How to account for VAT on new ships, aircraft and land vehicles you move between Northern Ireland and EU member states (VAT Notice 728).
Applies to Northern Ireland
This notice cancels and replaces Notice 728 (April 2013). This notice applies to supplies made on or after 1 January 2021.
It applies to supplies of new means of transport made in Northern Ireland for removal to the EU and acquisitions into Northern Ireland from the EU.
Find out about moving other goods between Northern Ireland and the EU.
Goods exported from Northern Ireland to outside the UK to non-EU destinations are covered in VAT on goods exported from the UK (VAT Notice 703).
1.1 What this notice is about
This notice explains the way VAT is charged on movements of new means of transport between Northern Ireland and the EU single market.
In the EU single market most goods are charged with VAT in the country in which they’re purchased. However, for certain land vehicle, ship or aircraft, VAT is due where:
- it falls within the definition of new means of transport
- it’s sold to a customer who intends to take it to another member state
- the supply is not treated as a business to business sale under the rules in Notice 725
The definition of a ‘means of transport’ within this notice and when it’s ‘new’ is common throughout the EU single market and is only for the purpose of determining when and where VAT is due. Other agencies, for example, the DVLA, may have different definitions.
References to ‘ship’ includes ‘boat’ or ‘vessel’.
This notice also provides information on how to notify HMRC about the arrival of any new means of transport into Northern Ireland.
1.2 Changes to this notice
This notice has been updated to reflect changes to the VAT treatment of supplies of goods and services following the UK’s departure from the EU.
1.3 Who should read this notice
This notice should be read by anyone considering obtaining a land vehicle, ship or aircraft in an EU member state with the intention of bringing it into Northern Ireland and vice versa.
1.4 The UK law relating to new means of transport
Sections 30(8) and 95 of the VAT Act 1994.
Regulations 146 to 155 of the VAT Regulations 1995.
1.5 What is the legal status of this notice
Under the UK VAT law, HMRC may specify conditions to prevent evasion, avoidance or abuse. This notice lays down the conditions, which must be met in full, for new means of transport to be zero-rated.
Some or all of paragraphs 2.6, 6.1 and section 11 have force of law.
1.6 Definition of the EU single market
The single market is a term that has applied since 1 January 1993 to trading of goods within the EU member states. The VAT territory of the EU single market is made up of 27 member states. Although outside the EU, Northern Ireland continues align with the EU rules for movements of goods. References to the EU single market in this notice should be read in that context.
Find more information on the EU VAT territory.
2. How to identify and deal with a new means of transport
2.1 The definition of ‘means of transport’
When it’s intended for the transport of passengers or goods a ‘means of transport’ is any of the following:
- a ship more than 7.5 metres long (about 24.6 feet)
- an aircraft with a take-off weight of more than 1,550kgs (about 4,417 pounds)
- a motorised land vehicle which:
- has an engine with a displacement or cylinder capacity of more than 48 cubic centimetres
- is constructed or adapted to be electrically propelled using more than 7.2 kilowatts (about 9.65 horsepower)
2.2 When a means of transport is not new
A ship or aircraft is not new when:
- more than 3 months have elapsed since the date of its first entry into service (see paragraph 2.3)
- it has, since its first entry into service, travelled under its own power for more than:
- 100 hours if it’s a ship
- 40 hours if it’s an aircraft
A motorised land vehicle is not new when more than 6 months have elapsed since the date of its first entry into service (see paragraph 2.3) and when it has travelled under its own power for more than 6,000 kilometres (about 3,728 miles) since its first entry into service.
It is possible for a new means of transport to maintain that status for many years, for example if it is not used very much and the ‘use’ test is not been met, and for it to be second-hand.
2.3 The definition of ‘first entered into service’
For ships or aircraft if it’s the earlier of the date it was:
- delivered from its manufacturer to its first purchaser or owner
- first made available to its first purchaser or owner
- first taken into use for demonstration purposes by the manufacturer
For motorised land vehicle it’s the earlier of the date:
- it was first registered for road use in the member state of manufacture
- when it was first liable to be registered for road use there
For motorised land vehicles which are removed from member state of supply without being registered for the road, it’s the earlier of the date it was:
- made available to the first purchaser
- taken into use for demonstration purposes by its manufacturer or sole concessionaire
2.4 Date of first entry
If HMRC is not satisfied that a date of first entry into service has been established in accordance with the guidelines at paragraph 2.3, the new means of transport may be treated as having first entered into service on the date when the invoice relating to its first supply was issued.
2.5 Land vehicle, ship or aircraft being a new means of transport
If your land vehicle, ship or aircraft is a new means of transport see paragraph 2.6, if it’s not, see section 5.
2.6 How to treat the acquisition or supply of anew means of transport
It depends on whether you’re a VAT-registered person or business, or a business not registrable for VAT.
|Persons not registrable for VAT||VAT-registered person or business|
|Purchasing a new means of transport in an EU member state and bringing it to Northern Ireland (see section 3)
Bringing back a new means of transport to Northern Ireland by members of NATO forces (see section 4)
Bringing means of transport which are not new to Northern Ireland (see section 5)
Purchasing a new means of transport in Northern Ireland for removal to a member state (see section 6)
VAT refunds for non-registrable persons of a new means of transport for removal to a member state (see section 7)
Registration, licensing, type approval and insurance (see section 10)
|Purchase of a new means of transport in a member state and bringing it to UK (see section 8)
Supply of a new means of transport in Northern Ireland for removal to a member state (see section 9)
Purchase of a new means of transport in Northern Ireland for removal to a member state by a registered business in a member state (see section 9)
3. Purchasing a new means of transport in a EU member state and bringing it to Northern Ireland when you’re not VAT registered
3.1 When VAT is due
VAT is due at the time of acquisition. This is either the:
- 15th day of the month following the one in which the new means of transport was made available to, or taken away by, the customer (sometimes referred to as the date of removal)
- date of issue of the tax invoice, whichever is earlier
Note — the date the VAT’s due is a legal point and maybe different from the date of arrival of the new means of transport, the date notification of arrival must be made by and the date payment of the VAT must be made.
3.2 Notify HMRC about the new means of transport you have brought to Northern Ireland
If you purchase a new means of transport in an EU member state to bring to Northern Ireland, you must notify us within 14 days of its arrival in Northern Ireland or its acquisition, whichever is the later. You may be liable to a financial penalty if you do not notify us within the 14 days.
3.3 Notify HMRC about a new means of transport land vehicle you have brought to Northern Ireland
You must notify HMRC of any land vehicle brought into Northern Ireland by using the Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (NOVA) system. If you do not already have access to any of HMRC’s online services you will need to register.
The NOVA system allows HMRC to assess whether or not any VAT’s due on a vehicle, and if so, make sure it’s paid and accounted for correctly. You will not be able to register the vehicle with the DVLA until HMRC has been notified and is satisfied that any VAT due has been accounted for.
For more information on NOVA see the guide on Importing vehicles into the UK.
3.4 Notify HMRC about a new means of transport ship or an aircraft you’ve brought to Northern Ireland
To make the notification about a ship or aircraft you must use form VAT415, the notification must be in English.
To process your notification, form VAT415 should be accompanied by a copy of the final purchase invoice, showing:
- the hull or aircraft number
- the price paid
- any invoices for accessories purchased with the ship or aircraft
We can process your notification more quickly if it’s accompanied by these documents.
The completed form should be sent by post to:
20-32 Chichester Street
Note — the Personal Transport Unit (PTU) only accepts postal notifications as there are no public enquiry counters.
3.5 Calculating the VAT due
The VAT is calculated on the total amount you’ve paid for the new means of transport (excluding all trade-ins, part-exchanges or special discounts not freely available to the general public), including any extras you had fitted to it at the time it was supplied, plus any delivery or incidental charges made by your supplier.
For land vehicles, NOVA will automatically calculate how much VAT’s due on the new means of transport. If you’re notifying online, NOVA will inform you at the end of the notification process how much VAT’s due. If you notify us by using the VAT NOVA1 paper form, we will write to you telling you how much VAT is due.
For ships and aircraft, we will only calculate how much VAT you owe when the documents stated in paragraph 3.4 are received.
3.6 Rate of exchange used in the calculation
For VAT purposes, amounts of money must always be expressed in sterling. If you need to convert an amount from a foreign currency into sterling, you must do so following the rules in Notice 700, paragraph 7.6 which has force of law.
The rate of exchange is that applicable on the date of acquisition.
HMRC will normally use the period rate of exchange, which closely reflects the UK market rate. However, you may make a specific request in writing at the time of notification to use the actual market rate applicable on the date of acquisition. If you do not request the use of market rate at the time of your notification, the HMRC period rate will be used automatically.
3.7 Obtaining an advanced estimate of the VAT due on the new means of transport
You can obtain an estimate if you wish to know in advance how much VAT you would have to pay. You should contact the VAT helpline, but note that the final charges may differ because of exchange rate fluctuations or changes to the value of the new means of transport.
3.8 Paying the VAT on your new means of transport land vehicle
NOVA will calculate the amount of VAT due and notify you, either automatically through the NOVA online system or by letter if you submitted a paper form VAT NOVA1 notification. You’ll also receive instructions on how to pay. Do not send any payment before NOVA has confirmed how much VAT’s due.
You’ll need to pay HMRC the VAT due before you can apply for a vehicle registration.
3.9 Paying the VAT on your new means of transport ship or aircraft
We’ll calculate the amount of VAT you owe and send you a demand for payment together with instructions on how to pay. Do not send any payment before you receive the demand, because the amount you calculate could vary due to the different exchange rates used. You must pay the amount of VAT on demand within 30 days of the date on which it was issued.
3.10 Failure to notify HMRC or pay the VAT due
For land vehicles, failure to notify within 14 days of arrival into the UK Northern Ireland may result in a late notification penalty being applied, regardless of whether any VAT’s due on the vehicle. If a penalty’s due HMRC will confirm in writing the amount due and how it’s been calculated.
Note — you must notify HMRC and pay any VAT due before the vehicle can be registered and licensed with the DVLA or DVA.
For ships and aircraft you may be liable to a financial penalty in addition to the VAT due if you:
- fail to notify us within 14 days that you have brought a new means of transport to Northern Ireland
- provide incomplete or inaccurate information on form VAT415
You can avoid financial penalties by notifying HMRC in time and by taking care to complete the forms fully and accurately.
You’ll have a right to appeal if we impose any of the above penalties.
3.11 Circumstances when VAT may not be payable
All movements of new means of transport to Northern Ireland are liable to VAT, except where the new means of transport is a land vehicle or boat constructed or adapted for a disabled person. For more information on VAT relief for people with disabilities see Reliefs from VAT for disabled and older people (VAT Notice 701/7) and form VAT1615A to make a declaration (see paragraph 3.12).
3.12 Other circumstances when VAT may not be payable
You may be entitled to claim relief from VAT that’s due when you remove your new means of transport to Northern Ireland if you meet the conditions.
You’re returning from service in a member state and you’re a:
- member of:
- an officially recognised international organisation
- NATO or the civilian staff accompanying them
See section 4 for more information on whether you qualify for the relief.
You have brought the means of transport to Northern Ireland on change of residence, which was not contemplated at the time of purchase and you’re a:
- member of an officially recognised international organisation
- member of NATO or the civilian staff accompanying them
- have paid VAT in the member state of supply
3.13 Using another person to obtain and bring the means of transport to Northern Ireland
You can use another person, as an intermediary or agent, to assist you in obtaining your means of transport and bringing it to Northern Ireland (see paragraph 3.14).
3.14 Responsibility to notify HMRC and pay the VAT
If you use an agent or intermediary to obtain and bring the means of transport to Northern Ireland and the supplier’s invoice is raised in your name and given to you by the intermediary, you’re still the person responsible for notifying HMRC that the means of transport has been brought to Northern Ireland and for paying the VAT that’s due.
If bringing a land vehicle into Northern Ireland, anyone may act as your agent in notifying and paying HMRC using NOVA (see paragraph 3.3 for information on where to find out more about NOVA). Any penalties, which result from late notification or payment, will be due from you even if your intermediary caused the delay.
If bringing a ship or aircraft into Northern Ireland, the declaration on the notification of acquisition (form VAT415) should, at all times, be completed by you (the acquirer) and not the intermediary.
Agents who are VAT registered and acting in their own name in relation to the supply of the means of transport should use the procedure in section 8.
3.15 Keeping records of your means of transport purchase
You must keep your means of transport purchase invoice and proof that you’ve paid the VAT for 6 years from the date of purchase. You could be asked to demonstrate that the VAT on your means of transport has been paid.
If you decide to sell your means of transport within the 6-year period you’re advised to pass your proof of VAT payment to the new owner.
3.16 Buying the means of transport from a non-taxable person when the tax has been paid in that member state
The supply of the means of transport should be zero-rated. The supplier of the means of transport should seek a refund of taxes paid from their own member state’s fiscal authority and acquisition tax will be due in Northern Ireland.
3.17 Tax paid in the member state of supply
The supply of the means of transport should be zero-rated and the member state of supply will have rules in place similar to those in the notice. You’ll need to confirm the exact procedures to be followed with the supplier. Note that in some member states the supplier may take a refundable deposit equivalent to the VAT which is refunded once you’ve paid the VAT in the destination state.
If you’ve been incorrectly charged VAT or are having difficulty in obtaining a refund of a deposit taken in a member state, this does not affect the liability to pay VAT in Northern Ireland on the acquisition. Recovery of the ‘overpayment’ will need to be taken up with the supplier or the relevant tax authority in that member state of supply.
3.18 Using the means of transport in Great Britain
A means of transport purchased in the EU and destined for Northern Ireland can be used in Great Britain as it transits to Northern Ireland. If the means of transport does not reach Northern Ireland within 14 days of arriving into Great Britain then HMRC may treat the vehicle as an import into Great Britain and require VAT and duty to be paid.
4. NATO forces and diplomats bringing means of transport to Northern Ireland from a member state
4.1 Claiming relief from VAT when you bring means of transport to Northern Ireland as a returning member of the NATO forces or civilian staff
You can only claim entitlement to VAT relief if you comply with the notification requirements described in section 3. If you meet these requirements you can claim relief at the end of your tour on permanent posting back to Northern Ireland. You must be in possession of form BFG NOVA if returning from Germany, or form BFC NOVA from Cyprus to register your vehicle.
These forms are available from (respectively):
British Forces Germany
Customs and Immigration
If you’re returning from any EU member state you must provide HMRC with evidence to show that the host authority relieved the tax. If returning with a ship or aircraft use form VAT415.
If returning with a land vehicle you can either:
4.2 Claiming relief from VAT when you’re a diplomat returning to Northern Ireland from an EU member state with your means of transport
You can claim relief if you produce evidence of your tax-free status from your head of mission and confirmation that the host member state has granted you relief on your means of transport. If you’re returning with a ship or aircraft that’s a new means of transport, form VAT415 should be used.
If returning with a land vehicle you can either:
5. Visiting the UK or bringing means of transport which are not new to Northern Ireland
5.1 Bringing your means of transport on temporary visits to the UK when you live in an EU member state
If you’re normally resident (see paragraph 5.2) in an EU member state and you bring your means of transport with you on a temporary visit to the UK, you do not have to notify HMRC or pay VAT on it.
5.2 The definition of ‘normally resident’
Where you have spent at least 185 days in the last 12 months because of your work and personal connections.
You’ll usually be considered to be resident in the country where your personal connections are if:
- you have no work connections
- your work and personal connections are in different countries
5.3 What to do if you decide to stay and keep your means of transport in Northern Ireland
If your plans change, and you decide to stay in Northern Ireland and keep your ship or boat in Northern Ireland, you do not need to notify HMRC unless either:
- it was supplied to you tax free because of your special status in the member state in which you’ve been living or working
- the supply took place within the 3 months prior to your arrival in Northern Ireland
- it was supplied to you tax free for removal from the member state of supply, and no VAT has been paid on it
- at the time you brought a land vehicle into Northern Ireland, it was not required to be registered for road use here (because you were intending to remain here for less than 6 months in a 12-month period), but you now intend to remain and register and licence the vehicle with the DVLA, you must notify the vehicle using form NOVA1 available by contacting the VAT helpline or using the NOVA online service, within 14 days of the change of intention
5.4 Bringing a land vehicle, ship or aircraft which is not a means of transport into Northern Ireland
If you bring the means of transport to Northern Ireland from an EU member state, you will not have to pay UK VAT if:
- you did not purchase it with the intention of acquiring it into Northern Ireland — see paragraph 3.1
- it’s no longer a means of transport as defined in section 2
- you’ve paid VAT on its purchase in the member state of supply
However, note that if bringing a land vehicle into Northern Ireland you must notify HMRC of its arrival through the NOVA system regardless of whether it’s new or otherwise.
You will not be able to license and register your vehicle with the DVLA until HMRC has received notification of its arrival from you and confirmed that no VAT is due.
If you’re a VAT-registered business bringing a land vehicle which is not a means of transport into Northern Ireland, you may have to account for VAT on your VAT Return under the normal rules for acquisitions from the EU (see paragraph 8.1). If VAT’s due, the vehicle will be known as a ‘qualifying vehicle’ for NOVA purposes.
See paragraph 3.3 for where to find more information about NOVA, including information on ‘qualifying vehicles’.
Any land vehicle used on public roads in the UK, will be subject to UK licensing, registration and insurance requirements, which are explained in section 10.
6. Purchasing a means of transport in Northern Ireland for removal to an EU member state
6.1 Buying a means of transport in Northern Ireland for removal to an EU member state
If you buy a means of transport in Northern Ireland to take to an EU member state, you will be liable for the VAT on the value of the means of transport when you arrive there. To make sure that the purchase of the means of transport is free of UK VAT, you must comply with certain conditions. These are:
- the means of transport must be ‘new’
- you or your authorised chauffeur, pilot or skipper must personally take delivery of the new means of transport in Northern Ireland
- you must:
- remove it from Northern Ireland to the member state of destination within 2 months of the
- complete and sign a declaration on a form VAT411, stating your intention to remove the new means of transport from Northern Ireland and pay any VAT due in the member state of destination, your supplier must complete their part of the form
6.2 Purchasing a means of transport using a finance house
You can purchase a means of transport using a finance house, but this will mean the dealer is selling the means of transport to the finance house who in turn sell it to you. If that’s the case, then you must make sure it’s the finance house that’s shown as the supplier and the dealer must send the second copy of form VAT411 to the finance house for their retention.
6.3 Form VAT411
Form VAT411 is your declaration that you’ll take the means of transport to another member state within 2 months and pay the VAT there. It’s also your supplier’s declaration that they’ve supplied a means of transport to you for removal from Northern Ireland.
6.4 Completion of form VAT411
The form is made up of an original (the top sheet) and 3 copies. When it has been properly completed, your supplier will send the original copy to us (see paragraph 9.5) and give the first copy to you. The supplier will keep the second copy of the form as part of their business records, and, if the means of transport is a land vehicle, they will use the third copy to register it for road use if you’re going to drive it out of Northern Ireland.
6.5 Buying a means of transport in Northern Ireland for removal if you’re VAT registered in an EU member state
If you’re registered for VAT in an EU member state and you buy a means of transport from a VAT-registered person in Northern Ireland for removal to that state your supplier may zero rate the supply under the normal rules. Find out about moving goods between Northern Ireland and the EU.
You may register and use the vehicle in Northern Ireland. However, Notice 725, paragraph 4.4 (which has force of law) says that you must remove the means of transport from Northern Ireland within 2 months of the time of supply.
You must account for any tax due on the acquisition in the member state of destination, under the laws of that state.
6.6 Using the land vehicle on UK roads before removal to another member state
You must not use your land vehicle on UK roads unless it’s been licensed and registered, and is properly insured (see section 10).
6.7 Inability to remove the means of transport due to circumstances beyond your control
If you purchase a means of transport and then find that because of circumstances beyond your control, you’re unable to remove it, you should inform us immediately by writing to the address given in paragraph 3.4 (see paragraph 6.8).
When we receive your letter we’ll calculate the VAT due and send you a demand, which you must pay immediately.
6.8 Failure or inability to remove the means of transport within the period allowed
If you fail or are unable to remove your means of transport from Northern Ireland within the 2-month period allowed, you should inform HMRC and pay the VAT which is due. Failure to do so may make your means of transport liable to forfeiture.
6.9 Exemption of means of transport from ‘type approval’
You can find more information on ‘type approval’ and how it affects means of transport that are land vehicles from paragraph 10.7 onwards.
6.10 Insuring the means of transport that you purchase in Northern Ireland for removal to a member state
If you buy a means of transport in Northern Ireland for removal to an EU member state you should consider insuring it for its full value including UK VAT. If for any reason (for example, an accident) it’s not removed from Northern Ireland, you’ll be liable for any UK VAT which was not charged at the time the means of transport was supplied to you.
It’s a legal requirement that you must be insured against third-party liabilities before you drive a land vehicle on UK roads. If your vehicle is registered in the UK, its use must be covered by a policy of insurance issued by an authorised insurer (a member of the Motor Insurers Bureau).
6.11 Next steps
When a means of transport (that is a vehicle) is finally removed from Northern Ireland, the DVLA require the tear-off portion of the VX302. In the case of a temporary removal to an EU member state, say for a holiday, the VX302 is not required to be completed. If it is, then it can cause problems on return to Northern Ireland as the licence is cancelled.
6.12 Using the means of transport in Great Britain
A means of transport purchased in Northern Ireland and destined for the EU can be used in Great Britain during the 2 months you have to remove the vehicle to the destination EU member state. If the means of transport is still in Great Britain after that time HMRC may treat this as an import and require you to account for the VAT.
7. VAT refunds for non-registrable persons of a means of transport for removal to other member states
7.1 Entitlement to a refund
This section will normally apply where a consumer purchases a new land vehicle, ship or aircraft in Northern Ireland which they then resell while it’s still within the definition of a means of transport. You may be entitled to a refund of VAT if you satisfy all the following conditions:
- you’re not registrable for VAT in the UK
- the means of transport is in Northern Ireland at the time of sale
- you’re selling your new means of transport to another person, and that person intends to remove the means of transport to a member state within 2 months of the date of supply
- you can demonstrate that you’ve paid and have not previously recovered UK VAT on your original purchase
7.2 Claiming your refund
To claim your refund you should write to the PTU (address at paragraph 3.4) at least 14 days (but no more than one month) before you expect to sell your means of transport. You can use the form at section 12 to do this.
When we receive your notification (see paragraph 7.3) we will advise you if we want to examine the means of transport before you sell it, to confirm its eligibility for refund.
7.3 Documents to submit with the claim form
Before any refund is made we’ll need to see all the following documents:
- proof of your original purchase (normally the invoice or import entry)
- evidence that you’ve paid VAT
- proof of your sale within Northern Ireland, normally this would be your bill of sale and evidence that you have received payment
- that the means of transport has been removed to an EU member state
7.4 Inability to produce the documents listed
No refund will be given until you have produced documents (see paragraph 7.3 showing all these things. (Your documents will be returned to you promptly.)
7.5 Calculating your VAT refund
The amount of VAT refunded to you will depend on the value of the supply you make to your customer, but it cannot exceed that amount of VAT, which you’ve already paid when you obtained the means of transport.
8. Acquisition of means of transport by VAT-registered persons and businesses
8.1 Obtaining a means of transport from an EU member state
Supplies of means of transport between VAT-registered persons are treated the same as for any other good, in this case the good happens to be a means of transport that happens to be ‘new’.
8.2 Accounting for VAT
Acquisitions of Means of Transport are accounted for under the general rules set out in Notice 725.
8.3 Accounting for VAT if you make an onward supply of the means of transport in Northern Ireland
If they form part of your stock in trade, you may recover input tax, subject to the normal rules equal to the amount of acquisition tax you declared. You must charge output tax on the full value of the supply to your customer.
8.4 Arranging the supply of a new means of transport from an EU supplier direct to a customer in Northern Ireland
If you arrange the supply of a new means of transport from a supplier in an EU member state direct to a customer in Northern Ireland, you’re acting as an intermediary. Your supply is likely to be the service of arranging the supply and the acquirer will be the customer.
You may as part of your service (and subject to your customer’s authorisation), notify HMRC about the acquisition of the new means of transport on behalf of your customer using the procedures described in section 3 and paragraph 8.5.
8.5 Responsibility for the declaration and payment of VAT
For land vehicles
For more information on NOVA see the guide on Importing vehicles into Northern Ireland.
For ships and aircraft
The customer, or acquirer if they’re the principal, is responsible for the declaration you make on their behalf and for the payment of the VAT, which is due.
You may however make the payment on their behalf. When you trade as an intermediary you must make sure that the customer is provided with the sales invoice from the supplier and the invoice clearly shows the name and address of the acquirer of the new means of transport and the amount they’ve paid to the supplier. You should also distinguish clearly between the transactions in which you:
- act as an intermediary
- acquire and supply a new means of transport as principal to the order of a person in Northern Ireland, in which case the provisions of paragraph 8.2 and paragraph 8.3 may apply
8.6 Who should complete the notification at the time of registration if you’re not an acquirer of a land vehicle into Northern Ireland
For land vehicles see the guide on Importing vehicles into Northern Ireland.
8.7 Registering a land vehicle with the DVLA
If the means of transport is a land vehicle, it must be licensed and registered before it’s used on public roads. However, you will not be able to licence and register the vehicle with DVLA until you’ve notified HMRC about the vehicle’s arrival through the NOVA system and HMRC has confirmed that the notification has been accepted.
9. Supply of new means of transport by a VAT-registered person
9.1 Conditions for zero rating the supply of new means of transport in Northern Ireland for removal to an EU member state
Assuming you’re registered for VAT in the UK, these depend on whether your customer is:
- VAT registered in the member state of destination — see paragraph 9.2
- not VAT registered in the member state of destination — see paragraph 9.3
9.2 If your customer is VAT registered in the member state of destination
You must follow the rules set out in Notice 725.
9.3 If your customer is not VAT registered in the member state of destination
You must meet all the conditions in order to zero rate the supply to your customer who will be liable for any VAT in their member state:
- the means of transport must qualify as ‘new’, see section 2
- you and your customer must make a joint declaration about the transaction on form VAT411, if this form is not completed properly, you will not be entitled to zero rate the supply — see paragraph 6.2 and paragraph 6.7
9.4 Where to send the completed form VAT411
You must send all originals to:
20-32 Chichester Street
9.5 Deadline for submitting form VAT411
You must submit this within 6 weeks of the end of the calendar quarter in which you’ve made the supply.
10. Registration, licensing, type approval for land vehicles
10.1 Scope of this section
This section is HMRC’s understanding of the requirements of Road Traffic and other relevant legislation. Readers should make enquires of the DVLA if they require further information.
10.2 Licensing and registering a land vehicle that you’ve brought to Northern Ireland from an EU member state
All vehicles used (other than by visitors paragraph 10.6) on the UK roads must be licensed and registered. If you purchase a new means of transport in an EU member state and bring it to Northern Ireland, the vehicle must be registered and licensed as soon as possible after arrival. You’re not legally entitled to use or keep the vehicle on UK public roads until it’s been licensed and registered in the UK. Once a vehicle is registered with the DVLA and any VAT has been accounted for, the vehicle can be used within the UK.
10.3 Registering a land vehicle purchased in Northern Ireland for removal to another member state
If you are not VAT registered and purchase a land vehicle in Northern Ireland for removal to a EU member state and the vehicle is not already registered for road use in the UK, it will be allocated a registration number in a special ‘VAT-free’ series of numbers. This allows it to be identified as tax free for the length of time it remains in Northern Ireland prior to removal.
The supplier of the vehicle will obtain the number for you by presenting copy 3 of the form VAT411 at one of the DVLA local offices.
10.4 Register a land vehicle
If you’re VAT registered in an EU member state and have purchased an unregistered land vehicle that will be used on the road before removal from Northern Ireland, you should register the vehicle for road use, form VAT411A should be completed and be presented to the DVLA local office (see paragraph 10.3) who will allocate a registration mark in the tax-free series.
10.5 Keeping the land vehicle in Northern Ireland permanently
If your plans change and you decide to keep the land vehicle in Northern Ireland permanently, you cannot retain the ‘VAT-free’ registration mark. In these circumstances you should contact the PTU for advice.
10.6 Visitor to Northern Ireland
If you’re a visitor to Northern Ireland you need no further insurance if your vehicle is:
- covered by a valid ‘Green Card’
- normally based and currently insured in a member state
10.7 Type approval
Type approval is the official recognition that a land vehicle has satisfied certain international safety standards. You cannot license and register a vehicle in the UK unless it is type approved or otherwise exempt. For type approval purposes a motor vehicle is a:
- passenger vehicle with 4 or more wheels, or 3 wheels if it has a maximum gross weight of more than 1,000kgs, intended to carry no more than 8 passengers, excluding the driver
- 3-wheeled passenger vehicle with a maximum gross weight of under 1,000kgs, if it has either a maximum speed of more than 50 kilometres per hour or an engine capacity of more than 50 cubic centimetres
- goods vehicle
10.8 Supplying a land vehicle in Northern Ireland for removal to a member state which is not ‘type approved’
If you supply in Northern Ireland, for removal to a member state, a land vehicle which is not type approved, and your customer changes their mind about removal and keeps the vehicle in the UK, it may not be licensed and registered here.
10.9 Exemption of new means of transport land vehicles from type approval
New means of transport vehicles supplied in Northern Ireland are exempt from UK type approval requirements for as long as they’re relieved from VAT whilst awaiting removal from the UK. If the vehicle is not removed and as a consequence becomes liable to UK VAT, the exemption from type approval is withdrawn. The absence of type approval may affect your ability to register the vehicle in Northern Ireland for permanent use on UK roads.
10.10 Information on type approval
You can find out more about type approval from the Vehicle Certification Agency.
11. Copy of form VAT411
This information has the force of law
The form VAT411 is specified in this section of this notice for the purposes of VAT Regulations (SI1995/2518) Regulation 22C(3)(a).
You can download form VAT411.
12. Application for a refund of VAT
Information on completing this form is given in section 7.
New means of transport: application for a refund of VAT
Surname (Mr/Mrs/Miss/Dr) ………………………………………………………
Full address ………………………………………………………
Details of the original supply to you
Name and address of supplier ………………………………………………………
The price paid by you (exclusive of VAT) ………………………………………………………
The amount of VAT paid ………………………………………………………
Details of the proposed sale by you
Name and address of proposed purchaser
Name of the EU member state to which the new means of transport is to be removed
Date of proposed sale by you ………………………………………………………
Sale price ………………………………………………………
Details of the new means of transport
|Motorised land vehicle||Ship||Aircraft|
|Length in metres||xxxxxxxxxxx||xxxxxxxxxx|
|Take-off weight (kg)||xxxxxxxxxxx||xxxxxxxxxxx|
|Chassis, hull, airframe number|
|Mileage since first entry into service||xxxxxxxxxxx||xxxxxxxxxx|
|Cubic centimetres or kilowatts||xxxxxxxxxxx||xxxxxxxxxx|
|Hours of use since first entry into service||xxxxxxxxxxx|
Place in Northern Ireland where the new means of transport is currently kept
Dates and times when the new means of transport may be inspected
Amount of refund being claimed ………………………………………………………
I declare that the information I have given and the documents relating to this claim are true and complete.
Note, no repayment will be considered until HMRC has examined your proof of purchase, evidence of payment of VAT, proof of the sale in question and evidence of removal from Northern Ireland.
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