Malta has been told to change its current licensing rules on imported second-hand cars in accordance with other EU member states, the European Commission has announced.
“The Commission decided to send a letter of formal notice to Malta asking it to amend its rules on car taxation,” a fact sheet published on Thursday 6th June confirmed. “Under current Maltese legislation, cars registered in Malta after 1 January 2009 and imported from other Member States are taxed more heavily than similar cars registered in Malta before that date, even when the imported car has 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,” the European Commission continued.
“Maltese authorities now have two months to reply; otherwise, the Commission may send a reasoned opinion,” the statement concludes.
Formal requests to comply with EU law, reasoned opinions are sent whenever the Commission concludes that a country is failing to fulfil its obligations under the laws of the Union. If the country still doesn’t comply, the Commission may decide to refer the matter to the Court of Justice, and while most cases are settled before or right after they’re referred, this stage can see the Commission asking the court to impose penalties on the country, with the national authorities being forced to take action to comply or face legal action.