The National Book Council would like to announce that ISBNs and ISMNs will be free of charge as of 1 January 2020.

The usual rules and regulations will still apply, and registrants need to fill the application form and send it either electronically to Michael Mercieca on or by post to this address: ISBN – National Book Council, Central Public Library, Prof. Joseph J. Mangion Street, Floriana FRN 1800.

Apply by filling the ISBN application form and/or the ISMN application form attached here.

ISBNs and ISMNs cannot be stored and are not released by the National Book Council unless all the necessary metadata are received. Registrants must supply the ISBN registration agency with the minimum set of metadata elements belonging to the ISBN as described in the ISBN standard and manual (see chapter 8, ISBN Users Manual). Metadata cannot be changed once the ISBN or ISMN has been assigned, and if there are any changes, then a new ISBN or ISMN needs to be created.

Any reselling or redistribution of ISBNs or ISMNs is strictly prohibited.

As already stated, the usual rules and regulations apply, but since the service is now free of charge the National Book Council expects cooperation from the registrants, especially during the process of supplying the relevant metadata in exchange for ISBNs or ISMNs. If a registrant/publisher does not comply with the procedures of the ISBN registration agency (e.g. fails to provide adequate metadata, resells or transfers ISBNs), the NBC may decline to assign further registrant and/or publication elements until the registrant is in compliance. The NBC also reserves the right to issue penalties.

Read carefully the ISBN’s User Manual in Maltese from here.

For more information you can visit the ISBN or ISMN sections in this same site.


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