Importing a car from the UK has always seemed attractive as there is a much bigger choice than in Ireland, prices are very competitive, and anyone could travel freely to make their purchase. The currency exchange rate can also be favourable to Irish buyers.
But importing a car for the UK has become more complicated in 2021 post Brexit. Before January 1st, this year if a car was bought in the UK and imported to the Republic of Ireland only Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) needed to be paid. Now that same car could be subject to import duties, VAT and VRT.
The UK secured a zero-tariff agreement with the EU at the end of last year for all goods of Great Britain “country of origin”.
According to Revenue the following vehicles imported from Great Britain 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 is even if the EU has Free Trade.
- Customs duty (if applicable) is 10%
Please follow this link below to find out more about rules or origin.
At least 60% of car parts need to be UK manufactured before the car itself can be deemed to be UK country of origin. If you are importing a car from Northern Ireland duties do not apply.
Importing from Great Britain
A new car, as defined by citizens information, is a car that has been in service for 6 months or less or has been driven for 6,000 KM or less.
VAT at a rate of 21% must be paid on new cars and is also payable on second-hand cars from Great Britain.If you are payingVAT this is usually done at the time the import declaration is processed. If you are using a customs agent to make the import declaration on your behalf, then you need to pay the VAT to the customs agent’s TAN account before the declaration is completed.
If you are a registered business and you have a VAT account you may be able to choose a VAT deferment payment option and pay the amount due as part of your bi monthly VAT payment.
Importing from Northern Ireland
VAT is only applicable on new cars imported from Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland has a unique trading position post Brexit as it is a part of the UK customs territory and is also a part of the EU single market. When importing a car from NI to the Republic of Ireland no import duties will apply and no VAT will be charged on second-hand cars, only new cars. Proof that the car first registered in Great Britain was imported correctly into Northern Ireland may be required.
Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)
When a car is brought into the state it must be registered through the VRT system within 30 days. The VIN or chassis number is required for this. The VIN number must also be inserted in the customs declaration.
A certificate of conformity(COC) must also be submitted to revenue for all first-time registered cars in the state. This certificate contains compliance information on the car and can be submitted using revenue’s MyEnquires section of the ROS system. A certificate of compliance must be submitted to Revenue before a car can be registered in Ireland.
Electronic Certificate of Conformity (e-CoC) for VRT
The e-CoC service allows you to upload, or manually input, an eCoC for your vehicle. You can also search for, or amend, an existing e-CoC.
Vehicle manufacturers produce a unique Certificate of Conformity for every vehicle they make. It shows type approval compliance and certain vehicle information.
Since 12 September 2016, all new motor vehicles registered by Revenue are legally required to have an e-CoC. This must be submitted on the Revenue website before you register the vehicle.
Who is the service for?
This service is for individuals and registered business users. You must be registered for either myAccount or the Revenue Online Service (ROS) to use the e-CoC service.
Business users have the option to bulk upload e-CoCs through ROS.
How to access the service
You can access the service through myAccount, by following these steps:
- Click ‘VRT Certificate of Conformity’ on the ‘Vehicle Services’ card.
- Select either ‘Manually input a CoC’ or ‘Upload a CoC’.
The amount of VRT payable is based on a percentage of the recommended retail price, which includes all taxes. This price is known as the Open Market Selling Price (OMSP). Revenue.ie has a useful VRT Calculator to help you determine if it is worth buying your car outside of Ireland.
VRT has to be paid on all cars imported to Ireland and this has to be shown on the registration certificate. Any car brought into Ireland will need to be registered at a National Car Testing Service (NCTS) centre.
For more information on registering your car please use this link.
Importing from Northern Ireland (NI)
These cars are still subject to VRT and must have the appropriate certificate of conformity. An import customs declaration is not required when importing a car from Northern Ireland.
Customs Clearance documentation
An import customs declaration is required if you are importing a car from Great Britain. If this is a one of purchase for you then you are better off contacting a customs agent to prepare and submit your declaration on your behalf. If you need to make an enquiry about importing a car from Great Britain contact Custran.