The European Commission has told Malta to amend its car licensing rules to bring them in line with the rest of the bloc.

In a formal notice to Malta, it observed that under current Maltese legislation, cars registered in Malta after January 1, 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.

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“The Commission considers that the Maltese legislation is not compatible with EU law. According to the case-law 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 commission said.

The Maltese authorities have now two months to reply; otherwise, the Commission may send a reasoned opinion, setting a course for legal action.