Imports and acquisitions of vehicles
V3.396A Importation/acquisition and notification of vehicle arrivals (NOVA)
This paragraph looks at the system by which vehicles arriving in the UK both from inside and outside the EU are declared using the NOVA system.
From 15 April 20131, a person other than an 'excepted relevant person' bringing a 'motorised land vehicle' ('MLV') into the UK, for permanent use on the road must notify (or arrange for an authorised third party to notify) HMRC of the arrival of the vehicle, prior to the vehicle being registered with the DVLA. Notification must be made using the NOVA system2. For transitional arrangements which applied in limited circumstances, see Information Sheet 6/133.
Purpose of the NOVA system
The NOVA system was introduced to tackle VAT evasion on vehicles brought into the UK. Before its introduction, as part of its licence and registration procedures, the DVLA requested evidence to show that the VAT had been paid or would be accounted for. Without such evidence, the DVLA was entitled to refuse an application. However, the absence of real-time information about vehicles brought into the UK, especially in respect of vehicles arriving from other EU member states, was exploited by fraudsters, who were able to present the paper forms to the DVLA before the VAT had been secured by HMRC. This resulted in significant amounts of revenue due to the Exchequer being lost4.
Time VAT is due under NOVA
Where an MLV is imported from a third country, VAT is due at the time of importation
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