Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which goods require an import licence?

Only items listed in the Schedules to the Importation Control Regulations (LN 242 of 2004), require an import licence. The lists include a wide range of goods including live animals, meat and fish products, dairy products, vegetables and fruit, beverages, chemicals and chemical preparations, pharmaceuticals, fuel, detergents, pyrotechnics and weapons amongst others. The full list of goods (classified by HS Code) subject to import licensing can be found in the table​​​ below.

If assistance is required to determine whether an import is licensable, the Import/Export Unit may be consulted on 25690111 or When asking for information, provide the HS Code and indicate the country from where the goods are coming to Malta.

What information has to be submitted when applying for an import licence?

The information required in the application form must be provided in full. This covers the details of the importer and of any representative engaged, the country of origin of the goods, the exporting country, the H.S. Code, quantity and description of the item being imported. Further details on how to fill in the form can be found in the Guidelines Section.

For two specific product categories, those with HS Code 2710 and 3808, the application must be accompanied by supporting documents. Specific information about these codes can be found below.

From where can I get an import licence application?

The application is an online form which must be filled in and submitted electronically.

On applying, an automatic acknowledgement will be received on the emails inserted in Section 3 of the form. Similarly, the Commerce Department will forward to the same email addresses any request for clarifications and eventually the licence.

For specific product categories, the Commerce Department consults other competent entities prior to issuing a licence. These entities may approach you for clarifications or for further documentation. A list of endorsing authorities​ and their contact details can be found below.

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​, although it is preferable if the full code is provided.

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 shown on the licence.

Do I need an import licence for each item?

A separate application form is needed for every HS Code and for every different country of origin and country of consignment. There are no caps on the quantity of each application.

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, and in cases where no clearances from other entities need to be obtained by the Department, an application normally only takes a few working days to be processed.

On the other hand, the Commerce Department cannot advise on how long it will take to issue licences when consultation with external entities are required. Goods falling in this category are identified in the table​ below.

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

Yes, applications must be backed by supporting document depending on the provenance of the petroleum. Refer to the page​ listing the specific requirements by product.

Applications not supported with these documents will be considered incomplete. There is however an exemption from this requirement for importation of samples not exceeding 20 litres.

The application form has to be completed online and submitted directly through eforms, whilst the supporting documentation is to be forwarded by email to quoting the importer, country of import, product and quantity.

It is to be appreciated that applications for this product category (2710) involve a distinct scrutiny process, particularly when the countries involved have sanctions considerations.  This may be a lengthy process and is not time bound.

Are there additional requirements for applications concerning products with HS Code 3808?

Only consignments arriving from non-EU countries need an import licence. When completing Section 1of the e-application, indicate the brand name of the product to be imported in the box Description of Product. Moreover, the application has to be supported with a copy of the notification/authorisation document issued by MCCAA and a scan of the label of the product. These must be forwarded by email to quoting the importer, country of import, product and quantity. Applications not supported by these documents will be considered incomplete.

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.​


Last update – 01 September 2022


Application Form

Guidelines on how to compile the import application

List of Goods subject to licensing and endorsing authorities - by HS Code

Contact details of endorsing authorities​