Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Planning, Trip > Trip Transport

Trip Transport Shipping the bike and yourself.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

UK Motorcycle Shipping Experts!

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 2 Jan 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 64
Approx customs charges for import to UK

Hi All,

Can anyone offer any advise on what I should expect to pay the Uk customs and immigration when my bike arrives back in the UK, as it is on USA plates, and i intend to keep it there

The bike is in the conditon you would expect after 27,000 miles so I was hoping they wont sting me for too much.

All adivse is welcome, also if anyones knows how tricky it is leaving the Grimaldi boat at Tilbury I would be very interested in how they found it.



Global Enduro
Reply With Quote
Old 2 Jan 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ripley, Derbyshire
Posts: 375
Hi, Simon,

Congrats on reaching the end of your journey, I've been a big fan of your site.

Right import costs depend on how far over you can bend while grabbing your ankles, while shouting please sir can I have another.

No really all you have to do if FAKE up an invoice for a cheap price, stating that you recently paid for the bike with 27k on the clock. Then use that for when you import the bike, remember that you will also have to pay to register the bike in the UK.

I know the bikes now a member of your family and is a faithful friend, but balance that against how much shipping, import tax and re-registration is going to cost, so is it cheaper to sell the bike while still overthere?

Reply With Quote
Old 3 Jan 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 64

Thanks Lee,

Yeh I have weighed up the pros and cons of selling or not, and after deciding that I need a bike for work when I get home I have decided its pointless selling it, what with the fact its only been about 4500 miles since it had new piston etc.

But Ill try get a bill of sale sorted out, thats a good idea. Thnaks for the advise-
Reply With Quote
Old 3 Jan 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 64
can someone confirm my thoughts?

So Lee, or somebody else,

I have done some research and this is what I think I have discovered. Can someone confirm if this is right or not.

Basically if I bought the bike over 6 months ago abroad, and if I intend not to sell it (which I do not) then I understand that this intitles you to enter the UK without havving to pay VAT, and maybe even the import duty of 6%.

However below is the extract I get this from, and I dont seem to qualify for parts 1 and 2, even though I cant see what difference it would make, having said that the extract is not totally relivant to me as I am not trying to move to the UK, I live there anyway!

If someone can confirm this or correct me I would be very grateful.


5.1 Can I get relief from duty and tax on transfer of residence?

Yes. You can bring in your belongings or vehicle free of duty and tax so long as you:
  • are moving your normal home to the EC
  • have had your normal home outside the EC for a continuous period of at least 12 months
  • have possessed and used them for at least 6 months outside the EC before they are imported
  • did not get them under a duty/tax free scheme (but see paragraph 5.2)
  • declare them to us as explained in paragraph 3.2
  • will keep them for your personal use and
  • do not sell, lend, hire out or otherwise dispose of them in the EC within 12 months of importation, unless you notify us first and pay duty and VAT on disposal. Our National Advice Service can tell you how to do this.
Belongings include clothing, furniture, portable tools of trade, pets and other household and personal effects, but not alcoholic drinks or tobacco products: you will not get relief on those unless they travel in with you and qualify for the duty-free allowances - see paragraph 2.1.
We will normally waive the second and third conditions if you could not meet them due to circumstances beyond your control. Explain the position to our officer when you declare your belongings or vehicle.
Generally speaking, "possession" means "to have" rather than "to own", but there are particular restrictions in relation to company vehicles imported by travelling sales representatives. Our National Advice Service can give you full details.
See paragraph 5.5 if any of your belongings or vehicle were previously taken out of the EC.
Other goods and vehicles imported for commercial purposes will not qualify for this particular relief. However, if you are also transferring your business to the UK, you may be able to claim the alternative relief on imported capital goods. See our Notice 343 Importing capital goods free of duty and VAT.

Last edited by S-Mendus; 3 Jan 2008 at 18:58.
Reply With Quote
Old 3 Jan 2008
Stephano's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Abu Dhabi
Posts: 897
Originally Posted by S-Mendus View Post
I have done some research and this is what I think I have discovered. Can someone confirm if this is right or not.
That seems to match what I have found out. Below are the notes a friend sent me regarding the import to the UK of his Dubai-registered bike. Some of it may not be appropriate for your case:

"To avoid VAT and import duty you need to have owned the bike more than six months and be returning to live in the UK. Phone the DVLA on 0870 2400010 for confirmation and they will also send the appropriate forms.

You need to complete a V55/5, have valid insurance, have paid £25 road registration, have a log book (?) and dated evidence (receipt) showing purchase. You also need to take it to the Goods Vehicles testing department (0870 6060440) who will issue a certificate saying the bike conforms to EU standards. To get this you'll have to flick the lights over (built in on his BMW) and change the speedo to miles.

When you have all the documents and paper work completed, insure with someone like Carole Nash and send off all the paperwork showing insurance, and wait 3 weeks to get your new plate.

I guess the only question is how to avoid the duty. I filled out a transfer of residence document and didn't pay any."
Hope that helps a little.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
customs charges in Callao / Peru dhrbijvoet Trip Transport 6 23 Jul 2013 22:22
Vladivostok Customs IMPORTANT!!!! DanTCook Northern Asia 2 24 Dec 2009 15:18
Customs info for Peru or Bolivia drz400 South America 1 11 Aug 2005 12:56
djibouti - eritrea miles murray sub-Saharan Africa 3 13 Jan 2005 18:56
traveling to Australia by own bike from other country. Ryan Kim Australia / New Zealand 4 15 Oct 2002 12:06


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:12.