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International Relocation for Expats in Malta

Submitted: November 2013

As exciting as the prospect of moving to a new location is, when it comes to the actual move, there are few who look with excitement at packing boxes, dealing with immigration authorities and completing seemingly endless forms. It can indeed be wearisome dealing with bureaucracy in two countries and trying to arrange everything on time. However, the key is to familiarise yourself with the requirements and start planning well in advance! In this respect, our Expat Briefing articles on Malta offer a great starting point. 

Moving your belongings

An essential step is to decide how to best move your belongings to Malta. Most airline companies will only allow one or two pieces of personal luggage. Sending items via post or express delivery services such as DHL or UPS is only recommendable for lesser quantities. For larger quantities it is best to choose one of the specialised relocation companies and opt for a good insurance.

Many such companies are more than just mere shipment companies. While they do organise the move of your personal and household belongings, they also offer guidance on administrative and immigration procedures during and after relocation. Some even assist with job and housing searches. However, as the array of offered services and the applicable prices vary greatly from company to company, it is crucial to do thorough research before committing to one. In this respect, online reviews and expat forums are a valuable resource!

Below are examples of companies offering relocation services to Malta:

Expats moving to Malta from another EU country are generally allowed to bring personal possessions and household items to Malta duty free. You will only need to include an inventory of all items with your shipment if you are not travelling with your goods.

Expats moving to Malta from a non-EU country will normally be allowed to bring their personal possessions to Malta duty free, provided they owned the items at least six months prior to the move. The items will also need to be shipped to Malta within six months of the expat’s arrival to Malta. To obtain a relief from import duty, you will need to refer to Regulation 918/83.

For more information on duties and restricted items see the Malta Customs website.

On how to relocate to Malta with pets see Relocation with Families and Pets for Expats in Malta.

Importing your vehicle

Expats relocating to Malta are generally allowed to import one car to Malta. However, there are a few rules to keep in mind. Returning residents and permanent residents are allowed to import one car duty-free. Temporary residents can import one used car (owned for at least 6 months) but it will be subject to import duties. Duties vary according to vehicle age and type. For an estimate on how much you can expect to pay, use the Used Vehicle Valuation System available on the website of the Maltese transport authority.

Another thing to remember is that you will have to notify the Maltese Customs authority of your intention to import the car prior to your relocation. Normally, when importing a vehilce, you will be asked to provide the following documents:

  • proof of registration in the country of origin
  • original purchase invoice
  • car insurance
  • car logbook
  • proof of road-worthiness, and
  • valid driver’s licence.

Once imported, you will have to register the car within 20 days with the Transport authority of Malta. For further information see the Transport Malta website. Another useful resource is the unofficial guide on the Maltese Car Registration Process provided by the Chamber of SMEs.

To read more on driving in Malta in general see Driving and Public Transport for Expats.

 

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