It is possible to import a car registration tax free under certain criteria. One is if you are taking up residency in Malta and you have owned the car for more than 2 years.
Exemptions and Relief from Vehicle Registration Tax
5. Is anyone exempt from paying the registration tax ?
e. Motor Vehicle brought over on transfer of residence
A motor vehicle which is the personal property of a private individual and is being brought permanently into Malta by the individual when he is transferring his residence from a place outside Malta to a place in Malta
To qualify for relief the applicant must:
have had his/her residence outside Malta for a continuous period of at least 24 months;
have transferred his/her residence permanently to Malta;
be the registered owner of the vehicle at the time of transfer;
have had possession of and actually used the vehicle abroad for at least 24 months before the date on which he ceased to have his residence outside Malta;
not be a student returning to Malta having attended a school, university or other educational or vocational establishment abroad for a period of less than five years or a person who had been serving in Malta's diplomatic corps outside Malta;
holds a valid driving licence.
To qualify for relief the vehicle must:
have been in the possession of the applicant and used by him for a continuous period of least 24 months prior to the vehicle's arrival in Malta; be registered in applicant's name.
Proof of eligibility
The onus of proof is always on the applicant claiming the exemption. Such proof must be of a written/documentary and original nature and must be supplied with the application. Where considered necessary, additional documentation/evidence may be requested.
Where documents provided are in a language other than Maltese or English, applicant shall provide a translation in English.
Evidence of transfer of residence
Documents concerning the following may be accepted as evidence of living abroad for the required length of time and transfer of residence:
sale/acquisition of property abroad and in Malta;
a rent agreement covering a period of no less than one year if no property has been acquired in Malta;
evidence of payment of income tax or social benefits abroad;
cessation of employment abroad;
day-to-day transaction receipts/utility bills (electricity/gas/water/telephone bills or receipts, bank statements and other day to day living expenses);
travel records connected with trips into or out of Malta
Evidence of vehicle ownership and usage
Documents concerning the following may be accepted as evidence of possession and/or actual usage:
vehicle registration certificate;
the sales invoice, receipt of purchase or other similar document
Definition of Transfer of Residence
"Transfer of Residence" means the actual transfer of a person's habitual residence to the new place indicated as being that of resettlement; and
"Habitual Residence" means the place where the person concerned has established, and intends to maintain, the permanent or habitual centre of his or her interests. The renting of an apartment for a period of not less then one year is not sufficient evidence of the actual transfer of the habitual residence.
The application for exemption (Form VEH 07) together with all possible documentary evidence, should be presented by hand or mailed to: Licensing and Testing Directorate, Malta Transport Authority, Hornsworks Ditch, Floriana, before or immediately upon the arrival of the vehicle in Malta.
The application will then be forwarded to the Ministry responsible for finance for it's consideration and decision. No communication between applicant and the Ministry responsible for finance willl be allowed throughout the whole process.
Refusal of exemption
Where the Ministry responsible for finance decides that an applicant is not entitled to an exemption, either because the eligibility criteria are not met, or because there is insufficient, satisfactory documentary evidence to support the application, the application will be refused.
A decision to refuse exemption will be made only when all the facts have been established and all available evidence submitted and assessed.
The applicant will be informed of such decision in writing and he may appeal from such a decision within 21 days from the date of the decision before the Administrative Review Tribunal in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Justice Act (Cap. 490) and regulations made thereunder. (For appeal procedure click here)
Approval of exemption
Where an application for exemption is upheld, the applicant shall immediately be notified by letter. Applicant shall apply for the vehicle's registration at least within seven days from the vehicle's arrival in Malta, or within seven days from receiving the letter of acceptance if the vehicle is already in Malta.
A processing fee of €300, payable to the Malta Transport Authority on account of Government, shall be paid by an applicant whose application is upheld.
The motor vehicle may not be sold, given away, disposed of, hired out or lent following its importation or its bringing into Malta unless the vehicle registration tax to which the exemption relates is paid thereon in accordance with the provisions of the First or Second Schedule to the Motor Vehicles Registration and Licensing Act (Cap 368).
Last updated 31.08.2009