Importing a Vehicle for Personal Use

Should you want to import a vehicle for your own use, you must comply with the statutory provisions that apply to imports from countries either within or outside the EU. Be sure to pay particular attention to the formalities associated with the standard consumption tax (Normverbrauchsabgabe or NoVA).

Imports from a Third (non-EU) Country

When importing a motor vehicle from a third country, you must complete the following documentation and customs formalities:

  • Proof of value (invoice with payment confirmation, purchase agreement).
  • T1 consignment note (documentation that accompanies the vehicle from the point it crosses the border to the destination customs office, form Za 58a).
  • Import declaration (customs clearance application, form Za 58a).
  • If necessary, proof of preferential origin in order to secure a preferential customs duty rate (EUR1 movement certificate or declaration of origin on the invoice for a value of EUR 6,000).

 The Following Customs Duties are Payable:

  • A 10% duty on the value of the motor vehicle (passenger cars and other motor vehicles manufactured expressly for the transporting passengers) will be assessed up to the duty limit (purchase price plus delivery costs to the EU's external border).
  • For vehicles being imported from particular third countries (e.g. Switzerland and Norway), no customs duty will be assessed provided that proof of preferential origin can be supplied.
  • A 20% import turnover tax will be assessed based on the value of the motor vehicle free to destination (purchase price + delivery costs + customs duty amount).
  • The standard consumption tax (NoVA), which must be paid if the motor vehicle is licensed with the local tax office at the owner’s place of residence.

Imports from an EU Member State

Under applicable customs legislation, no documentation is required to import a vehicle and there are no customs formalities to be completed. However, the initial licensing of motor vehicles that will enter Austrian circulation is subject to the standard consumption tax (NoVA).

The level of standard consumption tax that will be assessed depends on the fuel consumption of the vehicle and on its value. Regardless of whether a vehicle is new or used, the tax must be paid before the vehicle can be licensed for circulation.

It is important to note the following distinction relating to the obligation to pay tax on intra-community acquisitions: in Austria, the import of a new motor vehicle from a Member State of the European Union by a person who is not a dealer falls within the scope of the single taxation of vehicles. As a result, such an import is subject to acquisition tax according to Art. 1 (7) of the Austrian Value-Added Tax Act (UStG) 1994. Conversely, the import of used vehicles into Austria by non-entrepreneurs is not subject to acquisition tax since used vehicles remain subject to value-added tax in the country of origin (member state where the sale took place).

A land motor vehicle shall be considered new if initial use occurred at no more than six months prior to acquisition or the total distance travelled is 6,000 km or less.

In the case of acquisition by a dealer, the general provisions that govern intra-community commodity sales apply regardless of whether the vehicle is new or used. The dealer supplying the vehicle performs an intra-community tax-exempt delivery to Austria if all statutory requirements have been met and the recipient of the vehicle pays tax at the rate(s) applicable in Austria on intra-community acquisitions.
Any entitlement to input tax deduction with regard to the purchased vehicle is governed by Art. 12 of the Austrian Value-Added Tax Act 1994.

Note: according to Art. 1 (6) of the Austrian Value-Added Tax Act 1994, acquisitions of new vehicles by so-called “threshold purchasers”, such as small businesses, are always subject to acquisition tax in Austria. Conversely, when importing a used vehicle, the applicable acquisition threshold must be observed.

The transport or dispatch of the vehicle to Austria may be undertaken either by the supplier or by the recipient.

The assessment basis for the acquisition is the price paid for the vehicle. Generally, the price paid is the amount indicated on the invoice; however, ancillary costs (such as for transport or commission) charged to you by the supplier are also part of the assessment basis. It is important to note that the standard consumption tax (NoVA) is no longer included in the assessment basis for VAT.

A copy of the invoice issued by the supplier must be appended to the declaration.

The tax rate is 20% (standard tax rate).

The NOVA 2 form can be used to jointly declare the standard consumption tax and the acquisition tax for the land motor vehicles specified on the form. Information on the standard consumption tax (NoVA) and the acquisition tax can be obtained from your local tax office. Form U 10 is available for download from the forms database.