Exports

Do you supply physical goods (finished products, semi-finished products, raw materials, ingredients, parts, etc.) to customers in the UK? From January 2021 procedures will change. Please note that even if you deliver goods through an intermediary, Brexit will affect the delivery process.

Do you export, or want to export goods to the UK?

Export advice

The United Kingdom is now a ‘third country’, i.e. a country outside the European Union (EU). The authorities on both sides have agreed on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement on the 24th of December 2020. From 1 January, 2021 you will be required to deal with Maltese and British customs and you will need export documents, possibly including a licence, to export to the UK.

You can get further details relating to your specific needs from the Trade Services Directorate (gov.mt)

According to the agreement, each Party (EU and UK) shall introduce and administer any import licensing procedure in accordance with Articles 1 to 3 of the WTO Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures (‘the Import Licensing Agreement’).

Declaration of goods to customs

As from 1st January 2021, the United Kingdom is no longer part of the Customs Union anymore. This has a bearing on goods brought out of the Customs Union.  In particular, customs procedures and formalities now apply to trade between the EU and the UK (excluding Northern Ireland).  All Economic Operators are henceforth required to submit an export declaration when sending goods to the UK.

The European Union has in the last few years negotiated a string of trade agreements with third countries with the objective of ensuring that European enterprises can access the international markets without tariffs and without the myriad of non-tariff barriers which disrupt trade.  The new EU-UK Trade and cooperation agreement provides for zero tariffs on all goods exported to the UK.

Henceforth, the Maltese exporter is encouraged to obtain the Registered Exporter Status (REX).  This allows the Maltese exporter to give proof of the preferential origin of the goods exported directly using the invoice declaration and without any limitation to the amount.    Unless this preferential treatment is not availed of, Maltese products will unnecessarily be more expensive when compared to other European goods which are exported to the UK under the preferential agreement.

Therefore, all Economic Operators who export to the UK or other third countries, but are not yet registered are strongly encouraged to contact the Customs Special Procedures Unit (Tel: 25685141/156) or send an email to specialprocedures.customs@gov.mt in order to initiate the registration process.

All relevant information associated with the procedures to be followed upon imports from and exports to the UK can be found in the Guidance Note – Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU Rules in the Field of Customs, including Preferential Origin

This is also available on the website of the Customs Department here.

CE Mark

Exporters of CE-marked products to the UK should note that from 1 January 2021 the UKCA mark will start to replace the CE mark for goods sold within Great Britain (i.e. the UK less Northern Ireland). For further information kindly go to this page.

Do you export via an intermediary?

Advice when using an intermediary

The United Kingdom is now a ‘third country’, i.e. a country outside the European Union (EU). The authorities on both sides have agreed on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement on the 24th of December 2020. From 1 January, 2021 you will be required to deal with Maltese and British customs and you will need export documents, possibly including a licence, to export to the UK.

You can get further details relating to your specific needs from the Trade Services Directorate (gov.mt)

According to the agreement, each Party (EU and UK) shall introduce and administer any import licensing procedure in accordance with Articles 1 to 3 of the WTO Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures (‘the Import Licensing Agreement’).

As from 1st January 2021, the United Kingdom is no longer part of the Customs Union anymore. This has a bearing on goods brought out of the Customs Union.  In particular, customs procedures and formalities now apply to trade between the EU and the UK (excluding Northern Ireland).  All Economic Operators are henceforth required to submit an export declaration when sending goods to the UK.

The European Union has in the last few years negotiated a string of trade agreements with third countries with the objective of ensuring that European enterprises can access the international markets without tariffs and without the myriad of non-tariff barriers which disrupt trade.  The new EU-UK Trade and cooperation agreement provides for zero tariffs on all goods exported to the UK.

Henceforth, the Maltese exporter is encouraged to obtain the Registered Exporter Status (REX).  This allows the Maltese exporter to give proof of the preferential origin of the goods exported directly using the invoice declaration and without any limitation to the amount.    Unless this preferential treatment is not availed of, Maltese products will unnecessarily be more expensive when compared to other European goods which are exported to the UK under the preferential agreement.

Therefore, all Economic Operators who export to the UK or other third countries, but are not yet registered are strongly encouraged to contact the Customs Special Procedures Unit (Tel: 25685141/156) or send an email to specialprocedures.customs@gov.mt in order to initiate the registration process.

All relevant information associated with the procedures to be followed upon imports from and exports to the UK can be found in the Guidance Note – Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU Rules in the Field of Customs, including Preferential Origin

This is also available on the website of the Customs Department - https://customs.gov.mt/newsresult/2020/12/30/press-release-brexit-brief-information-on-implementing-rules-of-origin-on-goods-originating-from-the-uk-and-those-bound-for-the-uk-

It is important that you revise the contracts with your intermediaries and take note of the period of validity and law applicable.

Take note of long-term contracts that continue after Brexit. Clarify transport arrangements and use the ICC Incoterms ®2020 for specific guidance on the delivery conditions and transport of your goods.

Experience with export to third countries

The United Kingdom is now a ‘third country’, i.e. a country outside the European Union (EU). The authorities on both sides have agreed on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement on the 24th of December 2020. From 1 January, 2021 you will be required to deal with Maltese and British customs and you will need export documents, possibly including a licence, to export to the UK.

You can get further details relating to your specific needs from the Trade Services Directorate (gov.mt)

According to the agreement, each Party (EU and UK) shall introduce and administer any import licensing procedure in accordance with Articles 1 to 3 of the WTO Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures (‘the Import Licensing Agreement’).

As from 1st January 2021, the United Kingdom is no longer part of the Customs Union anymore. This has a bearing on goods brought out of the Customs Union.  In particular, customs procedures and formalities now apply to trade between the EU and the UK (excluding Northern Ireland).  All Economic Operators are henceforth required to submit an export declaration when sending goods to the UK.

The European Union has in the last few years negotiated a string of trade agreements with third countries with the objective of ensuring that European enterprises can access the international markets without tariffs and without the myriad of non-tariff barriers which disrupt trade.  The new EU-UK Trade and cooperation agreement provides for zero tariffs on all goods exported to the UK.

Henceforth, the Maltese exporter is encouraged to obtain the Registered Exporter Status (REX).  This allows the Maltese exporter to give proof of the preferential origin of the goods exported directly using the invoice declaration and without any limitation to the amount.    Unless this preferential treatment is not availed of, Maltese products will unnecessarily be more expensive when compared to other European goods which are exported to the UK under the preferential agreement.

Therefore, all Economic Operators who export to the UK or other third countries, but are not yet registered are strongly encouraged to contact the Customs Special Procedures Unit (Tel: 25685141/156) or send an email to specialprocedures.customs@gov.mt in order to initiate the registration process.

All relevant information associated with the procedures to be followed upon imports from and exports to the UK can be found in the Guidance Note – Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU Rules in the Field of Customs, including Preferential Origin -https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/notice_to_stakeholders_brexit_customs_procedures-rev4_en.pdf

This is also available on the website of the Customs Department - https://customs.gov.mt/newsresult/2020/12/30/press-release-brexit-brief-information-on-implementing-rules-of-origin-on-goods-originating-from-the-uk-and-those-bound-for-the-uk-

If you have already exported outside the EU, you are probably already familiar with the procedures that apply.

Businesses wishing to trade with countries outside the EU must use an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number as an identifier in all transactions with Customs administrations.  An (EORI number) is a European Union registration and identification number for businesses that import or export goods in or out of the EU. It is used by customs and other authorities to monitor and track shipments coming into and out of the European Union.

For Information on how to apply for an EORI number- either write to eori.customs@gov.mt or visit Economic Operators Registration Identification (gov.mt)

Customs

You will also have to deal with customs formalities in the UK and possibly longer waiting times at the border. Keep that in mind if you export just-in-time deliveries and perishable goods. If you are considering exporting to the UK you may consider registering with Maltese Customs as an "Authorised Economic Operator" (AEO).  Economic operators obtain AEO status by meeting a number of criteria defined in the Union Customs Code following an application to the customs authorities. AEOs receive benefits both inside and outside the EU, such as facilitations regarding pre-departure declarations and prior notifications in case of selection for control. For further information please go to: Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs)

Excise goods and products subject to excise duty

As the UK is no longer a Member State of the EU, transport of excise goods from Malta to the UK is now considered to be an export to a third country and no longer a transfer under the excise suspension scheme. As from January 2021 the Excise Movement Control System (EMCS) will no longer apply for the UK. Movements of excise goods from the United Kingdom to the EU will have to be released from customs formalities before a movement under Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) can begin.

For further details about Excise regulations please go to: customs.gov.mt (All you need to know about excise)

However, the United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed to unprecedented 100% tariff liberalisation. This means there will be no tariffs or quotas on the movement of goods we produce between the UK and the EU. This is the first time the EU has agreed a zero tariff zero quota deal with any other trading partner

Product requirements after Brexit

If you export goods to the UK adjustments to your product or product packaging may be required. Please note, however, that the general and specific EU product requirements, such as the CE mark do not apply in the UK after Brexit.  Your products may also need to satisfy UK quality and health and safety standards; these may differ from those set by the EU.

This is what we know so far:

  • From 1 January 2021, the UKCA mark will start to replace the CE mark for goods sold within Great Britain.
  • The CE mark will continue to be required for goods sold in Northern Ireland.
  • Units already in the supply chain at the time the new rules come into effect can continue to be sold under the old rules.
  • For most CE marked goods there will be a one-year transition period commencing on 1 January 2021, during which time the CE marking will continue to be acceptable as an alternative to the UKCA mark for goods sold in Great Britain.
  • Some goods (e.g. certain medical devices) will have an extended transition period up to 2023.
  • For all other goods, the UKCA mark will become mandatory at the end of 2021.
  • Products will be able to display both the UKCA mark and the CE logo unless and until the rules for those products diverge between the UK and EU.
  • It's not expected that any divergence will happen in the near future.
  • Products requiring third party (i.e Notified Body) involvement as part of their CE marking process will have to use a UK Approved Body instead of (or as well as) an EU Notified Body - see below for more details.
  • Manufacturers based within Great Britain will need to identify a representative based within the EU whose name and address can go on the product as a contact point for the Market Surveillance Authorities.
  • Manufacturers based outside the UK and selling in the UK will need a UK based representative.

Specific UK legislation

Check whether there are other laws and regulations in the UK that you need to comply with after Brexit. Visit the UK government website for more info here.

Contracts

Check your contracts to determine your agreements about mutual delivery obligations you enter into after Brexit. Check whether you can comply with them and that you will accept or pass on the relevant costs. Take note of ongoing contracts that continue after Brexit. Also pay attention if the contracts include highly regulated products and check UK legislation that apply to these products.

Transport arrangements

Make clear transport arrangements and take note of: who takes care of the transport; who pays for the transport; who is responsible for damage; who pays any import duties; who takes out what insurance, etc.

You can use the ICC Incoterms ®2010 for clear agreements on the delivery conditions and transport of your goods. You may also want to consider enlisting a customs forwarder.

Payment form

The form of payment should involve the least possible risk. Contact your bank about the settlement of payments and check if your bank is ready for that.

UK manufactured parts no longer count towards EU origins after Brexit

Brexit will also affect exports to countries that are party to free trade agreements the European Union to (e.g. Canada, South Korea, Japan, etc.). If you use materials originating in the UK and claim lower import duties under a trade deal between the EU and a third country, this will no longer be possible after Brexit. The percentage of the components of a product that originate in a third country is taken in consideration when calculating what percentage of a product is manufactured in the European Union. Following Brexit, components and parts manufactured in the UK will no longer count towards that minimum production required in the European Union for a product to be considered originating in the EU.  For example, if you are currently exporting a product that must contain at least 60% EU content to qualify for preferential treatment in, say Japan, and one-third of that 60% originates in the UK, as from 1st January 2021 the EU content in your product will go down to 40%, and it will no longer qualify for preferential treatment.

Further information can be found on: 

Do you export any of these products?

Advice on exports of animals and animal products

Exports of animal products and live animals often require additional controls, and may require veterinary export certificates. There may also be animals or animal products that are subject to CITES legislation. In this case, you must apply for your export licence in advance: https://era.org.mt/topic/applying-for-cites-clearances/

More information on the required import/export permits for animals and animal products can be found on the UK government website.

More on Brexit and animal breedinganimal welfare and transport can be found at the European Commission:

Advice on exports of plants and plant products

Exports of plants and plant products may be subject to additional controls, including requirement of plant health certificates.

The exportation of these products may require a license issued by the Trade Services Directorate.

Please refer to the Importation Control Regulations, 2004 (L.N. 243 of 2004) for a full list of goods needing a trade licence.

In the case of exports of plants or plant products that require CITES clearance, you must register with ERA - Environment and Resources Authority.

More information on the import permits required in the UK for plants and plant material, food (excluding animals and animal products, including fish and crustaceans) and endangered flora and fauna can be found on the UK government website. At the European Commission you can find more information regarding Brexit on:  

Export advice on chemicals and pesticides

In the UK, you may only sell, supply, use, store and promote pesticides with the approval of the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD). The CRD provides you with information on, among other things, legislation and registration of plant protection products and biocides.

More information on Brexit with regard to pesticides and plant protection products can be found at the European Commission.

More information in relation to exports of biocides can be found here.

and on the European Commission website here.

Advice on exports of organic products

If you want to export to the UK your certification may no longer be sufficient. You will need to be certified by an approved UK organic control body if you produce, process or import organic food for trade within the UK.  More information found here.

Advice on exports of medicinal and pharmaceutical products

More about UK regulations for medicines and medical devices can be found at the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The MHRA is part of the UK Department of Health. Among other things, they issue certificates for the importation of medicinal products into the UK.

More information on Brexit with regard to medicinal products for human and animal use can be found at the European Commission.

ema.europa.eu (Practical guidance for procedures related to Brexit for medicinal products for human and veterinary use within the framework of the centralised procedure)

Some products having an animal or plant origin can be subject to legislation for the protection of endangered animals and plants (CITES). You must then apply for CITES clearance and register with ERA - Environment and Resources Authority.

Advice on exports of industrial products

Information on Brexit with regard to industrial products can be found at the European Commission:  https://ec.europa.eu/info/european-union-and-united-kingdom-forging-new-partnership/future-partnership/getting-ready-end-transition-period_en

If you export products to the UK you will now be required to declare these goods by means of an export declaration even if you transport these products through another EU country. More information on: https://customs.gov.mt/brexit/what-does-brexit-mean-for-my-business-

Do you sell goods to the UK via a digital platform?

Export advice

The United Kingdom is now a ‘third country’, i.e. a country outside the European Union (EU). The authorities on both sides have agreed on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement on the 24th of December 2020. From 1 January, 2021 you will be required to deal with Maltese and British customs and you will need export documents, possibly including a licence, to export to the UK.

You can get further details relating to your specific needs from the Trade Services Directorate (gov.mt)

According to the agreement, each Party (EU and UK) shall introduce and administer any import licensing procedure in accordance with Articles 1 to 3 of the WTO Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures (‘the Import Licensing Agreement’).

The European Union has in the last few years negotiated a string of trade agreements with third countries with the objective of ensuring that European enterprises can access the international markets without tariffs and without the myriad of non-tariff barriers which disrupt trade.  The new EU-UK Trade and cooperation agreement provides for zero tariffs on all goods exported to the UK.

Henceforth, the Maltese exporter is encouraged to obtain the Registered Exporter Status (REX).  This allows the Maltese exporter to give proof of the preferential origin of the goods exported directly using the invoice declaration and without any limitation to the amount.    Unless this preferential treatment is not availed of, Maltese products will unnecessarily be more expensive when compared to other European goods which are exported to the UK under the preferential agreement.

Therefore, all Economic Operators who export to the UK or other third countries, but are not yet registered are strongly encouraged to contact the Customs Special Procedures Unit (Tel: 25685141/156) or send an email to specialprocedures.customs@gov.mt in order to initiate the registration process.

All relevant information associated with the procedures to be followed upon imports from and exports to the UK can be found in the Guidance Note – Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU Rules in the Field of Customs, including Preferential Origin

This is also available on the website of the Customs Department here.

Advice on exports via digital platform

As from 1st January 2021, the United Kingdom is no longer part of the Customs Union anymore. This has a bearing on goods brought out of the Customs Union.  In particular, customs procedures and formalities now apply to trade between the EU and the UK (excluding Northern Ireland).  All Economic Operators are henceforth required to submit an export declaration when sending goods to the UK.

Check your contracts to see what agreements you have made with the digital platform. Check agreements on transport, export documents, customs and VAT because these issues are affected by Brexit. Goods shipped to the UK will now have to be declared to customs, which will require additional paperwork, potentially cause delays and incur additional costs.

Imports (Purchases)

Do you import goods (finished products, semi-finished goods, raw materials, ingredients, parts, etc.) from the UK? Import procedures will change from January 2021.

Do you import / purchase goods from the UK?

Importing goods from the UK

The UK left the European Union on 31 January.  The transition period ended on 31 December 2020. If you are already purchasing goods from the UK, you now have to comply with the obligations of an importer who imports from a ‘third country’.

Do you import goods from outside the EU?

Importing goods from outside the EU

It is important to note that if goods originate in the UK one may be able to claim a preferential rate of duty when these are imported into Malta and released for free circulation. This means they’ll be free (or benefit from a reduced rate) of Customs Duty. VAT will still be due on import.

To claim preferential rates of duty the imported product must originate in the UK (as the exporting country) as set out in Chapter 2 of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement ‘rules of origin’ and Chapter 2 of the Union Customs Code.

One must first properly classify the specific product originating in the UK under the Combined Nomenclature in order to be able to assess the duties and specific provisions associated with it, using the TARIC database. The TARIC database is available on the Customs Department’s website: TARIC Consultation

Questions concerning the classification of goods according to the Combined Nomenclature should be referred to the Binding Tariff Information Unit at the Customs Department: btiu.customs@gov.mt

More regulations may apply, details found on:  https://customs.gov.mt/

CE Mark

Importers of CE marked goods from the UK must ensure that both they and their suppliers are in line with the relevant regulations.  For example UK-based notified bodies, that prior to BREXIT were designated to independently assess the conformity of certain products requiring CE marking before these were placed on the EU market, are now no longer established in the EU; thus the conformity assessments carried out by such UK bodies, including those assessments carried out prior to 1 January 2021, may no longer be valid for the purposes of compliance with EU law.  Among other things this means that manufacturers whose products currently rely on third-party conformity assessments carried out by UK notified bodies must now seek new conformity assessments by EU-based notified bodies in order to ensure continuing compliance with the EU standards regime and to continue to place those products on the EU market.  Brexit also  affects the status of the economic operators (i.e. which entity is deemed the "manufacturer", "importer" or "distributor") in a supply chain.  For further information kindly visit the MCCAA website here.

Importing goods from the UK

The UK left the European Union on 31 January.  The transition period ended on 31 December 2020. If you are already purchasing goods from the UK, you now have to comply with the obligations of an importer who imports from a ‘third country’. More regulations may apply, details found on:  https://customs.gov.mt/

When the country of origin of the goods imported in Malta is not part of the European Union, you need to file a customs declaration and pay import duties and VAT. Customs duties are calculated Ad valorem (i.e. as a percentage) on the CIF value of the goods, in accordance with the Common Customs Tariff (CCT).

Details about fees, excise and other useful information is found on the Malta Customs webpage:  https://customs.gov.mt/ under the ‘Business and Trade’ tab.

Tariffs can be calculated on the European Commission website.

Brief guidelines on the Customs procedures: https://customs.gov.mt/docs/default-source/Brexit/notice-to-economic-operators-amp-the-general-public-october-2019.pdf

Brief guidelines on the Customs procedures: https://customs.gov.mt/docs/default-source/Brexit/notice-to-economic-operators-amp-the-general-public-october-2019.pdf

Parallel Imports

Parallel imports are imports without the trademark owner's consent in that market. When importing and selling products that originate outside the EU it is important to get the manufacturer’s permission.

Declaration of goods to customs

From 1 January 2021 imports of goods from the UK must be declared to customs. On the basis of your import declaration, customs will calculate the import duties. Customs will also assess whether other customs rules apply. To import goods into the EU it is necessary to have an EORI number. An EORI number is a European Union registration and identification number for businesses that import or export goods in or out of the EU. It is used by customs and other authorities to monitor and track shipments coming into and out of the European Union.

Info on the procedure for applying for an EORI number is available at  eori.customs@gov.mt or  Economic Operators Registration Identification (gov.mt)

You will also have to deal with possibly longer waiting times at the border. Keep that in mind if you import just-in-time deliveries and perishable goods.

Product liability

Responsibility for the safety and quality of a product also shifts from producer to importer. You are responsible for ensuring that an imported product from the UK complies with all EU law. Details on the MCCAA website.

CE Mark

Importers of CE marked goods from the UK must ensure that both they and their suppliers are in line with the relevant regulations.  For example UK-based notified bodies, that prior to BREXIT were designated to independently assess the conformity of certain products requiring CE marking before these were placed on the EU market, are now no longer established in the EU; thus the conformity assessments carried out by such UK bodies, including those assessments carried out prior to 1 January 2021, may no longer be valid for the purposes of compliance with EU law.  Among other things this means that manufacturers whose products currently rely on third-party conformity assessments carried out by UK notified bodies must now seek new conformity assessments by EU-based notified bodies in order to ensure continuing compliance with the EU standards regime and to continue to place those products on the EU market.  Brexit also  affects the status of the economic operators (i.e. which entity is deemed the "manufacturer", "importer" or "distributor") in a supply chain.  For further information kindly visit the MCCAA website at https://mccaa.org.mt/Section/Content?contentId=3700.

Do you import any of these products?

Advice for imports of animals and animal products

Do you import live animals or animal products into the European Union from the UK?

You must report the cargo before arrival and use a Veterinary Document of Entry. This must be done through a recognised Border Inspection Post (BIP). Veterinary Checks on Live Animals and on Products of Animal Origin originating from Third Countries imported into Malta are carried out in the following approved BIPs:

  • MIA Luqa: Airport Border Inspection Post
  • Zammit-Dock: Valletta Border Inspection  Post
  • Marsaxlokk: Freeport Border Inspection Post

In some cases  ‘temporary admission’ may be possible, which means the customs procedure under which certain goods, including animals and animal products, can be brought into a customs territory with conditional relief from the payment of import duties and taxes and without the application of import prohibitions or restrictions of an economic character, on the condition that the goods are imported for a specific purpose and are intended for re-exportation within a specified period without having undergone any change except normal depreciation due to the use made of those goods

Each Party shall grant temporary admission, with total conditional relief from import duties and taxes and without application of import restrictions or prohibitions of economic character, as provided for in its laws and regulations. This includes animals imported for specific purposes (dressage, training, breeding, shoeing or weighing, veterinary treatment, testing (for example, with a view to purchase), participation in shows, exhibitions, contests, competitions or demonstrations, entertainment (circus animals, etc.), touring (including pet animals of travellers), exercise of function (police dogs or horses; detector dogs, dogs for the blind, etc.), rescue operations, transhumance or grazing, performance of work or transport, medical purposes (delivery of snake poison, etc.).

Further info on the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Animal Rights webpage.

Animals or animal products that are protected are covered by CITES legislation. In this case, you must apply for your import permit from the Environment and Resource Authority ERA.

Notice for imports of organic goods

For imports of organic products from a country outside the EU you need a "certificate of inspection for imports of organic products". The certificate is required in order to release the products for free circulation in the European Union as organic (Article 13 of Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008).

Notice on imports of specific goods

Specific rules apply to the import of certain goods. More information about medicinal, pharmaceutical, chemical products or pesticides can be found on the MCCAA website or on the website of the Medicines Authority.

For plants and plant products, please refer to the Plant Health Directorate website

For vehicles you can find information on the site of Transport Malta

Notice on imports of specific goods

Specific rules apply to the import of certain goods. More information about medicinal, pharmaceutical, chemical products or pesticides can be found on the MCCAA website or on the website of the Medicines Authority.

For plants and plant products, please refer to the Plant Health Directorate website

For vehicles you can find information on the site of Transport Malta

Notice on imports of specific goods

Specific rules apply to the import of certain goods. More information about medicinal, pharmaceutical, chemical products or pesticides can be found on the MCCAA website or on the website of the Medicines Authority.

For plants and plant products, please refer to the Plant Health Directorate website

For vehicles you can find information on the site of Transport Malta

Notice on imports of specific goods

Specific rules apply to the import of certain goods. More information about medicinal, pharmaceutical, chemical products or pesticides can be found on the MCCAA website or on the website of the Medicines Authority.

For plants and plant products, please refer to the Plant Health Directorate website

For vehicles you can find information on the site of Transport Malta

Notice on imports of specific goods

Specific rules apply to the import of certain goods. More information about medicinal, pharmaceutical, chemical products or pesticides can be found on the MCCAA website or on the website of the Medicines Authority.

For plants and plant products, please refer to the Plant Health Directorate website

For vehicles you can find information on the site of Transport Malta

Services

Services to businesses and consumers in the UK

Service providers that do business with the UK market could face contractual and legal challenges: cross-border service level agreements, product licenses, insurance policies and data transfers may not be legally protected or recognized from January 2021. Companies should assess their existing ongoing contracts and be careful when entering new contracts with UK based parties.

If you recruit employees with a British passport or send employees to the UK for temporary work, or pursue a regulated profession in the UK, new regulations will apply.

Do you have an ongoing service contract with the UK?

Advice for ongoing service contracts

Brexit will bring uncertainty for local businesses who have ongoing contracts with UK companies and clients. Some contracts that had been drafted according to EU trade law may not be valid anymore.  Check your contracts: can you still fulfil your commitments? Some contractual obligations might make a contract challenging or unlawful to execute after Brexit, so one must consider alternative commercial approaches to diminish those risks. You may wish to consider partnering with, or engaging a UK company to minimize complications.

Do you require to export/import (from the UK) equipment and tools for professional services?

Advice for temporary export of equipment

As the UK is no longer an EU member, export and import duties apply, however, you may make use of an ATA Carnet (“ATA and Istanbul Conventions” means the Customs Convention on the ATA Carnet for the Temporary Admission of Goods done in Brussels on 6 December 1961 and the Istanbul Convention on Temporary Admission done on 26 June 1990) for customs clearance on temporary import/exports to the UK. An ATA Carnet is an international customs and temporary export-import document. It is used to clear customs in 87 countries and territories without paying duties and import taxes on merchandise that will be re-exported within 12 months.

You can use an ATA carnet for temporary import/export of equipment such as:

• demo equipment and sales samples
• exhibition material
• repair and testing tools
• tools of the trade
• photo, video and film material, musical instruments

The ATA Carnet is jointly administered by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) through its World Chambers Federation. To apply for an ATA Carnet document kindly contact the Malta Chamber of Commerce;
maltachamber.org.mt (Other Services) 

Do you have temporary employees with a British passport employed by your company in Malta?

Advice for temporary personnel with a British passport

From 1st January 2021 the UK’s immigration system will be transformed when freedom of movement ends, and EU citizens will be subject to the same immigration rules as citizens from the rest of the world.

After Brexit you will have to primarily recruit within Malta and the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and only if you do not find a suitable candidate will you be allowed to employ from the UK. There are exceptions to that rule such as the employment of a knowledge worker.

The competent authorities of each Party (EU and UK) shall adopt a decision on an application for an intra-corporate transferee entry or temporary stay or a renewal thereof and notify the decision to the applicant in writing, in accordance with the notification procedures under national law, as soon as possible but not later than 90 days after the date on which the complete application was submitted.

Do you have Maltese and EU personnel posted in the UK?

Information regarding posted workers in the UK

From January 2021, the possibilities for temporary posted workers to provide services (where they rely solely on their capacity as posted workers) will depend on UK legislation (for workers posted to the UK) and on EU legislation and national law for workers posted to the EU.

A new immigration system applies to people arriving in the UK from 1 January 2021 and EU citizens moving to the UK to work will need to get a visa in advance.

An EU citizen who lives and works in the UK must apply through the EU Settlement Scheme by June 30, 2021. They can apply for “pre-settled” status if they have been in the UK for less than five years or settled status if they have been in the country longer. Those who do not take these steps will be subject to immigration and enforcement action as of July 1 2021.

More info on Gov.Uk website.

Do you practice a regulated profession in the UK?

Advising for regulated professions

There are changes to how services are regulated and how professional qualifications obtained in the EU are recognised in the UK. There will be a new UK recognition system. Decisions made before Brexit for EU and UK nationals who applied for recognition of a non-UK qualification under the pre-Brexit rules remain valid. Applications for a recognition after Brexit are subject to the new system of recognition. For any questions on how your application will be processed please contact the relevant regulator.

For holders of UK qualifications seeking recognition to work in regulated professions in the EU, check the Commission guidance on regulated professions and recognition of professional qualifications here.

More information about regulated professions in the UK can be found on the UK NARIC website.

Transport

Transport of goods

Brexit turns intra-Community trade between the UK and the EU into extra-Community trade and brings changes to the transport sector, and so new rules apply.

Do you transport goods to or from the UK?

Do you transport with your own staff/fleet or do you outsource?

Advice on independent transport

Transport to and from the UK is now more challenging as goods must go through customs, which could result in longer waiting times at the border affecting your just-in-time deliveries and perishable goods. Check whether your current international delivery provision can handle the new situation.

If you transport independently be sure to check the following issues:

If you decide to outsource transport to a freight forwarder after Brexit:

A freight forwarder can do anything that is required for transportation: taking care of necessary documents, transport insurance and customs procedures.

If you decide to have the goods transported by a courier after Brexit:

You may require the service of a courier to assist you with your shipment. The courier takes care of the transport documents and provides the permits for professional freight transport. However, you are responsible for customs procedures and any transport insurance necessary.

Both yourself and the courier must therefore check that everything is in order to continue transporting to and from the UK after Brexit.

Advice for transport to Ireland

Brexit will affect transport to Ireland. If you only transport goods to Ireland via the UK, you may want to consider using a sealed truck.

Advice on outsourcing of transportation

Check the international delivery conditions of your logistics service provider(s) and make sure they can offer the same service and conditions after Brexit.

Check the packaging requirements

The courier or freight forwarder may ask for new requirements for the packaging of the product, depending on the form of transport.

Insure your goods

Check who is liable for the goods before, during and after transport. You might require additional transport insurance.

Are you transporting to Ireland, via the United Kingdom?

Advice for transport to Ireland

Brexit will affect transport to and from Ireland. If you only transport goods to Ireland via the UK, you may want to consider using a sealed truck.

The customs transit procedure is used to move goods between two points of a customs territory, via another customs territory; or between two or more different customs territories.  Using the Customs Transit procedure allows for the temporary suspension of duties, taxes and commercial policy measures that are applicable at import. As such, it allows customs clearance formalities to take place at the point destination (e.g. Malta) rather than at the point of entry into the customs territory (e.g. France). Companies are advised to check with their logistics partner on the requirements to complete a transit declaration.

For further info:
Ec.Europa.Eu (What is customs transit?)
Ec.Europa.Eu: UK withdrawal business transit scenarios

Export advice
The United Kingdom is now a ‘third country’, i.e. a country outside the European Union (EU). The authorities on both sides had agreed on a transitional period until 31 December 2020, during which no changes took place for citizens and businesses. From 1 January, 2021 you will have to deal with Maltese and British customs and you will need export documents, possibly including a licence, to export to the UK.

Experience with export to third countries

If you have already exported outside the EU, you are probably already familiar with the procedures that apply. Businesses and people wishing to trade with countries outside the EU must use an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number as an identifier in all transactions with Customs administrations.  An (EORI number) is a European Union registration and identification number for businesses that import or export goods in or out of the EU. It is used by customs and other authorities to monitor and track shipments coming into and out of the European Union. For Information on how to apply for an EORI number- either write to eori.customs@gov.mt or visit Economic Operators Registration Identification (gov.mt)

Customs
You will also have to deal with customs formalities in the UK and possibly longer waiting times at the border. Keep that in mind if you export just-in-time deliveries and perishable goods. If you are considering exporting to the UK you may consider registering with Maltese Customs as an "Authorised Economic Operator" (AEO).  Economic operators obtain AEO status by meeting a number of criteria defined in the Union Customs Code following an application to the customs authorities. AEOs receive benefits both inside and outside the EU, such as facilitations regarding pre-departure declarations and prior notifications in case of selection for control. For further information please go to: Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs)

Excise goods and products subject to excise duty
As the UK is no longer a Member State of the EU, transport of excise goods from Malta to the UK is now considered to be an export to a third country and no longer a transfer under the excise suspension scheme. As from January 2021 the Excise Movement Control System (EMCS) will no longer apply for the UK. Movements of excise goods from the United Kingdom to the EU will have to be released from customs formalities before a movement under Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) can begin. For further details about Excise regulations please go to: customs.gov.mt (All you need to know about excise)

Import tariffs and other post-Brexit levies
Post-Brexit, EU products exported to the UK will be subject to UK tariffs and regulations. The import tariffs of the UK will be known as from 1 January, 2021, but are very likely to be the same as the current WTO import tariffs of the EU.

Product requirements after Brexit
If you export goods to the UK adjustments to your product or product packaging may be required. Please note, however, that the general and specific EU product requirements, such as the CE mark may no longer apply in the UK after Brexit. Your products may also need to satisfy UK quality and health and safety standards; these may differ from those set by the EU.

Specific UK legislation
Check whether there are other laws and regulations in the UK that you need to comply with after Brexit. Visit the UK government website for more info.

Contracts
Check your contracts to determine your agreements about mutual delivery obligations you enter into after Brexit. Check whether you can comply with them and that you will accept or pass on the relevant costs. Take note ongoing contracts that continue after Brexit. Also pay attention if the contracts include highly regulated products and check UK legislation that apply to these products.

Transport arrangements
Make clear transport arrangements and take note of: who takes care of the transport; who pays for the transport; who is responsible for damage; who pays any import duties; who makes what insurance, etc. You can use the ICC Incoterms ®2010 for clear agreements on the delivery conditions and transport of your goods. You may also want to consider enlisting a customs forwarder.

Payment form
The form of payment should involve the least possible risk. Contact your bank about the settlement of payments and check if your bank is ready for that.

UK manufactured parts no longer count towards EU origins after Brexit
Brexit will also affect exports outside the European Union (e.g. Canada, South Korea, Japan, etc.). If you use materials originating in the UK and claim lower import duties under a trade deal between the EU and a third country, this will no longer be possible after Brexit. The percentage of the components of a product that originate in a third country is taken in consideration when calculating what percentage of a product is manufactured in the European Union. Following Brexit, components and parts manufactured in the UK will no longer count towards that minimum production required in the European Union for a product to be considered originating in the EU.  For example, if you are currently exporting a product that must contain at least 60% EU content to qualify for preferential treatment in, say Japan, and one-third of that 60% originates in the UK, as from 1st January 2021 the EU content in your product will go down to40%, and it will no longer qualify for preferential treatment.

Further information can be found on: 

1. customs.gov.mt (Preferential Rules of Origin)
2. ec.europa.eu (Rules of Origin)

Supply

Business often depend on other companies for the supply of goods. Even though you may not do business with the UK in any way, your suppliers may still be procuring goods from the UK. A similar reasoning applies to your relationship with your customers. You can therefore be indirectly involved with Brexit procedures.

Do you work with suppliers who trade or exchange services with the UK?

Supplier advice

Trade with the UK will become more complex after Brexit. This can not only affect your business, but your suppliers or customers as well.

Check who are your suppliers and to what extent they depend on the UK to deliver their product and/or service.

If an important component of your end product comes from the UK, clarify with your supplier whether the delivery will continue after Brexit.

Make a risk analysis about your suppliers. You might wish to consider looking for alternatives within the EU if the product or service procured from the UK is essential to your own activity.

Do you have customers trading or exchanging services with the UK?

Customer advice

Brexit will affect exports to other countries outside the EU. If you use lower import duties under a trade agreement, you may not benefit from this after the end of the transition period if a substantial amount of your product is made up of UK components.

There are legal repercussions concerning rules of origin for preferential treatment of goods, which need to be considered now the United Kingdom is considered a third country. In particular, the EU preferential trade arrangements with third countries in the field of the common commercial policy and customs no longer apply to the United Kingdom.

More information on Malta Customs webpage: customs.gov.mt (Preferential Rules of Origin)
European Commission webpage: Ec.europa.eu (nonpreferential Rules of Origin)
Guidance on Non-Preferential Rules of Origin: ec.europa.eu (Guidance on Non-Preferential Rules of Origin)

Digital data and services (privacy legislation)

Are you processing data and saving it on a remote server? Do you save personal data of your customers? Do you know in which country this data is saved? Check if data is being saved on servers in the UK or if the software company you engage has its data management in the UK.

Do you use (digital) services with data flows to and from the UK?

ICT services advice to and from the UK

ICT is indispensable for your communication, your administration and much more. It is possible that some of the ICT services provided in Malta are conducted via the UK. These information flows could be seriously affected after Brexit. The UK is no longer part of the EU so check that the supplier who processes and stores your data complies with European law. If you process personal data, you must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): Data protection in the EU | European Commission (europa.eu); https://idpc.org.mt/for-organisations/. Do a risk analysis of your company data to determine whether you can leave your company data stored in the UK.

Do you use software provided by UK companies or does your service provider do so (indirectly)?

Advice for digital data and services in the UK

Check with your software provider (providers of payroll software, HR systems, CRM and all ICT solutions utilised by your business) that the software provider complies with European law. If you process personal data utilising software from the UK, you must still comply with European privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR): Data protection in the EU | European Commission (europa.eu); https://idpc.org.mt/for-organisations/.

You may wish to consider looking for ICT solutions in the EU if the product/service is essential for your business operations.

Intellectual Property Rights

Innovations and creations are protected by intellectual property rights such as patent rights, design rights and copyrights according to their nature. The brands aimed at distinguishing the products of one undertaking from those of others are protected by trademarks. Third parties are not allowed to use protected innovations creations and trademarks without permission of the right holders.

In Malta one may apply for a patent or to register a trademark or design by proceeding directly to Commerce Department's IP portal www.ips.gov.mt. Your application will be processed by the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate of the Commerce Department.

Do you have intellectual property?

What kind of intellectual property?

Advice for types of EU Intellectual Property

Now that the UK has left the EU, an EU brand will no longer be offered protection in the UK from the end of the transition period. For those who have an EU trade mark granted before the end of the transitional period, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement states that an EU trade mark will also be registered as a national trade mark for the UK at the end of the transition period. This is done through an automatic and free procedure in the UK, whereby an EU brand is automatically registered with the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). When you renew the EU brand at the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), you will need to renew the corresponding brand for the UK with UKIPO (see Articles 54(4) and 55(4) of the Withdrawal Agreement (Eur-Lex.Europa.Eu))

Intellectual property advice

If a procedure for the registration of an EU trade mark is still ongoing at the end of the transitional period, the EU trade mark will no longer be protected in the UK at the time of registration (after the transitional period). You can submit a separate deposit (application) for the same brand for the UK to UKIPO for your intended trade mark. If you do so within 9 months of the transitional period, you can request the filing date of your EU trademark application (a so-called ad hoc right of priority, see Article 59(1)).

For more information, please contact:

Advice in the case of a Community drawing or design

Community drawings and designs (hereinafter collectively referred to as "Community designs") apply in the EU. Now that the UK has left the EU, a Community model will no longer provide protection in the UK from the end of the transition period. What happens to the protection of the design in the UK after this period depends on when the Community design was granted. For those who have a Community design granted before the end of the transitional period, the Withdrawal Agreement provides that a registered Community design shall also be registered as a UK national model at the end of the transitional period (see Article 54(1)(b) of the Withdrawal Agreement). This is done through an automatic and free procedure in the UK, whereby a registered Community design is automatically registered with UKIPO (see Articles 54(1)(b) and 55(1)). The duration of protection of the British model shall be at least the same (Article 54(6) of the Withdrawal Agreement).

When you renew the registered Community design with the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) you will also need to renew the corresponding UK model with the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) (Articles 54(4) and 55(4)) of the Withdrawal Agreement).

Each Party shall confer on holders of an unregistered design the right to prevent the use of the unregistered design by any third party not having the holder’s consent only if the contested use results from copying the unregistered design in their respective territory. Such use shall at least cover the offering for sale, putting on the market, importing or exporting the product.

The duration of protection available for the unregistered design shall amount to at least three years as from the date on which the design was first made available to the public in the territory of the respective Party.

According to the Withdrawal Agreement, an unregistered Community design remains in force as a national unregistered model in the UK. The size of the protection and the duration of protection of that corresponding national law shall be (at least) the same as the unregistered Community design (Article 57 of the Withdrawal Agreement).

Intellectual property advice

If a procedure for the registration of an EU trade mark is still ongoing at the end of the transitional period, the EU trade mark will no longer be protected in the UK at the time of registration (after the transitional period). You can submit a separate deposit (application) for the same brand for the UK to UKIPO for your intended trade mark. If you do so within 9 months of the transitional period, you can request the filing date of your EU trademark application (a so-called ad hoc right of priority, see Article 59(1) of the Withdrawal Agreement).

Advice on a Community plant variety right

Each Party (EU & UK) shall protect plant varieties rights in accordance with the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) as lastly revised in Geneva on 19 March 1991.

The Parties shall cooperate to promote and enforce these rights. Now that the UK has left the EU, a Community plant variety right will no longer provide protection in the UK from the end of the transition period. What happens to protection in the UK after this period depends on the date on which the Community plant variety right was granted.

The Withdrawal Agreement provides that a Community plant variety right granted before the end of the transitional period shall also be registered as a national UK plant variety right (Article 54(1)(c) of the Withdrawal Agreement).

This registration is done automatically and free of charge at the Plant Variety Rights Office of the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA).  The period of protection of the British plant variety right shall be at least equal to the remaining period of protection under Union law of the corresponding registered Community design or Community plant variety right; (see Article 54(6) of the Withdrawal Agreement).

At the expiry date of payment of the annual right to maintain the Community plant variety duty at the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) ,the UK plant variety office must also be paid by the APHA (Article 55(4)).

Intellectual property advice

If a procedure for the registration of an EU trade mark is still ongoing at the end of the transitional period, the EU trade mark will no longer be protected in the UK at the time of registration (after the transitional period). You can submit a separate deposit (application) for the same brand for the UK to UKIPO for your intended trade mark. If you do so within 9 months of the transitional period, you can request the filing date of your EU trademark application (a so-called ad hoc right of priority, see Article 59(1)).

Exhaustion of IP

If you sell a protected product in the EU, your intellectual property rights for that product are exhausted after sale. You cannot prevent the product from being resold to a third party. According to the Withdrawal Agreement, intellectual property rights exhausted in the EU and the United Kingdom before the end of the transition period remain exhausted in both the EU and the United Kingdom (see Article 61 of the Withdrawal Agreement).

For more information, please contact:

Advice on a European Patent

Brexit will not affect European patents granted by the European Patent Office. These patents are based on the European Patent Convention, which also includes non-EU countries such as Switzerland, Norway and Turkey. Nothing will change for current or future applications for a European patent either.

The United Kingdom will not participate in the new European Patent Court and the Unitary Patent.

Ongoing applications for a UK Supplementary Protection Certificate (S.A.)  for medicinal products or plant protection products and pending applications for renewal of a certificate already granted shall continue to apply to ABSEs (EC) No 1610/96 and (EC) No 469/2009. Certificates granted on this basis provide the same protection as under the ABC Regulations (see Article 60 of the Withdrawal Agreement).

Intellectual property advice

If a procedure for the registration of an EU trade mark is still ongoing at the end of the transitional period, the EU trade mark will no longer be protected in the UK at the time of registration (after the transitional period). You can submit a separate deposit (application) for the same brand for the UK to UKIPO for your intended trade mark. If you do so within 9 months of the transitional period, you can request the filing date of your EU trademark application (a so-called ad hoc right of priority, see Article 59(1)).

For more information, please contact:

Advice on copyright or related rights

Copyrights and related rights are not directly affected by Brexit. Copyright and related rights (originating before or after 1 January 2021) remain in principle protected in the United Kingdom on the basis of international treaties ratified by the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, these treaties offer less far-reaching protection in certain respects than harmonised EU intellectual property legislation. Therefore, you should check regularly, for example on the UKIPO website, whether the relevant UK legislation has been updated.

Intellectual property advice

If a procedure for the registration of an EU trade mark is still ongoing at the end of the transitional period, the EU trade mark will no longer be protected in the UK at the time of registration (after the transitional period). You can submit a separate deposit (application) for the same brand for the UK to UKIPO for your intended trade mark. If you do so within 9 months of the transitional period, you can request the filing date of your EU trademark application (a so-called ad hoc right of priority, see Article 59(1) of the Withdrawal Agreement (Eur-Lex.Europa.Eu))

For more information, please contact:

Advice on a UK patent, trade mark, design or plant variety right

National intellectual property rights, such as a national patent or a national trademark registered with UKIPO, are not directly affected by Brexit and will remain in force.

The Parties (EU & UK) recognise the importance of the Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, adopted on 14 November 2001 by the Ministerial Conference of the WTO at Doha (the "Doha Declaration"). In interpreting and implementing the rights and obligations under this Section, each Party shall ensure consistency with the Doha Declaration.

Intellectual property advice

If a procedure for the registration of an EU trade mark is still ongoing at the end of the transitional period, the EU trade mark will no longer be protected in the UK at the time of registration (after the transitional period). You can submit a separate deposit (application) for the same brand for the UK to UKIPO for your intended trade mark. If you do so within 9 months of the transitional period, you can request the filing date of your EU trademark application (a so-called ad hoc right of priority, see Article 59(1) of the Withdrawal Agreement (Eur-Lex.Europa.Eu))

For more information, please contact:

Useful Links

Should you have any queries please contact us on brexit@maltaenterprise.com