The Mediterranean island of Malta lies to the south of the Italian island of Sicily. With an area of 316 square kilometres and a population of around 420,000 Malta has since the 1980’s become a freight transhipment point for many merchant vessels.
Malta, a member of the European Union since May 2004, is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and proudly displays the George Cross, awarded for the islands brave resistance during World War 2, on its flag. The Euro was adopted as the Maltese currency in 2008.
Ferry services run from Italy to Malta with Virtu Ferries operating from Catania and Pozzallo to Valetta and Grimaldi sail into Valetta from Genoa, Cagliari, Livorno and Salerno.
There are very few driving restrictions for couriers, van operators, lorry and truck drivers whilst driving on Malta. Full passport, national driving licence (paper copy and photo card) and a letter of authority to drive must be carried along with original vehicle documentation, insurance certificate and green card. Nationality plates must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle, driving is on the left hand side, seat belts are compulsory and speed limits of 80 km/h (50 km/h in built up areas) apply. Couriers, Van, lorry and truck drivers should also be aware that the drink driving limit of 35mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood is less than the 80mg in 100mls that applies in the UK. The sounding of horns is prohibited in built up areas between 11 pm and 6am.
Vehicle height, length and weight restrictions are standard at 4m high, 2.55m wide (2.6m if refrigerated) and in terms of length rigid lorries are restricted to a maximum of 12m, articulated trucks 16.5m and road trains 18.75m. Twin axle lorries are restricted to 18 tonnes, tri axle lorries 25 tonnes (26 tonnes if the drive axle is twin wheeled). Articulated vehicles and road trains are restricted to 36 tonnes if a 2+2 axle configuration is employed and 40 tonnes for 5/6 axle configuration of 2+3 and 3+2/3. If operating a 3 + 2/3 configuration and hauling a 12m ISO container a weight restriction of 44t is applied.
If vehicles exceed any of the above weights or dimensions then representation, 4 weeks in advance must be made to:
c/o Velbro House
Tel 00 356 21 24 2311
Fax 00 356 21 21 2316
Whilst Malta has 14 public holidays per year no driving restriction on vehicle movements are imposed.
Should a courier, van operator, lorry or articulated truck driver require assistance all three emergency services can be contacted by dialling 112 or alternatively 191 for the Police, 199 for the fire service and 196 for the ambulance service.
Further information on driving in Malta can be found at the Maltese Association of Tractor and Trailer Operators (ATTO) – Tel 00 356 21 24 2311 or at email@example.com