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Factsheet for measure MT-2020-24/1174 Updated – measures in Malta

Measures to support import and export

Miżuri li jappoġġjaw l- importazzjoni u l- esportazzjoni

Country Malta , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 08 June 2020 – 31 December 2023
Context COVID-19
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Support for spending, stimulus packages
Author Luke Anthony Fiorini (University of Malta) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 September 2020 (updated 01 September 2022)

Background information

COVID-19 had a marked negative financial impact on several sectors in Malta. By means of a tripartite agreement, a package of measures to save jobs and organisations was agreed and announced by the Government on 24 March 2020. Amongst the measures in this package, wage subsidies were offered to sectors which were worst hit. During a 'mini budget' announced on the 8 June 2020, which aimed to regenerate Malta's economy, Government announced another package of measures. Some of the measures within this package aimed at stimulating the import and export sectors which suffered during COVID-19.

Content of measure

Several measures to support import and export were implemented. These include:

Refund in port charges: A refund of 33% in port charges will be given for ships bringing in cargo to our country to support the supply chains that effect Malta's economy.

Refund in container discharge fees: A 10% refund will also be given on container discharge fees for import and export but not transhipment.

Support for digital promotion of export of goods and services: To aid exporters to reach new markets, a fund to support digital marketing was introduced. Trade Malta has been allocated a budget of €400,000 to reimburse half of the costs involved in campaigns aimed at foreign markets, with a maximum cap of €25,000 per undertaking. The scheme can be used to benefit:

  • investment in digital marketing channels to aid international promotion of products and services (up to 50% of eligible expenses);
  • training of staff in digital marketing tools via eLearning courses (up to 50% of eligible expenses);
  • recover funds lost in eligible expenses related to trade exhibitions cancelled due to the pandemic (up to 80% of unrecoverable funds lost due to event cancellation).


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

01 August 2022

Whilst applications appear to remain open for the port refund and container discharge schemes on Transport Malta's website, the schemes were not extended and only cover up until mid-2020.

On the other hand, measures offered by Trade Malta were expanded upon. The 'International Trade Promotion Incentive Scheme' was provided with a total budget of €3 million between 2021 and 2023, with the total amount of aid provided to a single undertaking capped at €30,000 per calendar year. The updated scheme provides organisations with support for a range of aspects including the participation in physical and virtual business-to-business international trade events, fairs and missions, the preparation of marketing material (physical and digital), conducting marketing research, and international collaboration, amongst others.

17 August 2020

Further details of the port refund and container discharge schemes were released by Transport Malta that is to administer the measure. The Government allocated €2.08 million for the scheme. The scheme covers ship calls with domestic cargo between December 2019 and May 2020, with ship operators, importers and exporters, and freight forwards or ship agents eligible to apply. The refund on port charges refers to that for port dues, pilotage dues and mooring services dues, with a refund of 35% on applicable paid invoices. In the case of terminal handling charges, the refund is for €40 per trailer and €20 per container.

Use of measure

€2.08 million was made available for the schemes related to the refund on port charges and handling charges. In terms of the refunds, 1,357 ship calls, 24,719 containers, and 14,755 trailers are eligible.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Importing/Exporting companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


By means of a tripartite agreement, a package of measures to save jobs and organisations was agreed on 24 March 2020. This was the third but most significant package of measures announced by the Government. Following this agreement, social partners remained in direct contact with the government highlighting their proposals of what was felt was still necessary to save the Maltese economy and jobs. In view of this, on the 8 June 2020, the government announced a 'mini budget' to help the Maltese economy to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Essentially, this was the fourth package of measures announced by the government. The current measures formed part of this package.

Views and reactions

The fourth package of measures, of which the current measure formed part of, received public support from an array of social partners. Those positive and vocal about it were primarily business associations, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of SMEs, the Malta Employers' Association, the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA), the Malta Developers Associations (MDA), and the Association of Catering Establishments. Reactions specific to the measures related to import and export were not identified.



Eurofound (2020), Measures to support import and export, measure MT-2020-24/1174 (measures in Malta), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.