Shopping Online - Processing Fees

When purchasing goods from abroad, end-users should be aware of additional charges that may apply such as processing fees associated with Customs, Health or Border Inspections clearance.  The below information provides a breakdown of fees that could be applicable.

Importation of health and animal products:

Postal items including medicines and health products may be inspected by the Port Health Office (PHO), while imported live animals and products of animal origin may be inspected by the Border Inspection Post (BIP). When a postal item has to be inspected by either one of these offices, the postal operator delivers the postal item to the relevant office for their inspection. MaltaPost applies an administrative fee of €5 to cover the cost of processing the item and obtaining the necessary clearances. 

 Postal items subject to customs clearance:

 

Charges applied by postal operators / couriers to their customers to handle clearance of goods received from non-EU countries vary considerably from one operator to another.  Different postal operators / couriers apply different charging mechanisms which may also vary depending on the cost of the goods being delivered.

The following are the charges as published on some of the postal operators’ / couriers’ websites:

UPS
Minimum charge of €16

DHL Malta
Minimum charge of €12

MaltaPost
€3 for packages having items with a total value between €22 and €150
€6 for packages having items with a total value between €150 and €420 
€15 for packages having items with a total value worth more than €420

Customs clearance administrative fees (in the form of processing fees, advancement fee for payment of duty and VAT on behalf of the recipient, or similar fees described differently) are not subject to regulatory control by MCA. However, measures are being taken by the Authority to ensure that customers are sufficiently informed of such charges beforehand, and not at the point of collection of the ordered goods.

It is advisable, before purchasing an item from a seller operating from outside the EU that customers enquire with the seller on whether it is possible to indicate beforehand which local postal operator / courier will deliver the item.  When this is possible, customers are advised to enquire with the local postal operator / courier about any processing charges that may be applicable for clearing the goods through Customs.

Any enquiries regarding applicable Value Added Tax (VAT), Customs Duty Tax and Excise Duty Tax should be referred to the Department of Customs.

 All charges mentioned in this article are based on information published on the respective operators’ website accessed on February 2019.