will still be calculated as per used vehicle regulations.

Vehicles should be registered within 30 days from the date of arrival/release from customs. If this 30 day period is exceeded a Eur30 fine will start being charged daily.

Importing and registering used vehicles from EU countries:

  • Once the vehicle arrives in Malta, the vehicle needs to be taken to the Transport Malta Technical Unit in Paola for an inspection.
  • Following the inspection the below documentation needs to be presented for the vehicle to start the registration process:
    • VEH 01
    • VEH 02
    • Original notice of arrival (a ferry ticket provided by the shipping company used);
    • Original Foreign Registration Certificate (logbook) signed by seller and buyer;
    • Inspection and valuation from Technical Unit;
    • Copy of ID or Residence Document;
    • A Certificate of Roadworthiness (VRT) if the vehicle has been manufactured for 4 years or more, issued in Malta or in the Member State from which the vehicle has been imported (foreign roadworthiness certificates show that the vehicle was tested and certified for safety and exhaust emissions. If you don’t have a valid certificate you would need a local VRT + JEVIC Odometer Certificate);
    • Original local Insurance Policy; and
    • Foreign plate/s (if the plates were lost or were retained by the Foreign Authority or the vehicle arrived in Malta without the plates, then application form VEH39 shall be duly filled in and signed)

Importing a vehicle from a non-EU country

When a used vehicle is being imported from a non-EU country, the process will be a bit longer, the reason is due to the car being held at customs upon arrival, until TM issues a release order for the Customs Division. For this to happen, TM needs to have at hand the below documentation:

  • Customs Entry Form;
  • Vehicle Logbook (if it is a second hand vehicle); and  
  • Copy of the owner’s ID card.

Once the vehicle is released from Customs, an inspection by the Malta Police needs to be carried out and then the owner of the vehicle can start the process to register the vehicle. The owner of the vehicle will be entitled for a 30 day period to register the vehicle, from the date of release from customs. 

The owner of the vehicle can register the vehicle with TM by submitting the following documents:

VEH 01;
VEH 02;
Only new vehicles with an engine complying with emission level standards of EURO 5b, 6b or higher may be registered (as per Directive 2007/46/EC & Regulation – EC/692/2008);
Original Certificate of Conformity;
Invoice – issued by the manufacturer or by an authorized agent of the manufacturer showing the cost of the vehicle and in the case of a goods vehicle or an off-road vehicle the engine capacity and gross vehicle weight, and the other;
Freight note and Marine Insurance (if applicable)
Valid insurance policy;
Customs Inspection Form VEH04 for vehicles coming from Non-EU countries
Documents showing the CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) value and all new vehicles are required to have a Certificate of Conformity.

Since the vehicle will be imported from a Non-EU country, the Customs Department may also charge duty tax and VAT on duty tax, hence Customs Department should be contacted regarding such costs.

Payments to be made would be the following:

  • Registration tax: the amount would be as per valuation from TM technical unit which can be calculated on the following website: (if one cannot  find the details of the specific vehicle he would like to import, one would need to fill out the VEH14 form and send it via email so this can be calculated by the correct department for the registration tax payable).
  • Administration Fee: €15
  • Inspection Fee: €55
  • Payable License Fee
  • Plates:
    • Random Plates: €70 
    • Personalised Plates: €200 
    • Customised Plates: €1,500

We hope you found this article useful and should you have an interesting story to share feel free to send us an email on [email protected].

Yanika Caruana

Accountant, Classic car enthusiast/owner. She loves roaming around and doing DIY projects.


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