Merchanise from U.K.: 80% of paid customs duty will be handed over to the E.U.
Merchandise coming from the United Kingdom will increase the work of Customs officers as all of the imported products have to be screened, while 80% of paid customs duty will be forwarded to the European Union.
Chamber of Commerce President told TVM that, conscious about the negative impact of Brexit, U.K. importers opted, where possible, to import products from other European markets where there are no trade restrictions.
Architect David Xuereb, however, said that the impact was eased following the preparation work Malta undertook during the past four years, adding that the last months of 2020 presented enormous efforts for various enterprises. “Prior to the end of the year, there were enterprises who stocked heavily for the first months…the effects will be felt later on this year”.
Mr Xuereb stated that despite that the U.K. remained one of the major markets since Malta entered the E.U., the local industry diversified further, with Italy being the biggest market for the importation of products to Malta. The greatest impact is expected to be on the imports of cars and medicine.
“There is a drive to keep medicines coming from England – however there are also similar products coming from other European markets, with no similar tariffs as those between the EU and U.K.”
While VAT will increase on all imported products, customs duty will apply for products not manufacted in the United Kingdom, with 80% of the money will be collected by customs and forwarded to the EU and 20% to the Maltese Government,
Customs’ International Affairs director, Ian Muscat, said that through the agreement, products originating from the U.K. are not subjected to customs duty which is a greater burden for customs. “Everything is subject to customs formalities. If a product originates from England and there is no duty on it, we are obliged to verify the objects and they may be subject for inspection”.
During the past three years, the Customs department increased its workforce with some 60 workers to meet the increase in work following Brexit in the areas of air merchandise, containers and through mail. Mr Muscat added that an investment was also made in other equipment, including a van to scan luggage, which eases the officers’ task to open every luggage.