Importing vehicles from Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Registering vehicles without proof of declaration to customs in Northern Ireland

If you do not have proof of declaration to Customs in Northern Ireland (NI):

  • 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 before presenting the vehicle for registration.

When presenting such a vehicle for registration at the NCTS centre, a check is carried out to verify that a customs declaration in respect of 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 United Kingdom)
  • a copy of the customs declaration including the reference number of the customs declaration (the MRN)
  • any other supporting documentation.

Before registering vehicles without Proof of Declaration to Customs in NI

You must have proof of declaration to customs in NI before submitting the Supplementary Import Declaration – VAT on Import on Used Vehicles.  You may not yet have this proof, for example, in the interim period between submission of a simplified frontier declaration and a supplementary import declaration in NI.  

If you do not yet have proof of declaration to customs in NI, you may still register the vehicle. In this situation, before you present the vehicle for registration you must:

  • make a customs declaration
  • and
  • pay VAT at the standard rate and customs duty, where applicable

You must do this before presenting your vehicle at the NCTS centre for registration.

Customs duty will apply in all cases except where the vehicle:

In either instance, a valid claim must have been made on the customs declaration.

A refund of customs duties paid to Revenue can be claimed if proof of declaration to customs in NI is subsequently provided to Revenue. 

To initiate the refund process, contact Revenue via MyEnquiries by logging into either myAccount or ROS.  Within MyEnquiries, select the VAT heading in the ‘Enquiry relates to’ drop-down menu and in the ‘..and more specifically’ drop-down menu select the ‘Supplementary Import Declaration – VAT on Import on Used Vehicle’ category. In the enquiry box, confirm that you wish to claim a refund of the customs duties paid in the State as you now have documentary proof that the vehicle was declared to customs in NI. 

Upon receipt of this enquiry, Revenue will contact you regarding the refund. Any such amendments to the declaration must be made to the office through which the goods were cleared within 3 years of the date of acceptance of the declaration.

Customs declarations should be made on Revenue’s Automated Import System (AIS), either directly by the importer, or by an agent acting on their behalf.  Further details are available at How to file a customs declaration for vehicles Imported from Northern Ireland.