Customs Declaration Explained. 

Are you importing a vehicle from the UK?   

This blog post outlines everything you need to know to acquire your customs declaration. We also explain how to calculate the new customs duty and VAT rates to import your vehicle. ABC Motor Engineers can also provide your customs declarations to import all vehicle types, including trailers, motorcycles, mobile homes, caravans and parts.


Customs Duty & Vat

From 1st January 2021, vehicles imported into Ireland from the UK  require a completed customs declaration form. All vehicles are liable to customs duty and VAT at the standard rate; this is in addition to VRT (vehicle registration tax). An electronic customs declaration is also required in advance of the vehicle arriving in the state.

Importing a vehicle from Northern Ireland

If a vehicle was first registered in the UK and imported into Northern Ireland after 31st December 2020, duty and VAT will be due when importing into the state. A vehicle that was registered in Northern Ireland before 1st January 2021 and has remained there since can be registered in Ireland with no customs obligations.

What are the importation rates on vehicles from mainland UK?

Imported vehicles from England, Scotland and Wales, will be liable to VAT at the standard rate, currently 23%, and customs duty. However, the rate of duty varies depending on the type of vehicle.

  • Passenger cars 10%
  • Goods vehicles over 5 tonnes 22%,
  • Motorcycles 6% to 8%.
  • Special-purpose vehicles like concrete mixers and drilling machines 7%
  • Tractor units for trailers 16%

What documents are needed when registering a vehicle from the UK?

To register your UK import, you will need to present

  • customs declaration,
  • foreign registration document (V5 from the UK),
  • other supporting documents.

How do I calculate my Duty and VAT?

Duty is charged at a percentage rate of the purchase price and shipping costs. VAT at the standard rate of 23% is charged on the combined total of the purchase price, shipping cost and duty.

The example below is based on a typical passenger vehicle (cars) for the transportation of no more than nine persons, including the driver.

Purchase Price            –      £10,000

Shipping Costs            –      £500

Total in Sterling         –      £10,500

Converted to Euro      –      €12,349

Duty at 10%                –      €1,234

Total Amount             –      €13,583

23% Vat on €13,583   –      €3,124.30

Total Duty & Vat      –      €4,359.20


The vehicle’s purchase price is £10,000 sterling, shipping costs to bring the vehicle from the UK to Ireland is £500. This gives a combined total of £10,500. The Euro equivalent will be calculated at the rate when imported, whereas £1 equals €1.18, £10,500 equates to €12,349. Since the vehicle is a car, duty is charged at 10% of €12,349 = €1,234.90, therefore the total cost including the duty is €12,349 + €1,234.90 = €13,583.90. Then, VAT is charged at the standard rate, currently 23%, on the total cost of €13,583.90; therefore, the VAT due is €3,124.30. The total charge for customs duty and VAT is €1,234 + €3,124.20 = €4,359.20.

Claims for Preferential Origin

Under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, customs duty for trade between the UK and the EU are eliminated, where the relevant rules are met. The rules relate to the origin of the vehicle, or where the vehicle was manufactured. If a vehicle was manufactured in the UK, for example, Land Rovers, the customs duty payable is 0%. However, VAT still applies on these vehicles. For all other vehicles manufactured either in Europe or a third country such as the USA or Japan, duty and VAT will be due at the point of importation.


We hope this brings more clarity when estimating your customs duty and VAT costs. If you would like our expert team to assist you further, get in touch to discuss how we can help you. Meanwhile, ABC Motor Engineers also provide SQI reports for any vehicle conversions for VRT purposes.

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Phone:  083 4178669