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Importing from NI - explanation needed

  • 22-07-2021 10:38am
    Registered Users Posts: 524 ✭✭✭ heartofwhite

    Hi All,

    I was in touch with a dealer in the North about a car priced at £18,995.

    The car was registered in NI rather than the UK mainland.

    Regarding the VRT implications of importing, he sent me the following email:

    The car is VAT qualifying and can be sold at £15,829.17.

    £3,000 must be held back on retention and will be paid back in full to the buyer upon proof of registration in the ROI.

    As this car is under 6 months of age and/or under 6,000km, the customer will pay:

    ROI VAT at 23%


    NOx charge


    No tariff would be applicable upon importation to ROI.

    If I interpret this correctly, I will be paying the dealer £18,995 (€22,167). On top of this, I will pay VRT, NOx and plates plus VAT at 23%.

    Once all of this is done, I can recoup £3,000 from the dealer upon provision of proof of registration.

    In terms of the 23% VAT, what is this applied to? Is it the value of the car determined by revenue?

    I m just trying to work out how much this car might cost me!

    Any insight is appreciated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,507 ✭✭✭✭ galwaytt

    Irish VAT is applied to the nett dealer invoice (£ 15,829.17). Not sure how they handle NI, but if it was UK they'd be putting VAT on the shipping too.

    where did my signature go ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 524 ✭✭✭ heartofwhite

    Okay, thanks for clarifying this - the VRT is coming up at £4,652 but I know this is only a guide and it could be more. Seems like too much hassle, to be honest.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,507 ✭✭✭✭ galwaytt

    where VAT is incurred, I can't see any advantage in importing atmo, unless the car you're bringing in is something really special. Bought our 3rd car in the last year in our house, 2 weeks ago. All 3 bought here, which is a bit of a record for me as I've been buying & importing our cars for 25+ years.

    Strange times.

    I see Jap imports are back though :)

    where did my signature go ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 524 ✭✭✭ heartofwhite

    The car was first registered on the 20 Feb 2021 so in theory if it was still for sale on 20th of September, it would be VAT exempt. Is that right?

  • Registered Users Posts: 524 ✭✭✭ heartofwhite

    Actually forget that. The mileage is still an issue.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 524 ✭✭✭ heartofwhite

    Another bit of advice, please!

    I finally spoke with another dealer in the North who has a 2019 car I am interested in. This is slightly different in that the car was originally registered in the UK mainland. The dealer in the North purchased it in October 2020 and it has sat on the forecourt since then.

    So am I right in thinking that (1) no VAT applies as it is not a new car, the milage is 12000 and is being purchased from another EU member state (2) no customs duties apply as I am purchasing from another EU member state.

    Any advice is appreciated.

  • You are correct in that no VAT or duty applies, as the car was in the North prior to1 Jan, but not correct that Northern Ireland is a member state of the EU.

  • Registered Users Posts: 524 ✭✭✭ heartofwhite

    Thanks for the confirmation. Regarding NI as a member state of the EU, I took this from the Revenue website:

    New vehicles brought into the State from another European Union (EU) Member State, including Northern Ireland (NI), are subject to Value-Added Tax (VAT).

    Should I be asking the seller for any sort of customs declaration just in case I run into any issues?

  • Registered Users Posts: 213 ✭✭ pdpmur

    If the car is a 2019 reg and has more than 6k km then it will be classed as used rather than new. If that's the case then the critical item of proof that you need is that the vehicle was properly imported to NI prior to 1st January of this year. Only certain types of documentary proof are acceptable to Revenue here - A hand-written note from the NI dealer won't pass the Revenue sniff-test.

    If you can get over these hurdles then no VAT or customs duty needs to be paid, leaving only VRT to pay.

  • Registered Users Posts: 524 ✭✭✭ heartofwhite

    Thanks for the response. Do you have any idea where I could find out what types of documentary proof are acceptable? I am assuming I can bypass customs, go straight to the VRT and if asked, present this proof.

    I spoke with the dealer and they said they would provide a printout of the car details they have on record including when it arrived with them. Hopefully, that would be enough.

    Post edited by heartofwhite on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,507 ✭✭✭✭ galwaytt

    ...does being in NI prior to Dec 31st suffice, or does it have to have been REGISTERED in NI to qualify ?

    small difference, but could have a big cost implication.

    where did my signature go ?