Importing oldtimer from EU country

11 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

 

I have been searching the forum, but did not find anything up to date.

 

I would like to import an oldtimer from an EU country (Spain), and if anyone has experience on a similar situation, I would appretiate any feedback. In any case, I will visit our local "Customs office" (Hauptzollamt) to ask for advice, but I am expecting a lot of waiting, and not much help.

 

Should I already become the owner of the car in Spain? Will this make things easier?

 

Apart from taxes, I guess the car will have to go through some checks at the vehicle inspection (TÜV) in order to make it street legal in Germany. Should I visit the TÜV office also to ask for advice?

 

Thanks everyone in advance

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Hi Miliken

 

Since an 'oldtimer' in German law must be at least 30 years old I assume you're referring to a car built and first registered before 09/1986. Depending on the vehicle's history and documentation you may not have to pay any import taxes although there will be customs fees involved.

 

2 hours ago, Milliken said:

Should I already become the owner of the car in Spain? Will this make things easier?

 

To process it through the German system you would need to be in possession of the car's documentation. Whether you 'become the owner' in Spain or in Germany is of no particular importance but not doing so at the earliest opportunity could delay or prevent you achieving your goal.

 

Quote

Should I visit the TÜV office also to ask for advice?

 

You could if you want to but, even if you are able to discuss your questions fluently in highly technical German, in my experience, there is no advantage to be gained by doing so. Until they actually conduct a physical inspection on the car any advice they could give you would be limited to purely hypothetical speculative answers.

 

Its invariably best to let them inspect and fail the car first so you know exactly which changes or repairs they deem to be necessary.

 

 

The (simple)* basic procedure would be to;

 

1 ) make an appointment** and take the original (and copies) of the vehicle's documentation to your local vehicle registration office (Kfz-zullassungsstelle) and make an application and pay the fee for a so-called 'Blankobrief' which serves as an official record of data in preparation for entry in the eventual vehicle registration document.

("Wegen der Erstzullassung in Deutschland eine neulich importiert Oldtimer ich möchte eine Termin machen wobei ich eine Blankobrief beantragen kännen")

 

2 ) make an appointment** and take all documentation as above plus the Blankobrief to your local Hauptzollamt and make an application and pay the fee for an 'Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung' which is a certificate of no objection on the part of German customs. Years ago Zollbeamter/innen used to stamp the Blankobrief although that may now no longer be the case.

("In zusammenhang mit der Erstzullassung in Deutschland eine neulich importiert Oldtimer ich möchte eine Termin machen wobei ich eine Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung beantragen kännen")

 

3 ) make an appointment** and take the vehicle along with all documentation including the Blankobrief to one of the larger TÜV inspection facilities where the car should undergo a Section 21 full inspection (§ 21 Vollabmahme) after which they will calculate their fees and, assuming the car passes, complete the data fields in the Blankobrief and issue a new TÜV safety and emissions test certificate.

 

If the car fails the safety and emissions test they will complete the data fields in the Blankobrief but issue a failure notice listing the relevant defects and a time-frame within which the car may be re-examined at a reduced fee on completion of repairs.

("In zusammenhang mit der Erstzullassung in Deutschland eine neulich importiert Oldtimer ich möchte eine Termin für eine Vollabnahme nach § 21 [Paragraph einundzwanzig] machen")

 

4 ) make an appointment** and take

the completed Blankobrief,

the Zoll Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung,

the TÜV certification,

your original vehicle documentation,

an eVb number from your motor insurance company,

your German bank details in case required for a SEPA Mandat to the Finanzamt,

some money for the manufacture of registration plates,

to the Kfz-zullassungsstelle to register the car.

 

NB: The Kfz-zullassungsstelle may not issue the seals for the registration plates UNTIL they have physically verified the vehicle's VIN or chassis number so you may have to arrange to transport the car there on the day of registration.

 

*simple = if the car is of EU origin and is accompanied by EU recognized documentation issued by another EU country's official authority. Things can get much more complicated when dealing with vehicles originating outside the EU or those without standard documentation (e.g. ex-government service, ex-military, ex-NATO etc.).

 

**Always state the exact purpose of your business when making these appointments so that they are sure to assign the correct specialist official or inspector to your case. See the suggested texts (in italics) I've found useful when making such telephone appointments or speaking directly to the relevant personnel. They should work fine for you too, in spite of any possible grammatical errors.

 

HTH

 

2B

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Also you might want to get season number plates (Saisonkennzeichen) to save on insurance if you don't plan to have hassle with winter tyres etc. Kfz-Zulassung will give advice.

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3 hours ago, AnswerToLife42 said:

To my knowledge Spain is in the EU. So there are no issues with customs.

Have a look at this site: https://oldtimer-veranstaltung.de/service/tipps-import-eines-oldtimers-aus-italien/

Just a tip  from someone currently living in Greece...forget the EU rules...we bought a car in Germany the other month, had it shipped to Greece and were told by a woman next to the Greek Customs Office in Heraklion and who deals with imported cars/bureaucracy.." we can arrange a deal..instead of 15,000 euros entry tax, we can get it done for 12,000 euros ". People: this was more than the car cost!

We had the car sent right back to Germany by the same transport service!

My Greek car insurance guy ( Greek Allianz rep), experienced etc, has a list of official prices and it should have been c 3,000 euros....but Greece is Greece...

 

 

ie EU doesn´t necessarily mean it works....

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On 30.9.2016, 21:37:29, john g. said:

Just a tip  from someone currently living in Greece...forget the EU rules...we bought a car in Germany the other month, had it shipped to Greece and were told by a woman next to the Greek Customs Office in Heraklion and who deals with imported cars/bureaucracy.." we can arrange a deal..instead of 15,000 euros entry tax, we can get it done for 12,000 euros ". People: this was more than the car cost!

We had the car sent right back to Germany by the same transport service!

My Greek car insurance guy ( Greek Allianz rep), experienced etc, has a list of official prices and it should have been c 3,000 euros...but Greece is Greece...

 

 

ie EU doesn´t necessarily mean it works...

A friend of mine in the same situation won a court against Poland in Luxembourg. That was over 500 euro import tax on an old car from France.

Na ja, that costs a lot of time...

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Well people, I have decided to just do it. At this stage, I have purchased a "cheap" Oldtimer from a private seller (Old lady in her 90s, not willing to drive again) and the family will do the paperwork on the Spanish side, which involves going to the relevant office that deals with driver licences, fines, car registration, performance checks and so on. We will see how easy this turns out to be.

 

I am doing a quick scan over the network, looking for a trailer that I could drive myself in order to transport the car. However, I would need a driver license "BE", which I do not have. I guess I have 2 options, let some professional company do it (with its tax and insurance) or just rent the trailer ("autotransporter") for someone to privately do it for me. The rent of one of this is relatively cheap, just 40€ per day, with no mileage limit.

 

Anyone had a good/bad experience with this kind of transport? I would appreciate just a quick private email with their names (not trying to do any kind of marketing here).

 

Thanks and have a nice Sunday everyone.

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OK everyone, mission accomplished! The car is registered in Germany, with historical car plates and ready to drive.

 

I am going to describe a bit the process, as I did it:

 

1) Find the car in Spain, with all the papers available.

2) Prepare a contract with all the details from the seller/buyer/vehicle. Make the seller sign it, and send it back scanned.

3) Make the seller go to the Spanish registration office, and unregister the vehicle. You have to give a reason, in this case "Export to another European country". In the case of Spain, anyone can do this step, as long as you bring the original ID of the vehicle's owner. Price = 8€.

4) Arrange the transport. In my case, I booked a spot on a 20m trailer transporting cars from Spain to Germany. Price = 850€.

5) I needed a way of taking the car to the technical inspection (TÜV). Here I had 2 options:

    5.1) Renting a trailer to transport the car from my private garage to the TÜV. This requires driving license B+E.

    5.2) Visit your local registration office (Zulassungsstelle) and order the limited time plates (Kurzkennzeichen). These plates are valid for 5 days, and they do not require the vehicle to have a valid TÜV. Make sure you first book an appointment at the TÜV, so that the you do not run out of days on the plate! In order to get this "limited time" plates, you need an insurance, I did it online in 5 minutes. Price: Insurance = 49€, Paperwork registration office = 13,10€, Plates = 27€.

6) Buy the things required by any vehicle in Germany:

    6.1) First-aid kit.

    6.2) High visibility vest.

    6.3) Reflective triangle.

    6.4) Parkscheibe (Not compulsory, but you will need it in the future when parking in some "time-limited" areas.

7) Drive the car to the TÜV. In my case I booked a technical inspection (Gutachten 21) and the historical vehicle inspection (Gutachten 23). In an hour, I got it done. The only problem they wrote down as "Motor ölfeucht". Price: 245€.

8) Get insurance for the car. They will provide a number "eVB Nummer" that you need for the next step. 

9) Get the car registered at the "Zulassungsstelle". Preis: 70€.

     9.1) You need: Original Spanish papers, selling contract, passport, TÜV papers, insurance number, original Spanish plates.

     9.2) They keep the original papers, and you can claim them back in 6 months.

     9.3) They keep the original plates, and you do not get them back. Ever.

     9.4) You can choose the number plates you want (Wunschkennzeichen). Price: 10€.

     9.5) You fill in the papers for the customs office (Zoll). I expect a letter from them to arrive at my house. Not sure how much it will cost, if anything.

     9.6) Get the plates done at one of the shops around (Autoschild). Preis: 39€. IMPORTANT: Unless it says in the TÜV papers that the space in the car bumper/back door for the plates is limited by design, they will give you standard size plates.

 

One further step I did not do, was getting the car assessed by a professional in the "Classic car" field. This costs around 150€ and they provide you with a document and a mark (Zustandsnote). 1 is the best, 5 the worst. Depending on this mark, you can see the market value of your car in any classic car magazine.

 

Hope it helps anyone trying to do the same. If any point is not clear, just shout.

 

Cheers!

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