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Tax-free allowances: temporary importation of certain means of transport



Directive 83/182/EEC on tax exemptions within the EU for certain means of transport temporarily imported into one EU country from another


It aims to eliminate tax obstacles to the temporary importation of certain means of transport within the EU by harmonising national tax arrangements.


The directive exempts from turnover tax, excise duties, any other consumption tax and the taxes listed in the directive’s annex when the following are temporarily imported from another EU country:

  • various means of transport acquired or imported in accordance with the general conditions of taxation in force on the domestic market of an EU country:
    • motor-driven road vehicles (including their trailers)
    • caravans
    • pleasure boats
    • private aircraft
    • bicycles
    • tricycles
    • saddle-horses on horse-riding excursions
  • normal spare parts, accessories and equipment imported with those means of transport.

As a general rule, the temporary importation of these means of transport for private use is exempt from taxes — provided that the individual importing it is normally resident in a country other than the country of import — for at least 6 in any 12 months.

Commercial vehicles (goods vehicles, vehicles intended to transport more than 9 passengers) are excluded from the exemption.

The means of transport may not be disposed of, hired out or lent in the EU country of temporary importation.

In exceptional cases, the temporary importation of a private vehicle for business use may be made conditional upon payment of a security.

There are specific rules relating to certain cases of temporary importation of private vehicles: these concern individuals working or studying in an EU country other than that of their normal residence.

EU countries are permitted to maintain or introduce more liberal exemption arrangements than those provided for in the directive.

The directive has been updated on several occasions to take account of the EU’s enlargement to include more countries.


It has applied since 31 March 1983 and had to become law in the EU countries by 1 January 1984.


Council Directive 83/182/EEC of 28 March 1983 on tax exemptions within the Community for certain means of transport temporarily imported into one Member State from another (OJ L 105, 23.4.1983, pp. 59-63)

Successive amendments to Directive 83/182/EEC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 08.11.2018