By Tom Brett
31st January 2020

Rule Changes for Importing and Exporting a Classic Car to the EU After Brexit.

A couple of years ago we released an article on how imports and exports of classic cars can be a daunting and challenging process; due to all the regulations and nuances you tend to read across the whole spectrum of the classic car world.

Please read our article on the procedures that you must take in the current transitioning period whilst EU rules still apply –

There are plenty of stark warnings in the normal car industry with imports for parts and components to set back the UK car industry an extra £3.2bn per year. Could we see parallel effects take place in the industry we dearly love too? And how will parts for your beloved Lancia or Mercedes cost to import?

Unfortunately, we think the time is right to talk about the uncertainty of Brexit. You can read the previous article here that will give you information on how to import and export your classic car from the UK up until the point we leave the European Union.

Here are some questions and hopeful answers we are sure some of you enthusiasts are pondering at this point in time.

Please bookmark this article and sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of the page. This is because as we go through the leave process I will regularly update this article to keep you informed of any developments that may happen; during the year it officially takes us to leave.

How do I import a classic car post-Brexit?

After Brexit takes effect, it is unlikely that we will have formed any trade deal with the EU or the rest of the world by the end of January 2020. However, the status quo shall remain up until a year later. We will not know for a few more months to see whether there are any benefits we obtain from the EU that we currently possess.

What are the VAT changes post Brexit?

Under current laws, VAT between EU countries is currently waived. Some classic cars will remain VAT exempt as they are considered ‘goods of historical importance’. Although some cars will start to contain VAT from specific countries, as they do not fall under the ‘free movement of goods’ benefit we currently have with the rest of Europe.

What are the customs / duty changes post Brexit?

Many supply chains in businesses will start to be affected meaning there will be a ripple effect of longer waiting times at borders. Although this is not as important for one-off transactions of classic cars, you may want to have a think about the delay times and extra paperwork it may take to import if time is an issue with your transaction.

How do I export a classic car to the EU car post-Brexit?

The ‘free movement of goods’ law that we are currently tied down to with the EU will surely change. It is not yet known what procedures will takes its place, however, these rules will not change until the 31st December 2020. Please review our article above to understand how to import and export up until that point.

However, lets see what it is like for countries outside of the EU for importing goods for now:

A customs duty and VAT added from a specific country are applied to goods coming from outside of the EU. Currently we are not charged these under the free movement of goods law.
You must submit an EU customs declaration and have commercial invoice and freight /shipping insurance. Specific requirements determined by the make, model and usage of the car.

Talks are ongoing with the likes of the US for a trade deal that could possibly make the import and export of goods a lot easier in the future, however, some experts have warned this could take up to 10 years of negotiation before anything can be agreed.

What about importing the vehicle from Ireland if there is a no-deal Brexit?

Unless you already use a secure registration scheme, you must tell HMRC if you import a vehicle from Ireland to Northern Ireland. You must do this within 14 days of the vehicle arriving in Northern Ireland. Ask the VAT helpline for a VAT Notification of Vehicle Arrival (NOVA1) form. Do not use the online NOVA service.

Will the market pick up after the deadline?

We have a year left where these issues will become more resolved and we start to see an indication of clarity; amongst tariffs. We believe that it will be costly to import/export to the EU as there will be various duties and taxes that will need to be paid, increase time and paperwork, declarations and duty rates.

Looking ahead to other countries, we would recommend finding non-EU parties that have a strong classic car market. The US is yet to decide whether they raise their tariffs to consolidate their own car industry, however, most experts believe these will be subsidised in the classic car market.

Stay up-to-date.

As mentioned earlier, we will be refreshing this article and posting on all of our social network sites and in our weekly email. We want every classic car enthusiast to stay informed about future developments as we know this can cause some problems for some of you.



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