ISBNs and ISMNs are now free of charge

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

As of 1st January 2020, ISBNs and ISMNs are free of charge.

 ISBN is the International Standard Book Number which identifies text-based publications and ISMN is the International Standard Music Number which identifies notated music publications.

The National Book Council (NBC) sent a statement detailing this, saying that the usual rules and regulations still apply.

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.

One may download the ISBN application form here, and the ISMN application form 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 User’s Manual). You may read the Maltese version of the manual here.

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. The Council reminds that any reselling or redistribution of ISBNs or ISMNs is strictly prohibited.

It added that it expects cooperation from the registrants, especially during the process of supplying the relevant metadata in exchange for ISBNs or ISMNs.  If a registrant or publisher does not comply with the procedures of the ISBN registration agency, 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.