When is VAT not payable on importation?

Import Value-Added Tax (VAT) is not payable on goods that are imported by a VAT registered trader who:

  • is based in a Customs-free airport
  • holds a VAT-free authorisation
  • places the goods under any of the following arrangements:

Relief from Import VAT may also be available where the characteristics of the goods, or the circumstances of their importation, meet the criteria for certain reliefs.

VAT on imported alcohol products

VAT is not payable at importation in respect of imported alcohol products placed under an Excise Duty suspension regime. For example, an excise warehouse.

Zero-rated scheme for certain persons

A trader with 75% or more of annual turnover from zero-rated intra-Community supplies of goods or exports can apply for a VAT-free authorisation. This enables the trader to import goods at the zero rate of VAT.

VAT-free importation of goods destined for another EU Member State

Goods from outside the European Union, intended for onward supply, can be imported into Ireland by a VAT registered trader at the zero rate. The goods must then be supplied or transferred to a VAT registered customer in another Member State.

This scheme is known as ‘Onward Supply Relief’ or ‘Procedure 42’. Full details of the scheme and the conditions which apply are available in the Customs manual on import VAT.

Next: Clearing taxable goods through Customs