Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Questions (50, 51)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

50. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Finance the mechanism relating to VRT payments on vehicles that were purchased before the closure of the NCT/VRT offices in order to be in a position to drive and insure the car and comply with the requirements of the Revenue Commissioners; if an estimated billing process will be put in place to be paid in the interim in order to access a registration here to insure and tax the vehicle in accordance with regulations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5733/20]

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Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

51. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Finance the position from an enforcement stance relating to VRT payments on United Kingdom vehicles that were purchased before the closure of the NCT/VRT offices, in order to be in a position to drive and insure the car and comply with the Revenue Commissioners and Road Acts requirements; if there is a waiver in place to allow citizens to drive imported UK vehicles until such time that the VRT offices reopen and Irish registrations can be issued whilst complying with Irish law; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5738/20]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 50 and 51 together.

I am informed by Revenue that used vehicles brought into the State from the UK or elsewhere are required to be registered within 30 days in normal circumstances. However, as National Car Testing Service (NCTS) Centres which perform the registration service are closed at present as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, this requirement is not being enforced by Revenue. Owners of such vehicles will not be required to reregister the vehicles until the VRT service operated by the NCTS Centres has recommenced. 

I am advised by Revenue that it is not possible to put in place an estimated billing process as both the vehicle and the supporting documentation are legally required to be inspected prior to registration.  Any such initiative in respect of the payment of the tax would require a change to primary legislation and significant changes to IT and administrative structures.  Subject to the Government’s road map, it is likely that the NCTS Centres will have recommenced a scaled back VRT service by the end of June and any such changes would be disproportionate at this point in time. 

I am further informed by Revenue that registration on the Revenue Online Service of new cars and cars that have been pre-inspected has not been interrupted. 

The question of insurance is a matter for the insurance industry and that of road tax for the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.