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VAT situation on importing from UK?!

Probably done to death but I can't see anything concrete stated as I trawl the sites. All I can see is "you may be liable for VAT," but no clarity on what conditions will change that "may" to a "will". From the latest guidance I could find on Revenue's website for a private buyer buying used car (>6,000 miles) from a UK (VAT-registered) trader that I could see (snippet below) my understanding would be that I could buy from a UK dealer (a VAT-registered one) and import paying VRT (and the NOx levy) as normal but without any VAT liability.

I can't see clear guidance on import duties, but assume that 10 per cent is valid on entry. Any expert knowledge out there that can clarify why I'm (likely) wrong?

10.1 Purchase of second-hand vehicles by a private individual from a person in another country

Where a private individual purchases a second-hand vehicle from a VAT-registered trader, including a motor dealer, in another country

Where a private individual purchases a second-hand vehicle from a motor dealer or any VAT-registered trader in another country, the price will generally include any VAT or other tax chargeable in that country. This VAT cannot be reclaimed. There is no VAT liability in Ireland. In respect of VRT, the owner of the vehicle must make a booking with an NCTS Centre within 7 days of the vehicle entering the State and registration must be completed within 30 days of the vehicle entering the State. The VRT liability can be calculated using the VRT Calculator on the Revenue website.

John Scmidt (Dublin)

Feb 2021 Filed under: importing

Expert answer

Hi John,

In theory you might be right, and we suspect that there won’t be 100 per cent clarity on this issue until there have been further negotiations between the EU and the UK, or a case is tested in court. The problem is, of course, that with the UK now being a ’third country’ post-Brexit, you could possibly claim back the VAT from the UK authorities on the car’s exit from the UK. You’d most likely have to do that after you’ve paid your VRT and VAT in Ireland, and the paperwork would doubtless be monstrous.

Might be worth a try, though. 

Neil Briscoe - Complete Car Advisor

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