Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which goods require an import licence? 
Only those items listed in the Schedules to the Importation Control Regulations (LN 242 of 2004), require an import licence. The lists include live animals, meat and fish products, dairy products, vegetables and fruit, beverages, chemicals and chemical preparations, pharmaceuticals, detergents, pyrotechnics and weapons amongst others. The full list of goods  (classified by HS Code) subject to import licensing can be found below.
If assistance is required to determine whether an import is subject to licensing, contact the Import/Export Unit on Tels: 25690302, 25690287, 25690244, 25690219, 25690252 or When lodging your enquiry, see that you provide a description of the good together with the related HS Code, as well as the country from which the goods are being exported to Malta. Otherwise it will not be possible to determine whether a licence is applicable.

COVID-19 related notice - In view of social distancing measures, the application procedures detailed below have been changed. Refer to the Corona Virus Related Measures​ for further information. ​
What information has to be submitted when applying for an import licence?
The information required in the application form has to be provided in full. This includes details of the importer and of his/her representative, the country of origin, the exporting country, the description of the item being imported, the quantity of the item and the H.S. Code. A more detailed explanation of how the application must be compiled can be found below and in the Guidelines.
Moreover, for certain goods endorsement by other entities /authorities must be secured prior to presenting the application to the Import/Export Unit.
When this is the case, the fully completed form has to be presented to the Import/Export Unit only after that it has been stamped and signed by the endorsing authority. A list of authorities  and their contact details can be found below.
From where can I get an import application?
The application is an online form which should be filled in electronically, printed and presented for issuance to the  Commerce Department,  Import/Export Unit - Lascaris Bastions, Daħlet Ġnien is-Sultan, Valletta, VLT 1933.  It can also be found in the portal.
Endorsements from other entities, when required, are to be secured prior to presenting the form to the Import/Export Unit.
Ensure that the form is printed back to front. The import application should have four sheets (seven pages), comprising the Holder’s copy and the Issuing Authority’s copy.
What is an HS Code?
The Harmonized System (HS) is a tool for classifying goods. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, also known as tariff nomenclature, is an internationally standardized system of names and numbers to classify traded products.
How can I get the HS Code of an item?
The HS Code can be found from the TARIC Consultation website. The supplier or manufacturer should also be able to provide it. Only the first four digits are required for application purposes​. 
How much does it cost to apply for an import permit?
Filing of an application is free of charge. Similarly, the issuance of a licence.
How long is an import licence valid for?
An import licence is normally valid for 8 months from the date of issue. The expiry date is stamped on the licence.
Can expired licences be renewed?
No, expired licences cannot be renewed. A new application would have to be submitted.
How long does it take to obtain a licence from the day of submission?

Assuming a complete and correct submission, a licence normally only takes a few working days to be issued. However, there are a few exceptions, in particular where inter-departmental consultation is carried out post submission. This may be a lengthy process and is not time bound. Inter-departmental review of applications is normally applied for HS Code 27.10 and a number of countries which are subject to sanctions considerations.

Are there additional requirements for applications concerning petroleum products with HS Code 2710?

Yes, applications for importation of petroleum products must be accompanied with a copy of the Certificate of Origin (COO) and a signed declaration drawn by the importer attesting that the COO is genuine. Applications not supported with these documents will be considered incomplete except for applications concerning samples of up to 20 litres which have been provided an exemption.

Can companies based in other countries submit an application for an import licence?

EU or third-country based companies may equally apply for import licences.​

Do I need an import licence for each item?
A separate application form must be completed for every different HS Code and for every different country of origin and country of consignment. There are no caps on the quantity of each application.


Contact details of endorsing authorities​

​Last update 16 June 2020