Transfer of business to the European Union (EU)


You may be able to import capital goods and equipment which belonged to your business established outside the European Union (EU) free from import duties. Your business must have:

  • ceased activity outside the EU
  • and
  • moved to the State in order to carry on a similar activity here.

A new activity must be set up in the State. If you merge with, or expand, an existing business, you will not qualify for relief from import duties.

A sole proprietorship or trader is a form of business which is owned by only one person. Capital goods, equipment and tools, belonging to the sole trader as a legal entity and not to the natural person, may qualify.

If your business is of an agricultural nature, livestock may also be admitted free of import charges.

There is no Value-Added Tax (VAT) relief on capital goods and other equipment if you are engaged in:

  • a liberal profession (for example, if you are a doctor, advocate, notary)
  • or
  • a non-profit making activity.

Some goods are prohibited, while others are subject to conditions, or may require a licence. For further information see prohibitions and restrictions.

Next: What rules apply to the relief?