EU calls on Malta to revamp tax rules on imported second-hand vehicles

Helena Grech - 10th June 2019

Maltese legislation is not compatible with EU law, the Commission wrote in a letter of formal notice.

A letter of formal notice was sent to Malta calling on the state to "amend its rules on car taxation", specifically related to the taxes imposed on imported second-hand cars from other Member States registered in Malta after January 2009.

The Commission has called this practice into question which results in the imported second-hand cars being taxed more heavily than similar cars registered in Malta before January 2009, despite the imported cars having already been registered in another Member State.

"The Commission considers that the Maltese legislation is not compatible with EU law. According to the case-law (Article 110 of TFEU) of the Court of Justice of the EU, EU law is infringed where road taxes are calculated according to different criteria which lead to higher taxes being imposed on cars imported from other Member States compared to non-imported vehicles," it said in a press release issued last week.

Malta now has two months to reply, and failing this, the Commission may then send out a reasoned opinion on the matter.


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