Relief from Customs Duty and VAT on transfer of business to the EU

What rules apply to the relief?

The following qualify for relief:

  • Goods that have been used in your business outside the European Union (EU) for at least 12 months before being transferred to the State.
  • Goods that will be used for the same purpose in the State.
  • For Value-Added Tax (VAT) purposes, goods that will be used in an agricultural activity, or an activity accountable for VAT. Activities exempt from VAT, for example, banking, insurance, medicine, education and so on, do not qualify.
  • Goods that are imported within 12 months from when the business ceased outside the EU.
  • Goods that are appropriate to the nature and size of the undertaking.

Goods imported with relief from import duties under a transfer of business may not be:

  • lent out
  • given as security
  • hired out
  • or
  • transferred

within 12 months of importation. If they are, you must notify Revenue and pay the import duties (other than VAT).

Motor vehicles

Such vehicles must have been used in the production process of the business. In the case of a service business, the vehicles must have been used directly in the provision of the service.

Vehicles can also be imported with relief from Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) under a transfer of business.

Next: What goods do not qualify for relief?