I am advised by Revenue that Customs is an EU competence and that the legislation governing reliefs from customs duty is set out in Council Regulation (EC) No 1186/2009 (the Regulation) and Council Directive 2009/132/EC (the Directive). The Regulation is binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all member States of the European Union including Ireland. As a result, it is not possible for me to introduce an exemption from import duties as proposed by the Deputy.
Revenue advise me that there are reliefs in relation to import duty under the Regulation when transferring business activities or residence from a third country. Relief from import duties and VAT is available under the Regulation for the import of capital goods and other equipment on the transfer of business activities, subject to certain restrictions and conditions. These are set out in Articles 28 to 34 of the Regulation and Articles 25 to 29 of the Directive. To qualify for the relief, it is necessary to show that the business has transferred from the third country to the State. This could include providing
- Documents to demonstrate that the business has ceased activity in the third country e.g. documents regarding the sale of the business premises in the third country.
- Documents to demonstrate that a new business is being established in the State e.g. documents relating to the purchase, rental or construction of a business premises in the State.
- Relief is limited to capital goods and other equipment which:
- Have been used for a period of 12 months before their transfer
- Are intended to be used for the same purposes after the transfer
- Are appropriate to the nature and size of the new business.
Full details in relation to Transfer of Business reliefs are available on the Revenue website.
A person who supplies taxable services is obliged to register and charge Irish VAT if his turnover exceeds, or is likely to exceed, €37,500 in any continuous period of 12 months. Where the supply is of goods, the threshold is €75,000; where a person supplies both goods and services the registration threshold is the services threshold that is €37,500, unless 90 per cent or more of the turnover of the business is derived from the supply of goods.