Importing vehicles from Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Importing a vehicle from Great Britain (GB)

From 01 January 2021, an import of a vehicle from GB is treated as an import from a non-European Union (EU) country.

Registering vehicles imported from GB before 01 January 2021

These vehicles can be registered as normal. You must provide documentary proof that the vehicle was imported before 1 January 2021. An example of proof would be a sales invoice or a ferry ticket which identifies the specific vehicle.

Registering vehicles imported from GB after 31 December 2020

When presented for registration at the NCTS centre, a check is carried out to verify that a customs declaration for the vehicle has been completed. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) must be included on the customs declaration so that this check can be made. You will also need to provide:

  • the foreign registration document (the V5C from the UK)
  • a copy of the customs declaration or import declaration, including the reference number of the customs declaration (the MRN)
  • any other supporting documentation.

Before registering vehicles imported from GB after 31 December 2020

If you import a vehicle from GB into the State:

  • you must complete a customs declaration
  • and
  • pay customs duty

if applicable, and Value-Added Tax (VAT) on the import value of the vehicle.

This must be done prior to importation of the vehicle. It will not be possible to register the vehicle in the State without having completed the necessary customs declaration. You can obtain more information on filing in Customs declarations.

Claims for Preferential Origin

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement has eliminated customs duties for trade between the EU and the United Kingdom (UK) where the relevant rules of origin are met. A claim for preferential tariff treatment for imports into Ireland can only be made where the goods are of UK origin.

The zero tariff provisions apply to all goods that comply with the appropriate rules of origin under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. For imports to benefit from duty free treatment, the importer must claim preferential treatment on their import declaration. The claimant must prove that the vehicle qualifies.

Tariffs on non-UK origin vehicles

The following vehicles imported from GB will have tariffs applied as they will not qualify as UK origin under the rules of origin:

  • vehicles of EU origin used in the UK
  • vehicles of other third country origin used in the UK. This applies even if the EU has a Free Trade Agreement with the relevant third country such as Japan.

See the table below for further information on Customs Duty and VAT payable depending on the origin of passenger cars imported from GB.

Customs Duty and VAT payable

Origin of car

Customs Duty payable

VAT payable




Third country (such as the USA or Japan)



EU (such as Germany or France)



For other vehicles, the TARIC database can be used to determine the commodity code, which is also known as the classification code. This is the third country customs duty rate that applies to the specific vehicle on import into the EU.


Where a customs declaration is required in respect of a vehicle brought into the State, the vehicle will be liable to seizure if the customs declaration is not completed and, or the vehicle is not registered within 30 days of its arrival in the State.

Next: Returned Goods Relief