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Carriage of Goods for Hire or Reward within the European Union

 Carriage of Goods by Road within the European Union

The carriage of goods by road within the European Union is organised in two main categories:

  • For Own-Account - when carried goods are owned by the owners of the vehicles used to carry them;
  • For Hire or Reward - when carried goods are NOT owned by the owners of the vehicles used to cary them. This type of operation is normally referred to as Road Haulage.

The carriage of goods on own-account does not require any special permissions or licences, and is therefore not regulated.

The respective regulations apply to the following category of vehicles:

  • Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) with a Maximum Permissible Mass exceeding 3,500kgs;
  • As from 21 May 2022, Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) with a Maximum Permissible Mass exceeding 2,500kgs but not exceeding 3,500kgs which are used for the international carriage of goods (i.e. transport between different EU Member States)

Road haulage within the European Union is regulated through Regulation (EU) No. 1071/2009 and Regulation (EU) No. 1072/2009.

Road hauliers must employ or engage a Transport Manager to effectively and continuously manage the transport operations, in line with Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No. 1071/2009.

In their transport operations, Maltese road hauliers may use their own vehicles, or vehicles leased from third parties. Leased vehicles may be registered in any European Member State, as long as the conditions stipulated in Directive 2006/1/EC are complied with.

Hauliers employing non-EU nationals as drivers for vehicles used for transport operations within the EU shall apply for driver attestations for each such driver, in accordance with Regulation (EU) No. 1072/2009.

Drivers of goods vehicles often travel long distances across Europe to  pick-up or deliver their goods. Long driving hours can cause driver fatigue, which in turn increases the risk of accidents which could have serious impacts on the health of the drivers and other road users. Therefore, driving and rest times for drivers need to be measured and limited as stipulated in Regulation (EU) 561/2006 using the equipment stipulated in Regulation (EU) 165/2014.

All these regulations and directives are implemented or transposed in Malta by means of the Motor Vehicles (Carriage of Goods by Road) Regulations - S.L.65.19

Road Haulage Operator Licences

The regulations stipulate that road haulage services may be offerred only if the transporter holds an operator licence for this purpose. Operator licences issued by Transport Malta are organised in 2 categories, as follows:

  • National Operations - licensees may operate such services only in Malta (applies only to operators of HGVs);
  • European Authorisations - licensees may operate such services anywhere in the European Union.

Any undertaking wishing to start offerring road  haulage services may apply for a road haulage operator licence using form RHOL-A1. Applications may be submitted by sole-traders, companies, partnerships or any other legal-entity entitled to carry out commercial activity.

The issue of Road Haulage Operator Licences is subject to the requirements listed in the table below:

Requirements Description
Establishment Requires that:
  • Undertakings shall operate from an office and/or premises located in the Member State of Establishment. 
  • Undertakings shall operate at least 1 goods vehicle registered in the Member State of Establishment.
  • Undertakings shall be registered as business undertakings (except for sole traders) and for tax purposes in Malta.
Good Conduct Applies to:
  • Transport Manager; AND
  • Sole Trader; OR
  • All company directors; OR
  • All partners; depending on the type of undertaking.
Financial Standing An undertaking operating HGVs shall have at its disposal capital and reserves totalling at least:
  • €9,000 for the first vehicle; and
  • €5,000 for any additional HGV; or
  • €900 for any additional LCV.
An undertaking operating with LCVs only shall have at its disposal capital and reserves totalling at least:
  • €1,800 for the first vehicle; and
  • €900 for each additional LCV.
Form RHOL-Z1 shall be used to establish the financial standing of an undertaking.
Professional Competence Undertakings shall engage the services of a Transport Manager who shall effectively and continuously manage the transport operations. Transport Managers shall hold a Certificate of Professional Competence for National or International Operations.

Undertakings satisfying these requirements may apply, operate, manage and renew a Road Haulage Operator Licence through the application forms and fees listed below:

Process Application Form Fee & Validity
Application for new licence RHOL-A1 €120
Valid for 5 years.
Adding vehicles under licence RHOL-Z2 €25 each for first 5 vehicles.
Free for additional vehicles.
Licence Renewal RHOL-A2 €120
Valid for 5 years.

An administrative charge of €6 applies for each transaction. Each form includes a list of supporting documents which need to be submitted along with the application in order for it to be accepted. 

For information about payment methods accepted by Transport Malta refer here.

A list of current holders of a Community Authorisation for the carriage of road haulage operations within the EU may be accessed here.

Transport Managers

Road Haulage operators are required to engage the services of a Transport Manager to effectively and continuously manage their transport operators. The role of Transport Manager may be held by anyone within the undertaking who holds a Certificate of Professional Competence for Transport Managers issued by Transport Malta or the equivalent entity of any other Member State.This certification is issued in the following 2 categories:

  • National CPC - Entitling holder to manage transport operations taking place only within the national territory;
  • International CPC - Entitling holder to manage transport operations taking place anywhere within the territory of the European Union. Moreover, holders of this certificate may manage the transport operations of hauliers established anywhere in the Union.

Individual Transport Managers may be engaged by a maximum of 4 different road haulage operators and may manage up to a maximum of 50 HGVs across all operators. Transport Managers shall satisfy the requirement of good conduct at all times. 

To obtain the Certificate of Professional Competence for Transport Managers, applicants shall:

  • Attend a specific training program at any of the training providers approved for this purpose, as listed here;
  • Sit for and pass a test set by Transport Malta.

Transport Malta issues Certificates of Professional Competence to all successful applicants. This certificate is recognised across the Union, and does not expire. An administrative fee of €8 applies for each Certificate issued. 

Use of goods vehicles hired without a driver from other Member States

Maltese hauliers may choose to conduct their international transport operations using:

  • Vehicles registered in Malta, which they either fully own or hire from third parties established in Malta; or
  • Vehicles registered in another European Member State, which they hire from the rightful owner.

The use of vehicles hired from other Member States is allowed in line with Article 4 of Directive 2006/1/EC on the use of vehicles hired without drivers for the carriage of goods by road. The requirements stipulated in Article 2 of this Directive shall apply, as follows:

  • The hire contract relates solely to the hiring of a vehicle without a driver and is not accompanied by a service contract concluded with the same undertaking covering driving or accompanying personnel;
  • The hired vehicle is at the sole disposal of the undertaking using it during the period of the hire contract;
  • The hired vehicle is driven by personnel of the undertaking using it.

Proof of compliance with these requirements shall be provided by the following documents, which must be on board the vehicle:

  • The contract of hire, or a certified extract from that contract giving in particular the name of the lessor, the name of the lessee, the date and duration of the contract and the identification of the vehicle;
  • Where the driver is not the person hiring the vehicle, the driver’s employment contract or a certified extract from that contract giving in particular the name of the employer, the name of the employee and the date and duration of the employment contract or a recent pay slip.

When a haulier wishes to add a hired vehicle under the respective operator licence, the form RHOL-Z2 shall be submitted accompanied by the contract of hire of the added vehicle or vehicles.

Driver Attestations

Road hauliers may employ drivers who are third-country nationals (i.e. not EU Citizens or long-term residents) as long as the hauliers hold a driver attestation issued by Transport Malta for each such driver.

Driver attestations may be issued only for persons holding a Residence Permit issued by Identity Malta on behalf of the haulier employing them. 

Haulier may apply for attestations for their driver by submitting form RHOL-Z3 along with the suppporting documents listed therein. Driver attestations expire along with the residence permit. A fee of €6 applies for each driver attestation. 

Driving And Rest Times

Drivers of goods vehicles are required to respect a set of limitations with regards to their driving and rest times, as stipulated in Articles 6, 7 and 8 of Regulation (EU) 561/2006. These are summarised below for information purpose only: 

  • Maximum daily driving time: 9hrs (extendable to 10hrs twice during the week);
  • Maximum accumulated weekly driving time: 56hrs;
  • Maximum accumulated driving time for any two consecutive weeks: 90hrs;
  • After a period 4.5hrs a driver shall take a break of at least 45 minutes;
  • Daily rest period: 11hrs (may be reduced to 9hrs three times in a single week);
  • Weekly rest period: 45hrs (may be reduced to 24hrs once in every 2 consecutive weeks, but the difference must be compensated within 3 weeks).

The driving and rest times shall be measured through the use of tachographs as stipulated in Regulation (EU) 165/2014. The use of tachographs is not compulsory for transport operations conducted in Malta given the small distances involved. However, any truck operated by Maltese undertakings - whether for own-account or for hire or reward - which is involved in international transport must have this equipment installed, and drivers are required to use it correctly. The absence of the tachograph, or its misuse, during international transport operations may result in significant legal penalties for the drivers and undertakings involved.

The use of digital tachographs requires undertakings and drivers to hold different smart cards used to operate the equipment. To apply for such cards, or for their renewal, use these forms: DRV035 - Tachograph Driver Card, and DRV-036 - Tachograph Company Card.

Submission of Applications

 Application forms, or any related communication, may be submitted with Transport Malta using any of the following methods:

By hand at Transport Malta’s offices, from Monday to Friday between 07:30 and 14:00, at:

  • Level 0, A3 Towers, Triq l-Arkata, Paola.

By phone on:

  • Freephone 80072393 (from landline only);
  • 2555 5190 

By email via:

Processing of Personal Data

This Data Protection Privacy Notice shall apply to all personal data related to these licences.

Page last updated: 08/02/2022