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Bringing a vehicle into the UK?

Let us help you with the shipping of your vehicle.

We can clear goods at all the major UK Ports & Airports

Registration with the DVLA / IVA and NOVA information

Registration with the DVLA / IVAThe following is taken from the Department for Transport website:

What Customs forms do I need?
The DVLA will only issue UK registration documents on vehicles imported from outside the EU, with one of the following Customs forms:

C&E 386 – This form is used to be issued by HM Customs for a vehicle of any age personally imported from outside the EU upon payment of any/all import duties and taxes. Since the introduction of NOVA, HMRC will now send you a letter. ukimports

C&E 388 – This form used to be issued by HM Customs for a Customs restricted vehicle of any age personally imported from outside the EU, upon payment of any/all duties and taxes. As with the C386, above, since the introductions of NOVA, HMRC will now send you a letter. ukimports

C&E 389 – This form used to be the self-declaration form which was be used by VAT registered traders for commercial imports from outside the EU. This form is no longer used, as commercial traders now register their own vehicles on the HMRC Online services. ukimports

These forms are either issued by UK Customs or the importer, and will show the DVLA that the appropriate taxes have or will be paid.

For more information on this, please contact us. ukimports

IVA Test (or MSVA for Motorcycles)
Once a vehicle is imported, it must pass an IVA test.

The following is taken from the Department for Transport website:

What is the Individual Vehicle Approval Scheme?
Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) is a UK national scheme and the most likely route for those manufacturing or importing single vehicles or very small numbers. IVA does not normally require CoP requirements (unless in conjunction with the N1 enhancements scheme outlined below) as it is based on inspection of each vehicle, although most bodybuilders and converters will work with manufacturers to ensure there is no warranty compromise.ukimports

Please contact your local garage who should be able to carry out the necessary adjustments before booking your vehicle in with one of the IVA test centres.

Notification of Vehicle Arrival (NOVA)
From 15 April 2013, new or used land vehicles brought permanently into the UK from abroad must be notified to HMRC within 14 days of arrival and any VAT due paid or ‘secured’. A new online system called Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (NOVA) supports this change.

Information and guidance about NOVA and paying VAT on vehicles arriving from abroad is available on the HMRC website at
(will be shown in a pop-up window).

The process for registering your vehicle:

Once we have cleared your vehicle through UK Customs, they will automatically post you a letter confirming that any necessary duties and taxes have been paid, and that the vehicle has been input on to the HMRC/DVLA NOVA system.

01. Book your vehicle in with your nearest IVA test centre 02. Book your vehicle in with your local garage to carry out necessary adjustments 03. Once your vehicle has passed its IVA test, you should be issued with a certificate More information on this can be found at:

To register your vehicle with the DVLA you will now need to log on to your HMRC Online Services and make a NOVA declaration.

This mandatory requirement for all vehicles has come into force from the 1st April 2013 and needs to be done with 14 days from the date of arrival.

You will need the following information:

  • Place of importation
  • Customs declaration number (Customs entry number)
  • Date of declaration
  • Value declared
  • Commodity code used

Please note:

If you have any questions or problems, then you will need to contact HMRC directly via their National Advice Line on (T) 0300 200 3700

Further reading:
The Department for Transport has put together booklet PI5, titled: “How to import your vehicle permanently into Great Britain”. This booklet is a guide to the technical requirements that need to be met before vehicles can be registered and licensed for use on roads in Great Britain. ukimports

Click here for a link to the Department for Transport website


Remember : Shipping and Customs clearance doesn’t have to be expensive, but choosing the wrong agent could be! ™ ukimports

For more information on importing cars, motorcycles, boats, pick-ups or any other motor vehicle, please feel free to contact a member of our Imports Team, on 0845 309 6360, or email us at:

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