Detailed information - Temporary importation of vehicles with foreign registration plates

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Detailed information - Temporary importation of vehicles with foreign registration plates

In certain cases one can ship a vehicle with foreign registration plates to Iceland without paying full import duties. By meeting certain requirements, importers may variously pay reduced import duties or get total relief of import duties. The following are the cases where one can ship vehicles with foreign registration plates to Iceland without paying full import duties.

In all instances importers must fill out a special statement on a designated form (E-9) for the importation, and fill in the required details of the form. By submitting the form to the Directorate of Customs, the importer declares that he has studied and that he meets the conditions for the above-mentioned relief of import duties.

The Directorate of Customs may request that importers submit a special certificate confirming the relevant issues, in accordance with, i.e.  Articles 54 and 66 of the Road Traffic Act no.  50/1987 and Regulations no.  830/2011 and 267/1993. For example, a vehicle certificate of registration, a driver's license, a certificate that the person concerned has legal occupancy of a vehicle (such as a car rental agreement), an insurance certificate, a certificate of residence abroad and, if applicable, an as the case may be a bill of lading and an invoice for transportation (the documents are available at the shipping company's office if a vehicle is transported to the country by a cargo ship).

Vehicles registered in the following countries are considered to have adequate vehicle liability insurance upon arrival in Iceland:

Andorra (AND), Austria (A), Belgium (B), Denmark (with the Faroe Islands) (DK), Estonia (EST), Finland (FIN), France (with Monaco) (F), Greece (GR), The Netherlands NL), Ireland (IRL), Italy (with San Marino and Holy See) (I), Croatia (HR), Cyprus (CY), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Luxembourg (L), Malta (M) Norway (N), Poland (PL), Slovakia (SK), Slovenia (SLO), Great Britain and Northern Ireland CH), Sweden (S), Czech Republic (CZ), Hungary (H) and Germany (D)

If the above is not applicable, an importer must provide either an International Motor Insurance Card ("green card") or other certificate of valid liability insurance for the use of a vehicle in Iceland.

Coaches / Tour buses

According to subsection 4 (c) of paragraph 1, Article 7 of the Customs Code No. 88/2005 and Article 20 of Regulations on various relief of import duties and tariff preferences no.  630/2008, travel agencies and others who are employed in the organization of group tours of the country may temporarily and without having to pay import duties, import a coach/tour bus registered abroad for the use for a particular group of tourists residing abroad, provided that the coach / tour bus be exported from Iceland upon the departure of the relevant tourist group.

The term coach/tour bus in the above sense means a vehicle registered for more than 10 persons, where at least nine of these are passengers in addition to the driver. 

Private vehicles

Those staying in Iceland for one year or less due to employment, study or travel may import a vehicle registered abroad without payment of import duties, as provided for in subsection 4 (a) paragraph 1, Article 7 of the Customs Code No. 88/2005 and Article 18 of Regulations on various relief of import duties and tariff preferences no. 630/2008. The motor vehicle may also, subject to the fulfilment of requirements for duty-free transactions, be purchased as a new and unregistered motor vehicle here in Iceland. The conditions for duty-free temporary import of private vehicles are as follows:

1. The importer has or has had permanent residence abroad.

2. The vehicle is intended for the personal use by the importer and his or her family members and by other accompanying persons and who are residing abroad. A vehicle covered by this Article may not be used for commercial purposes.

3. That the vehicle is transported to the country within one month of the arrival of the person for a temporary stay.

4. The vehicle will be moved from the country at the end of the stay in the country, but no later than within one year of arrival of the importer to the country. It shall be of no affect in this regard if the person leaves the country temporarily, for example for work- or study related holiday, provided that such absence does not exceed 6 weeks during a 12-month period.

Tourists may also import under the same conditions as above, other vehicles than cars, such as motorcycles, folding trailers, camping trailers, and tent trailers, cf. subsection 4 (d) of paragraph 1, Article 7 of the Customs Code No. 88/2005 and Article 20 of Regulations on various relief of import duties and tariff preferences no. 630/2008.

The Directorate of Customs may require that an importer of vehicles under this article demonstrate in a documented manner that he intends to stay temporarily in the country for no longer than one year, e.g. by presenting a temporary employment contract or temporary lease agreement for residential property, as applicable.

If an importer stays for more than 12 months, or takes up a permanent residence in Iceland, this waiver will automatically be cancelled and duties must be paid on the vehicle or the vehicle must be shipped out of Iceland.

According to subsection 4 (f) of paragraph 1, Article 7 of the Customs Code No. 88/2005, the above-mentioned exemption also applies with the same requirements, to passenger cars rented by car rentals, registered in other member states of the European Economic Area, member states of the European Free Trade Association or in the Faroe Islands, which an importer temporarily uses in Iceland for his own benefit provided that the vehicle stays in this country no longer than 42 days during each period and never longer than 183 days during every 12 months period. Anyone who uses temporary importation under this section can never use the authorization for more than 42 days each year.

Company Cars

Exemption from payment of import duties in case of travellers also applies to vehicles registered abroad and to an employer established in another member state of the European Economic Area, a member state of the European Free Trade Association or in the Faroe Islands, in respect of his employee, provided that the vehicle is necessary for the employee to perform his duties. It is also a condition that the use of the car in Iceland is temporary and does not exceed its use abroad. Use is considered temporary if it is no longer than 183 days in any 12-month period. Use is considered to be more in Iceland than abroad if it is used more in Iceland than abroad in kilometres during a 12-month period, cf. subsection 4 (e) of paragraph 1, Article 7 of the Customs Code No. 88/2005.    

Fuel and spare parts

Importers of the above-mentioned vehicles meeting the conditions for temporary importation may also import duty-free fuels contained in the vehicle's fuel tank, however with a maximum of 200 litres, as well as spare parts for the vehicle in case of damage to the vehicle, cf. subsection 5 of paragraph 1, Article 7 of the Customs Code and Article 22 of Regulation various relief of import duties and tariff preferences.

Vehicle for commercial use

For commercial vehicles, etc. vehicles for passenger and trucking and special purpose vehicles, import charges based on rental prices, cf. subsection subsection 6. paragraph 1. Article 7 of the Customs Code and Article 28 of Regulation various relief of import duties and tariff preferences. If the rental price of a device is not available, import duties shall be calculated on the estimated rent, which shall be determined as 1/60 part of the customs value as determined pursuant to Art. Chapter V of the Customs Act, cf. VII. section of the Regulation on Custody and Customs Treatment of Goods, for each month from the end of the first month from the date of its arrival in Iceland.

If the period of use turns out to be different, the import duty will be charged at the time of departure of the vehicle from Iceland. A preliminary declaration of entry must be made and a collateral must be established upon the importation of the coach / tour bus to Iceland, while an export declaration and E-14 form must be submitted for the vehicle, "Request for inspection of goods shipped abroad." A financial guarantee bond for the payment of import duties may be in the form of ATA Carnet Liability Document or Financial Insurance.

According to Article 23 of the Regulation on various relief of import duties and tariff preferences, the payment of import duties is partly subject to the condition that vehicles will be used in Iceland for a maximum of 12 months. If an importer chooses to use the vehicle in Iceland for more than one year, he shall immediately report to the Directorate of Customs. On that same occasion the settlement of import duties shall then take place. Paid import duties under  subsection 6 of Article 7 of the Customs Code shall be deducted from the levied import duties.