Malta ready for Brexit

Preparations for introduction of customs duties on UK imports

With the effective date of the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU fast approaching, no deal has yet been reached between the EU and the UK. If this situation remains unchanged, current Malta customs procedures related to non-EU countries will be extended to the United Kingdom as from the new year, Malta’s Customs Department recently announced.

The department has issued guidelines on its modus operandi for the various trade sectors. It said that all imports from and exports to the United Kingdom will need to be covered by a Customs declaration, on which all the applicable duties and other taxes such as VAT and excise will have to be paid prior to the release of goods for free circulation within the EU.

Imports and exports of parcels by post and by fast parcel operators are also caught within the scope of this treatment.

Imports of Raw Materials for Processing

Maltese business that sources raw material from the UK for further processing and eventual export may benefit from relief from import duties subject to meeting the qualifying conditions.

The Customs Department has advised that it will adopt a risk-based approach over consignments originating from or destined to the United Kingdom, in line with the current approach used for the movement of goods to and from other non-EU countries.

Passenger movements

Travellers arriving from the UK will no longer be able to enjoy the use of the EU channel but will have to choose between the green channel (“nothing to declare”) or the red channel if they have goods to declare.

Business Preparation

Local businesses that carry out trade with the United Kingdom need to register and obtain an Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number to be able to lodge declarations for their imports and exports. Failure to have this in place prior to year end will cause unnecessary delays during handling of imports/exports.

How we may help

As an advisor to international clients, we are able to guide clients through these uncertain times, allowing them to focus on their business. We may assist clients with the necessary registrations, as well as carrying out an analysis of their company structure to ensure it remains valid in a post-Brexit world. We have assisted clients to set up companies in Malta or in the UK to ensure that their business moves forward irrespective of the political landscape. Those companies registered in an EU member stare with bank accounts in the UK are advised to seek guidance on alternative arrangements to avoid possible restrictions or taxes on the movement of capital.