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  • Qing Chen

Exporting Motor Vehicles from the UK

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

The export of motor vehicles from the UK (except Northern Ireland)

Exporting Motor Vehicles from the UK


The export of motor vehicles from the UK (except Northern Ireland) is classified as an export from a third country, or a non-EU Member State, since the end of the transition period after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on December 31, 2020. Before taking the vehicle in for registration, if it was exported from the UK (including via NI), the importer must submit a customs import declaration, pay any applicable customs duty, and pay Value Added Tax (VAT) on import.

A customs declaration is necessary when exporting a car from the UK. On behalf of the importer, a customs agent often completes this. However, an individual can also complete the declaration using HMRC-approved software like tradePhlo.

The EU-UK Commerce and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) has eliminated tariff barriers on trade between the EU and Great Britain as of January 1, 2021, provided that the applicable origin rules are satisfied. A 0% tariff rate is applied if the products are of UK origin. However, since they do not meet the criteria for UK origin under the origin rules, items of EU origin that are already in use in the UK and are later imported into Ireland from Great Britain will not be eligible for the 0% tariff rate.

A preferential tariff rate of 0% may be claimed if the vehicle was made in the UK and satisfies the origin requirements as outlined in the EU-UK TCA. Most vehicles imported from the UK are subject to a 10% customs duty, which is based on the vehicle’s customs value. The cost of the car plus the cost of shipping, insurance, and any handling fees make up the custom value.

On January 14, 2022, the UK, for used cars imported from Great Britain into Northern Ireland, made substantial modifications to the UK VAT margin policy. Due to these modifications, vehicles imported into the State after December 31, 2020, and initially registered in Great Britain (GB), will be subject to temporary additional requirements. Prior to bringing the car to a center for registration, these extra steps must be taken.

To learn more about the process of submitting a declaration through TradePhlo, click here.

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