Guidance

New means of transport (VAT Notice 728)

How to account for VAT on ships, aircraft and land vehicles.

1. Overview

1.1 What this notice is about

This notice explains how VAT applies to new means of transport (NMT).

In the EU most goods are charged with VAT in the country in which they’re purchased. However for a new land vehicle, ship or aircraft, VAT will be due in the member state of destination if:

  • it falls within the definition of NMT
  • it’s sold to a customer who intends to take it to another member state

The definition of a ‘means of transport’ within this notice and when it’s ‘new’ is common to all EU member states and is only for the purpose of determining when VAT is due. Other agencies, for example, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), may have different definitions.

References to the DVLA should be read as including The Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland.

References to ‘ship’ includes ‘boat’ or ‘vessel’.

This notice also provides information on how to notify HMRC about the arrival of any NMT into the UK.

1.2 The changes

Most of the changes that have been made to this notice since the October 2012 edition reflect the introduction of a new legal requirement to notify HMRC about land vehicles being brought into the UK from 15 April 2013.

These vehicle arrivals will need to be notified using the Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (NOVA) service.

Changes relating to the introduction of NOVA and how to notify HMRC of the arrival of a land vehicle in the UK are in sections 3, 5 and 8.

The meaning of ‘means of transport’ is clarified in paragraph 2.1.

Changes to the deadlines for notifying HMRC about a vehicle’s arrival in the UK are included in paragraph 3.2. Note, the changes to the notification deadlines apply to ships and planes being brought into the UK as well as land vehicles.

1.3 Audience for this notice

This notice should be read by anyone considering obtaining a land vehicle, ship or aircraft in another member state with the intention of bringing it into the UK and vice versa.

2. How to identify and deal with a NMT

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)
  • it has, since its first entry into service, travelled under its own power for more than 6,000 kilometres

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 NMT 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 NMT

If your land vehicle, ship or aircraft is a NMT see paragraph 2.6, if it’s not, see section 5.

2.6 How to treat the acquisition or supply of a NMT

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 an NMT in another member state and bringing it to the UK (see section 3)

Bringing back a NMT to the UK by members of NATO forces (see section 4)

Bringing means of transport which are not new to the UK (see section 5)

Purchasing a NMT in the UK for removal to another member state (see section 6)

VAT refunds for non-registrable persons of a NMT for removal to other member state (see section 7)

Registration, licensing, type approval and insurance (see section 10)
Purchase of a NMT in another member state and bringing it to UK (see section 8)

Supply of a NMT in the UK for removal to other member state (see section 9)

Purchase of a NMT in the UK for removal to another member state by a registered business in another member state (see section 9)

3. Purchasing a NMT in another member state and bringing it to the UK when you’re not VAT-registered

3.1 When VAT is due

VAT’s due at the time of acquisition. This is either the:

  • 15th day of the month following the one in which the NMT 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 NMT, the date notification of arrival must be made by and the date payment of the VAT must be made.

See paragraph 3.2 for information on when a notification must be made, paragraph 3.8 and paragraph 3.9 for information on when the VAT due must be paid.

3.2 Notify HMRC about the NMT you have brought to the UK

If you purchase a NMT in another member state to bring to the UK, you must notify us within 14 days of its arrival in the UK 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 NMT land vehicle you have brought to the UK

You must notify HMRC of any land vehicle brought into the UK 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 NMT ship or an aircraft you’ve brought to the UK

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:

HM Revenue and Customs
Personal Transport Unit
Priory Court
St Johns Road
Dover
Kent
CT17 9SH

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 NMT (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 NMT. 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

This section has the force of law.

For VAT purposes, amounts of money must always be expressed in sterling. If the invoice for your NMT is in another currency, including the euro, HMRC will convert it into sterling using the rate of exchange current at time of acquisition.

This is normally done using the HMRC’s 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. The rates published in national newspapers will be acceptable as evidence of the rate at the relevant time. Rates obtained before the acquisition date are not acceptable. 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 NMT

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 NMT.

3.8 Paying the VAT on your NMT 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 UK vehicle registration.

3.9 Paying the VAT on your NMT 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 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 NMT to the UK
  • 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 NMT to the UK are liable to VAT, except where the NMT is a land vehicle constructed or adapted for a disabled person. For more information on VAT relief for people with disabilities see Notice 701/7: VAT reliefs for disabled people 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 NMT to the UK if you meet the conditions.

You’re returning from service in another member state and you’re a:

  • diplomat
  • member of an officially recognised international organisation
  • member of NATO or the civilian staff accompanying them

See section 4 for more information on whether you qualify for the relief.

You have brought the NMT to the UK on change of residence, which was not contemplated at the time of purchase and you’re a:

  • diplomat
  • 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 NMT to the UK

You can use another person, as an intermediary or agent, to assist you in obtaining your NMT and bringing it to the UK (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 NMT to the UK 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 NMT has been brought to the UK and for paying the VAT that’s due.

If bringing a land vehicle into the UK, 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 the UK, 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 NMT should use the procedure in section 8.

3.15 Keeping records of your NMT purchase

You must keep your NMT 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 NMT has been paid.

If you decide to sell your NMT within the 6-year period you’re advised to pass your proof of VAT payment to the new owner.

3.16 Buying the NMT from a non-taxable person when the tax has been paid in that member state

The supply of the NMT should be zero rated. The supplier of the NMT should seek a refund of taxes paid from their own member state’s fiscal authority and acquisition tax will be due in the UK.

3.17 Tax paid in the member state of supply

The supply of the NMT 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 another member state, this does not affect the liability to pay VAT in the UK 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.

4. NATO forces and diplomats bringing NMT to the UK from another member state

4.1 Claiming relief from VAT when you bring NMT back to the UK 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 the UK. You must be in possession of form BFG NOVA1 if returning from Germany or form BFC414 from Cyprus, in order to register your vehicle.

These forms are available from (respectively):

Customs and Immigration
British Forces Liaison
Germany
BFPO40

SBA Customs
RAF Akrotiri
BFPO57

If you’re returning from any other 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 the UK from another 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 NMT. If you’re returning with a ship or aircraft that’s a NMT, 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 the UK

5.1 Bringing your means of transport on temporary visits to the UK when you live in another member state

If you’re normally resident (see paragraph 5.2) in another 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 the UK

If your plans change, and you decide to stay in the UK and keep your ship or boat in the UK, 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 the UK
  • it was supplied to you tax free for removal from the member state of supply, and no EU taxes have been paid on it
  • at the time you brought a land vehicle into the UK, 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 NMT into the UK

If you bring the means of transport to the UK from another member state, you will not have to pay UK VAT if:

  • you did not purchase it with the intention of acquiring it into the UK - see paragraph 3.1
  • it’s no longer a NMT 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 the UK 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 NMT into the UK, you may have to account for VAT on your VAT Return under the normal rules for intra-EU supplies (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 NMT in the UK for removal to another member state

6.1 Buying a NMT in the UK for removal to another member state

This section has the force of law

If you buy a NMT in the UK to take to another member state, you will be liable for the VAT on the value of the NMT when you arrive there. To make sure that the purchase of the NMT 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 the UK
  • you must remove it from the UK to the member state of destination within 2 months of the date of supply to you
  • you must complete and sign a declaration on a form VAT411, stating your intention to remove the NMT from the UK and pay any VAT due in the member state of destination, your supplier must complete their part of the form

6.2 Purchasing a NMT using a finance house

You can purchase a NMT 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 NMT to another member state within 2 months and pay the VAT there. It’s also your supplier’s declaration that they’ve supplied a NMT to you for removal from the UK.

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 NMT is a land vehicle, they’ll use the third copy to register it for road use if you’re going to drive it out of the UK.

6.5 Buying a NMT in the UK for removal if you’re VAT-registered in another member state

If you’re registered for VAT in another EU member state and you buy a NMT from a VAT-registered person in the UK for removal to that state your supplier may zero rate the supply under the normal rules (see Notice 725: the single market).

To benefit from zero rating you must remove the NMT from the UK 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 NMT due to circumstances beyond your control

If you purchase a NMT 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 NMT within the period allowed

If you fail or are unable to remove your NMT from the UK within the 2-month period allowed, you should inform HMRC and pay the VAT which is due. Failure to do so may make your NMT liable to forfeiture.

6.9 Exemption of NMT from ‘type approval

You can find more information on ‘type approval’ and how it affects NMT that are land vehicles from paragraph 10.7 onwards.

6.10 Insuring the NMT that you purchase in the UK for removal to another member state

If you buy a NMT in the UK for removal to another 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 the UK, you’ll be liable for any UK VAT which was not charged at the time the NMT 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 NMT (that is a vehicle) is finally removed from the UK, the DVLA require the tear-off portion of the VX302. In the case of a temporary removal to another 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 the UK as the licence is cancelled.

7. VAT refunds for non-registrable persons of a NMT 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 which they then resell while it’s still within the definition of a NMT. 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
  • you’re selling your NMT to another person, and that person intends to remove the NMT to another member state within 2 months of the date of supply
  • you can demonstrate that you’ve paid UK VAT on your NMT

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 NMT. 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 NMT 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, normally this would be your bill of sale and evidence that you have received payment
  • that the NMT has been removed to another 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 NMT.

8. Acquisition of NMT by VAT-registered persons and businesses

8.1 Obtaining a NMT from another member state

You should provide the supplier or vendor with your UK VAT registration number to enable them to zero rate the supply of the means of transport to you. In reality the intra-EU supplies of NMT between VAT-registered persons are treated the same as for any other good (see Notice 725: the single market), in this case the good happens to be a means of transport that happens to be ‘new’. The rest of this section needs to be read in that context.

8.2 Accounting for VAT on a NMT purchased in another member state for removal to the UK

If you’re registered for VAT in the UK and you buy a VAT-free NMT from a person registered in another EU member state, you should account for VAT due on your normal VAT Return for the period in which you acquired the NMT (see paragraph 8.3).

8.3 Next steps

If the NMT is a land vehicle, it must be licensed and registered before it’s used on public roads.

However, note that 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.

8.4 Accounting for acquisition VAT if you make an onward supply of the NMT in the UK

You must account for acquisition tax on the vehicles you acquire. If they form part of your stock in trade, you may recover input tax equal to the amount of acquisition tax you declared. You must charge output tax on the full value of the supply to your customer.

8.5 Arranging the supply of a NMT from an EU supplier direct to a customer in the UK

If you arrange the supply of a NMT from a supplier in another EU member state direct to a customer in the UK, you’re acting as an intermediary. If you act in this way for a person who is not registered for VAT in the UK, you may as part of your service (and subject to your customer’s authorisation), notify HMRC about the acquisition of the NMT on behalf of your principal using the procedures described in section 3 and paragraph 8.6.

8.6 Responsibility for the declaration and payment of VAT

For land vehicles

For more information on NOVA see the guide on Importing vehicles into the UK.

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 NMT and the amount they’ve paid to the supplier. You should also distinguish clearly between the transactions in whuch you:

  • act as an intermediary
  • acquire and supply a NMT to the order of a person in the UK, in which case the provisions of paragraph 8.2 may apply

8.7 Who should complete the notification at the time of registration if you’re not an acquirer of a land vehicle into the UK

For land vehicles see the guide on Importing vehicles into the UK.

9. Supply of NMT by a VAT-registered person

9.1 Conditions for zero rating the supply of NMT in the UK for removal to another 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
  • is not VAT-registered in the member state of destination - see paragraph 9.3

9.2 Conditions you should meet if your customer is VAT-registered in the member state of destination

In order to zero rate the supply to your customer who will be liable for any VAT in their member state you must:

  • show on your VAT invoice your customer’s VAT registration number (with the 2-digit country code prefix, see Notice 725: the single market)
  • despatch or transport the NMT to another member state within 2 months of the date you issue the invoice for the supply
  • hold valid commercial documentary evidence, which confirms that the NMT has been removed from the UK
  • complete the EC Sales List (ESL) form for the transaction (see paragraph 9.4)

9.3 Conditions you should meet 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 Completing the EC Sales List (ESL) form for the transaction

You should only complete the ESL form when your customers are registered for VAT in another member state showing the customer’s registration number and value of supplies made in the reporting period. For more information see Notice 725: the single market.

9.5 Where to send the completed form VAT411

You must send all originals to:

HM Revenue and Customs
Personal Transport Unit
Priory Court
St Johns Road
Dover
Kent
CT17 9SH

9.6 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.

9.7 Who’s responsible for declaring acquisition tax when you’ve purchased an unregistered NMT from a UK VAT-registered supplier

The first acquirer of the vehicle into the UK is responsible for declaring acquisition tax on his VAT Return. The onward supply of the vehicle to business is a standard-rated supply in the UK for which a normal VAT invoice should be issued.

10. Registration, licensing, type approval for land vehicles

10.1 Licensing and registering a land vehicle that you’ve brought to the UK from another member state

All vehicles used on the UK roads must be licensed and registered. If you purchase a NMT in another member state and bring it to the UK, 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.

10.2 Registering a land vehicle purchased in the UK for removal to another member state

If you purchase a land vehicle in the UK for removal to another 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 the UK 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.

10.3 List of DVLA local offices

You can contact your local DVLA office in the UK or the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) Northern Ireland.

10.4 Register a land vehicle

If you’re VAT-registered in another EU member state and have purchased an unregistered land vehicle that will be used on the road before removal from the UK, 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 the UK permanently

If your plans change and you decide to keep the land vehicle in the UK permanently, you cannot retain the ‘VAT-free’ registration mark. In these circumstances you should contact the PTU for advice.

10.6 Visitor to the UK

If you’re a visitor to the UK you need no further insurance if your vehicle is:

  • covered by a valid ‘Green Card’
  • normally based and currently insured in another 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’s 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 the UK for removal to another member state which is not ‘type approved’

If you supply in the UK for removal to another 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 NMT land vehicles from type approval

NMT vehicles supplied in the UK 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 the UK 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 section has the force of law and is referred to in paragraphs 1.3, 3.9, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 9.3, 9.5, 9.6 and 10.2.

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 downland form VAT411 from the GOV.UK website.

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

Your details

Surname (Mr/Mrs/Miss/Dr) ………………………………………………………

Forenames ………………………………………………………

Full address ……………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………….. ………………………………………………………………………..

Phone ………………………………………………………

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
Make      
Model      
Colour      
Registration number      
Engine number      
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 the UK 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.

Signature ………………………………………………………

Date ………………………………………………………

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 the UK.

Your rights and obligations

Read Your Charter to find out what you can expect from HMRC and what we expect from you.

Help us improve this notice

If you have any feedback about this notice email: customerexperience.indirecttaxes@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

You’ll need to include the full title of this notice. Do not include any personal or financial information like your VAT number.

If you need general help with this notice or have another VAT question you should phone our VAT helpline or make a VAT enquiry online.

Putting things right

If you’re unhappy with HMRC’s service, contact the person or office you’ve been dealing with and they’ll try to put things right.

If you’re still unhappy, find out how to complain to HMRC.

How HMRC uses your information

Find out how HMRC uses the information we hold about you.

Published 13 April 2013