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Import Vehicles From The UK into Ireland / Europe

With the world feeling the far-reaching consequences of Brexit on trade, supply chain and fiscal relations between the United Kingdom (UK / GB) and Europe (EU) , the Automotive Industry is one of the industries that has been suffering since day one. An issue that now impacts many people, is “How to Import Vehicles From The UK into Ireland / Europe”.

New regulations regarding the registration and exportation / importation of vehicles are causing confusion and unfortunately, any cars being exported from the UK and imported into Europe must have customs clearance, and all relevant charges must be paid.

How to Import, Export and Register vehicles to and from the UK / Northern Ireland and Europe.

So what exactly are the new regulations and how can you avoid getting stung with hidden charges?

The easiest option would be to contact Customs Complete and allow us to handle all the paperwork for you. However, if you would like to try and do it yourself then you can read the information below.

Importing a vehicle from Great Britain (GB) or Northern Ireland

To Import a motor vehicle from Great Britain ( GB / UK )  into the Republic of Ireland it is necessary to register the vehicle within the first 30 calendar days from arrival. There are of course some exceptions to this rule which can be found here.

You can expect to pay a vehicle registration tax upon registration of the vehicle. For full details about Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) for vehicles being imported into the Republic of Ireland please click the link.

Importing a Vehicle from Great Britain into The Republic of Ireland From January 2021

There are 4 main charges to consider when exporting a vehicle from Great Britain (GB  / UK) and importing it into the Republic of Ireland (IE)

  1. Customs Duty
  2. Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)*
  3. VAT at the applicable rate
  4. Electronic Customs Declaration** 

*If you have successfully completed the Transfer of Residence into Ireland you may not be liable to pay VRT. If you would like assistance with the Transfer of Residence process then feel free to get in touch with us

**The Electronic Customs Declaration is usually handled by a Customs Broker such as Customs Complete and must be submitted and authorised before the vehicle arrives in the Country. Contact us now for a free quote.

Importing a vehicle from Northern Ireland into The Republic of Ireland

Unfortunately, importing vehicles from or through Northern Ireland and into the Republic of Ireland does not evade the European Union (EU) requirement for customs declarations and the relevant VAT payments upon import.

Since December 31st 2020, the current VAT regulations in the UK state that all vehicles exported from the UK and Imported into Northern Ireland are liable to pay:

  • Customs Duty, where applicable
  • Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)
  • VAT at import, for all vehicles that are then imported into the Republic of Ireland (IE). *

*There are circumstances where the VAT charge can be discharged upon completion of the Supplementary import declaration form.)

As the UK no long falls under the regulations of the European Union, it is no longer recognised by the Mutual Recognition of Technical Inspection Certificates. What this means is that the standard MOT (Ministry of Transport) test, which is the British test to declare vehicles as roadworthy, is no longer valid in the Republic of Ireland or other European countries.

How to Register your Vehicle in the Republic of Ireland

In order to successfully register your vehicle in the Republic of Ireland, (or any other European Member state), you must submit the vehicle for the relevant technical inspection, carried out by an official centre in that country. In the Republic of Ireland this would be the National Car Test (NCT).

Technical Inspection

The European Certificate of Conformity, or CoC

The good news is that any vehicles manufactured in Great Britain prior to Brexit maintain their EU approval and countries in the EU must still allow the vehicle to be registered so long as a valid CoC is provided.

The European Certificate of Conformity (CoC) is provided by the manufacturer of the vehicle and details 51 technical points of the vehicle, which must all comply with the regulations set by the EC. It verifies that the vehicle complies with EU law.

Please note that you can be required to provide a National Approval Procedure for any vehicles manufactured in the United Kingdom for the English Market with the restriction of driving on the right side.


If you have any questions about how to import a vehicle into Ireland or would like assistance with your Customs Clearance Documentation then please contact us via the form below, Social Media, or give us a call.

Get in Contact

+353 91 429 737

+44 2038 307 780

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  1. Pingback: Transfer of Residence Relief (TOR) - Customs Complete

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