Importing vehicles from Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Vehicles imported from Great Britain (GB), routed through, Northern Ireland (NI)

Vehicles imported to Ireland via NI

Importations of used cars from Great Britain (GB) into the State must be declared to Customs and are liable to Value-Added Tax (VAT) on importation, and Customs Duty, if applicable. The routing of such importations through NI does not avoid European Union (EU) requirements in relation to Customs Duty and VAT at import.

The United Kingdom (UK) has introduced legislation to provide for the Second-Hand Motor Vehicle Payment Scheme (SHMVPS). The new scheme will allow car dealers who are VAT registered in NI and in EU Member States to reclaim the VAT element of the vehicle cost:

  • if the vehicle is purchased in GB
  • and
  • removed or exported from there for resale in NI or an EU Member State.

The new rules apply from 01 May 2023 and claims can be made from August 2023 onwards. Detailed guidance is available from HMRC.

Registering vehicles bought by NI dealers before 01 May 2023 and sold before 01 May 2024

Where a vehicle has been purchased in GB by an NI dealer and declared to Customs on import into NI prior to 01 May 2023, there will remain a liability to VAT on import into the State. VAT will apply at the standard rate (currently 23%) and must be discharged before the vehicle can be registered.

The person seeking to register the vehicle is responsible for ensuring that:

When this has been completed, the vehicle may be presented for registration at the National Car Testing Service (NCTS) centre.

At registration you will need to provide:

  • the foreign registration document (the V5C from the UK)
  • confirmation from Revenue that a Supplementary Import Declaration for the vehicle has been processed
  • and
  • any other supporting documentation.

Before registering vehicles purchased in GB and declared to Customs in NI

Where a purchaser has availed of the option to import a vehicle into the State via NI and has completed the Customs formalities in NI, including payment of any Customs duties, if applicable, a liability to VAT on import into the State remains. VAT will apply at the standard rate (currently 23%) and must be discharged before the vehicle can be registered in Ireland.

In such cases, a Supplementary Import Declaration Form – VAT on Import on Used Vehicles, must be filed and the associated VAT on import liability must be paid.

To avail of this procedure, the declarant must be able to provide proof of the Customs declaration on import into NI. Such proof must clearly identify the vehicle and the date of import.

Filing a Supplementary Import Declaration - VAT on Import on Used Vehicle

  1. Download and complete the Supplementary Import Declaration Form from the Revenue website.
  2. Submit the form via MyEnquiries by logging into either myAccount or Revenue Online Service (ROS) and selecting the MyEnquiries tab.
  3. Under the VAT heading in the ‘Enquiry relates to’ drop-down menu, select the Supplementary Import Declaration – VAT on Import on Used Vehicle category in the ‘..and more specifically’ drop-down menu.
  4. Attach a completed copy of the Supplementary Import Declaration, proof of declaration to Customs in NI and a copy of the purchase invoice showing the purchase price of the vehicle.
  5. Following review of the documents, a Revenue staff member will contact you to arrange payment of the VAT liabilities, if necessary. Revenue will provide documentation which can be presented to the NCTS centre to enable registration of the vehicle.

VAT registered persons can opt to avail of postponed accounting for VAT at import in respect of importations from NI. Traders with a Customs and Excise deferred Trader Account Number (TAN), including the requisite financial guarantees, can elect to make payment from their TAN account. All other persons will be asked to make payment once the supplementary declaration and associated documentation have been reviewed by Revenue.

Next: Registering vehicles without proof of declaration to customs in Northern Ireland