Importing a Vehicle from an EU Country

Taxes and registration requirements for vehicles from EU (European Union) countries...

Two bodies manage road transport matters in Portugal:

  1. The National Authority for Road Safety (Autoridade Nacional de Segurança Rodoviária, ANSR) is responsible for matters related to road safety and adherence to driving rules.
  2. The Institute for Mobility and Land Transport (Instituto da Mobilidade e dos Transportes, IMT) is responsible for everything to do with drivers and vehicles.

Import duty

Used vehicles: Vehicle Import duty (Imposto Sobre Veículos) may be charged on vehicles imported from within the EU, though the status of this tax under EU rules is questionable. Used vehicles qualify for a progressive reduction in the rate of import tax 12 months after purchase.

If the owner takes up residency in Portugal the car must be legally registered with the DGV within 12 months. To access the DAV, you must be registered in the Automobile Taxation System. To register, login into the Tax Authority Portal and follow the registration instructions. 

New vehicles: IVA (Value Added Tax) on a new vehicle bought in another EU member state must be paid in Portugal unless the Portuguese custom's authority is provided with the original purchase receipt stating that the VAT has been paid, and proof of a valid foreign registration of the vehicle.

Note: In the case of a new vehicle where taxes cannot be proved to have been paid (usually in the case of a new car imported for resale), registration in Portugal must be made within four working days of the entry of vehicle. Take the vehicle's original registration documents and original sale receipts to the local customs office (Alfândega Portuguesas).

Registering the vehicle

Registration is recorded at both the local customs office and the IMT.

The Portuguese authorities may ask for documents other than those listed below. It's advisable to first check on forms and documents required.

The vehicle must be registered by registered owner or by their legal representative (lawyer, solicitor or notary). Registration must be done within 60 days of allocation of the registration number.

Registration can be done online

The following documents are usually needed:

  • A fiscal certificate or tax clearance form issued by customs. In some instances, there are customs and tax charges payable (depending on the model, power, age and mileage of the vehicle)
  • Original receipt of purchase showing taxes paid
  • A Certificate of Compliance (Form Model 9) issued by the IMT confirming that the vehicle has undergone an inspection
  • A certificate of "homologation" (Homologacão) from the vehicle manufacturer or certified representative in Portugal to identify that the vehicle is of a recognised type in Portugal or the EU
  • Copy of the foreign vehicle registration certificate
  • Certificate of conformity, COC (Certificado de Conformidade CEE)
  • A certificate of roadworthiness (IPO)
    • The technical inspection (Inspecção Periódica Obrigatória, IPO) is made at an IMT approved garage. This checks vehicle identification, brakes, tyres, emissions, noise levels, lights, steering, windscreen and wipers, and chassis (inside and out) condition

    • The following owner's documents are usually required:
    • Driver's licence (Cartão de Condução)
    • Proof of identity (passport, identity card (Bilhete de Identidade))
    • Proof of residency (Cartão de Residência), evidence of application for residency, or proof of residence (property title deeds, rental contract, utility bills, insurance certificate)
    • Taxpayer's identification card (Cartão Fiscal de Impostos or Cartão de Contribuinte) and number plus three year's tax returns or a declaration from the tax office stating income earned (in Portugal or elsewhere) over the previous three years
    • A certificate of cancellation of residence issued by the former country of residence or their Consulate in Portugal

    Note: Original documents and one copy must be supplied.

    Once the application has been submitted, customs may issue a limited-validity authorisation (Guia de Circulação) which means the vehicle may be used while the application is in process.

    The ePortugal website has comprehensive information on paying tax on a vehicle purchased abroad