Vehicle Clearance

Irish Customs Agents offers a range of vehicle clearance services to clients all over Ireland.

Vehicle Clearance

Navigating the customs clearance process is essential when importing a vehicle from a third country, such as Japan or the UK, into Ireland. Whether you're purchasing a brand-new car or a used vehicle from abroad, it's crucial to understand the associated duties and taxes that may apply.

When importing directly from a country outside the EU, not through an Irish dealer, individuals are responsible for arranging payment of additional charges themselves. These charges can include customs duties, VAT, and vehicle registration taxes, which vary depending on the vehicle's value and specifications. Individuals can smoothly import their vehicles by ensuring compliance with Irish customs regulations and promptly addressing any clearance requirements while avoiding potential delays or penalties.

For more information on vehicle clearance, contact our team today!

The following must be paid for vehicle clearance:

  • A customs duty if the vehicle is arriving from outside of the EU.
  • VRT when the vehicle is registered (unless it is exempt)
  • VAT on all new cars, and on used cars imported from all third countries.
  • If you are buying a vehicle from Northern Ireland which was previously registered in Great Britain, you should make sure that you get documents to show that customs duties were paid on arrival into Northern Ireland. If dealer cannot provide this you may need to complete customs clearance and pay taxes to the Revenue.

Customs declarations and duties for vehicle clearance:

Under the trade agreement between the UK and the EU, items originating in the UK can be exported to the EU (including Ireland) without customs duties or tariffs. But the rules on country of origin are complicated and mean that even new vehicles bought from Great Britain may be liable to customs charges if, for example, the car was imported into Great Britain from another country before being sold.

Similarly, there is an agreement between Japan and the EU.


Northern Ireland continues to be treated as part of the EU under the trade agreement. This means vehicles imported from Great Britain to Northern Ireland have to go through customs and may have customs duties applied to them.


You must make a customs declaration if you import a vehicle from Great Britain or Japan. This is where our team of highly trained staff can assist you.

Paying the customs charge

You must pay the customs charge at the time the vehicle arrives in Ireland from Great Britain. This means you have to declare the vehicle with customs when you are entering Ireland or Northern Ireland at the ferry port. At Irish Customs Agents we have the expertise to assist you in the customs clearance process. Click here to discuss with our team.


You have to pay VAT on all used and new cars imported from all third countries.

Transfer of Residence for vehicle

You can claim a relief from customs if you are transferring your residence to Ireland from the UK and you were using the vehicle for more than 6 months in the UK before you moved to Ireland. At Irish Customs Agents we would complete a Transfer of Residence application to Revenue on your behalf once you meet the criteria laid out by competent authorities. Click here to discuss with our team.

Are you in need of Vehicle Clearance from the EU, Japan, or the UK? Contact our team today!

Vintage Cars Imported to Ireland

As an avid car lover and in the interest of assisting my clients on importation of Vintage vehicles 30+ years I have researched the requirements and the advantages of purchasing old vs new.

One advantage is they attract zero duty and a very low VRT charge.

The second advantage is the VAT rate on vintage is the standard 23% unless it has a specific historical value and has not been driven on the roads here but classed as a collectors piece the VAT rate is 13.5 %.


Generally the V5 registration book is accepted as age , however you will also be asked to provide proof of payment between you and the seller.

For those post declaring ( cars that have arrived ) cars we need the following

1. Invoice

2. V5 registration book

3. Photos of interior, exterior & engine

4. Proof of payment

5. Shipping details

Agricultural Vehicle imports

The importation of agricultural vehicles and machinery while very similar to importation of cars and vans has an added element to it of requiring clearance from the department of agriculture. For brand new vehicles it is an easy enough process, however, for used Agri vehicles a d machinery they will need CHED clearance via Traces system and notification of arrival via INIS AFIT portal. These are more specialised clearances and not all brokers can provide this facility, we at Irish Customs Agents have the knowledge and expertise to assist in the most complex of clearances.

For expert vehicle clearance solutions, contact our experts at Irish Customs Agents today!

Vehicle Clearance FAQ

  • Do you need to make a customs declaration when importing a vehicle from Japan?

    Importing a vehicle from Japan is handled similarly to imports from non-European Union (EU) countries. Typically, vehicles from Japan are transported via RORO (Roll On Roll Off) ferries. Once your Japanese import arrives at the port, you'll need to complete a customs declaration and clear customs before retrieving it. offers comprehensive assistance with the entire customs declaration process, ensuring a smooth importation experience for you.

  • Do you need to make a customs declaration when importing a vehicle from the EU?

    No customs declaration is necessary for vehicles imported from the EU; this requirement only applies to vehicles from outside the EU.

  • Do you need to make a customs declaration when importing a vehicle from the UK?

    As of January 1st, 2021, the UK's departure from the EU has necessitated adjustments to the importation process for goods from the UK to Ireland. Now, goods imported from the UK to Ireland mandate a customs declaration, marking a significant shift in procedures. Additionally, these changes have impacted the financial aspect of importing goods from the UK to Ireland, potentially subjecting them to customs duty and VAT.