SCL Rotterdam has developed into a true Customs expert over the years when it comes to import and export of classic cars, motorcycles and oldtimers. On this page you will find more information about the Customs's procedures, VAT and import duties when importing a classic car into Europe.
Departure from the United States or Canada
Before we can load and ship your classic in the U.S. we require the following documents:
- Original Title Certificate
- Bill of Sale
- Shipper's Export Declaration (SED) (document with details of seller and buyer)
For shipments from Canada a copy of the Title Certificate will suffice. For USA shipments, Customs require the original Title. We can assist with creating a SED for USA shipments.
Arrival in The Netherlands (shipping only)
After your container has arrived and has been unloaded, we can continue clearing your oldtimer with local Customs. To handle this we will need the following documents:
- Direct Representation (an official form which authorizes SCL to represent you at Customs)
- Bill of Sale
- A copy of the original Title Certificate
- Oldtimer Statement (completed by the vehicle's owner)
The above mentioned documents will generally suffice to get your classic car released by Customs without any issues. Before Customs will release the vehicle(s) any import duties and taxes will need to be paid, and there is a chance they will perform a physical inspection in our warehouse to verify the authenticity of the oldtimer car.
Import duties and VAT on import
If you import a classic car from another EU-country you do not have to pay import duties and VAT.
When you import a genuine classic automobile or motorcycle from the United States, Canada or any other country outside the European Union you are normally not required to pay any import duties but only 9% VAT over the sum of the purchase price and transport cost (including charges for unloading and Customs clearance). The lower VAT rate for classic car import is part of the legislation that refers to the import of antique goods. To qualify for the low VAT rate your classic car must be:
- in its original state without changes to the chassis, steering, braking system, engine etc.
- at least 30 years old
- of a model or type no longer in production
A few more requirements need to be met in order to fully qualify for the low VAT rate. Therefore no rights can be obtained from the above text. The final decision if your vehicle qualifies as an original classic will always be determined by the Customs Office. Customs randomly performs physical inspections of imported classic vehicles to assess if a vehicle meets the requirements.
Make sure you are well informed about your vehicle's eligibility for import at the low VAT rate. For example, if your vehicle is in fact a replica of an original classic car, Customs will decide that normal duties and VAT rates apply. Feel free to contact us to discuss your vehicle's specifications in advance.