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HMRC internal manual

VAT New Means of Transport

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Purchasing a new means of transport in another member-state and bringing it to the UK: acquisition

An acquisition results from a supply of a new means of transport in another member-state and the subsequent removal of the new means of transport to the UK. Acquisition procedures depend on the VAT status of the UK acquirer.

The terms acquisition should not be confused with the physical movement of the NMT.

The time of Acquisition is either

  • the 15th day of the month following the one in which the goods were dispatched, or
  • the date the supplier issues an invoice (including an invoice issued before the goods are sent).

Further information on this is given in the Single market Guidance VATSM3000 and VATSM3400.

Acquisitions by VAT-registered persons

VAT-registered persons acquiring new means of transport into the UK for use or resale should declare acquisition VAT on the VAT return covering the period in which the acquisition occurred. Strictly this is not an acquisition of a new means of transport but the acquisition of goods that happen to be a means of transport and that happen to be new.

For further information on the accounting requirements see notice 725.

With effect from 15 April 2013, VAT registered persons acquiring land vehicles into the UK will have to notify HMRC about the vehicle’s arrival using the Notification of Vehicle Arrival (NOVA) system via HMRC’s online services

VAT treatment of non-NMTs acquired by VAT-registered persons

Acquisition of a means of transport by VAT-registered persons, which are not new means of transport at the time of supply, are only liable to VAT in the UK if the means of transport is sold exclusive of VAT in the member-state of supply.

Acquisition of a means of transport which was supplied as a new means of transport but by the time it arrived in the UK had ceased to be a new means of transport should normally be taxed in the UK on arrival. This follows the principle set out in the Swedish yacht case VATNMT3600: see also VATNMT8200.

Sales of means of transport using the second hand margin scheme are always liable to VAT in the member-state of supply. Further information on this is given in Notice 718 Margin schemes for second-hand goods, works of art, antiques and collectors’ items. See also VATNMT8300.

VATNMT5300 sets out the process for declaring the acquisition of a NMT to HMRC.

With effect from 15 April 2013, persons acquiring land vehicles into the UK will have to notify HMRC about the vehicle’s arrival using the Notification of Vehicle Arrival (NOVA) system via HMRC’s online services.