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Working Conditions for Filming

Working Conditions in Malta


Malta is an EU member which adopted the Euro currency.

Crew members originating from the EU (and including Norway, Switzerland and Iceland) do not need any working permits to work in Malta.

Non-EU crew members require an employment licence/working permit to work on the island. A block application for this employment licence may be made depending on the country of origin. Application fees and processing times differ but generally take six weeks for processing. Work permits can be processed either before or once a crew member enters Malta.

For location shooting in Malta, when filming in public areas, consent from the relevant local council is required, with common practice being that a donation is made to the local council at the discretion of the production company. Such a donation typically starts at 100 Euros per filming day and can grow to around 1000 Euros, this figure being commensurate to the amount of inconvenience caused to the council or its residents.

For use of government property or specific areas such as listed sites or protected environments, permits or approval from the appropriate authorities are needed – depending on the location these include the Government Property Department (GPD), the Planning Authority (PA), the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) amongst others. Processing time will generally take an average of 10 days. Urgent permits can at times be organised sooner if there are no complicated construction plans involved.

All public authorities and organizations apply different location fees and administration prices depending on the type of use, length of time. A typical location fee can range from 300 Euros per day to 4000 Euros for prestigious buildings. The fee set is more a matter of negotiation than related to any set price list.

Working and Turnaround Hours:

Crew working hours are generally 11 hours + 1 hour lunch break.
Turnaround is 12 hours; and certainly not less than 11 hours unless it’s an exception or due to unpredictable circumstances.
Continuous days with running lunches can be done, in which case the standard working day is 10 working hours or less, as per agreement with crew.


All salaries are negotiable but see guidelines. All rates exclude VAT.

Malta has a population of approximately 500,000 people and thus there’s a limited crew-base.

A rule of thumb is to budget for a high contingent of foreign crew if another two productions are already prepping or shooting at the same time.

If the crew is put on a payroll there will be no VAT involved. However payroll obviously involves fringes (see Social Benefits below).


Overtime is paid at time and a half of the normal rate. Sundays and Public Holidays are normally at double time. 7th days are paid at double time regardless of whether the 7th day falls on a Sunday or not.

Social Benefits:

Crew members engaged on a contract of service charge VAT at 18%. In such a case the individual crew member is fully responsible for payment of their Government Social Security Contributions (SSC) (health and pension contributions).

Crew members employed on payroll involve the payment of fringes (their SSC health and pension contributions) by the producer. These range from 14% to 19% depending on the weekly wage.


Living allowances (or per diem) vary depending on production but on average are between €30 to €60 per day. A typical low-medium budget TV production would pay €30 per filming day and €45 for non-filming days.

Other allowances like for vehicle use vary between €10 and €30 per day.

Maltese crews required to film on Malta’s sister island of Gozo, involving an additional 2 hours of travel time, will typically receive a minimum of 4 paid hours for their travel time and fuel in addition to a ferry cost disbursement. Such allowances can be agreed on a per project basis.


Accommodation costs vary according to season and on room availability.

Rates for 5 star hotels typically start at €130 per night for a standard room on single occupancy to €250 per night in peak season – May/June to September/October. Rates of €100-€120 per night are also possible but highly dependent on the aforementioned variables.

A 4 star superior hotel room can cost between €90 and €150 depending on the season.

All the above rates would include breakfast.

Actor’s wages:

Day rates for local actors and day players are negotiable, with a typical day rate for an actor being in the region of €300 – €400 per day. A few actors can also charge up to €600 per day, and a couple top actors in secondary roles are known to charge between 1000-1500 Euros.

Extras Daily Rates:


VAT is charged at 18% and is refundable on qualifying goods and services utilized by a production. For hotels and accommodation it is 7% which is usually embedded already in the room rate. VAT Refunds generally take five to nine months to process from the scheduled submission date of the VAT return application.

It is possible for foreign production companies to utilise their foreign VAT number in order to minimise their VAT liability on most expenses except for rental of immovable property (eg hotels), transport, catering.


The Maltese government offers eligible productions a cash rebate of up to 40% broken down as follows:
standard cash rebate of up to 30%
+ an additional 5% if Malta features as Malta in the film in a prominent manner
+ an additional 5% if Maltese resources like crews, locations, facilities, etc. are used to a maximum level
All based on the qualifying EU expenditure in Malta once filming is complete.  
Expenses like construction materials and fuel are not eligible.
HODs are included with Below-the-Line expenditure.
Above-the-Line personnel are capped at a total expenditure of €400,000 collectively.
(All has officially been announced pending EU state-aid approval which should be given imminently)
Fringes, per diems and EU crew salaries are eligible. Double dipping is not permitted. A standard Cultural Test has to be passed to determine the percentage. Further information can be obtained from the Malta Film Commission website (


Malta has hot and dry summers with about 12 hours of sunshine and mild winters which allow an average of 10 shooting hours.

The Films That Got Made

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