Buying or selling cars across Sweden’s border
If you are buying a car in another country, you may have to pay customs duty, VAT and any other taxes and charges. You may have to notify Swedish Customs if you are selling a car.
The table below sets out the rules in different cases.
Buying a car from another EU country
Selling a car to a country outside the EU
Sälja bil till ett annat EU-land
Sälja bil till ett land utanför EU
Notifying Swedish Customs
Yes, and you must present an invoice, proof of foreign registration, etc.
Yes, you must notify exportation of the car.
New car – yes, Swedish VAT.
Yes. Customs duty and VAT calculated on the invoice value.
Buying a car from a country outside the EU
If you buy a car from a country outside the EU or outside the EU’s fiscal territory, you must always pay customs duty and VAT. On crossing the border, you must give notification of the vehicle to Swedish Customs at the nearest customs clearance office.
So that Swedish Customs can calculate the charges and clear the vehicle through customs, you must be carrying the following:
- Purchase invoice
- Purchase document
- Receipt or other document corroborating the vehicle’s value
- The foreign proof of registration
The customs duty on motor vehicles varies. On private cars, it is 10%. The VAT is 25%. As a private individual, you pay all the charges to Swedish Customs.
Swedish Customs calculates the customs duty on:
- The purchase price
- Freight charges
- Handling costs you have incurred in connection with transport to the EU’s border
Swedish Customs calculates the VAT on the elements above (i.e. the purchase price, freight charges, insurance and handling costs you have incurred in connection with transport to the EU’s border) inclusive of the customs duty.
If the vehicle fulfils the requirements to be classed as a collectable car, you do not have to pay customs duty, just VAT at 12%.
If you are selling a car to a person in a country outside the EU
If you are selling a car to a person in a country outside the EU, you must, before the car can leave Sweden, notify its exportation to Swedish Customs.
You submit the exportation notification to the nearest customs clearance office along with details of the exporter (e.g. personal identity number and address). The car must be available for any checks.
A person buying a car may get a customs duty reduction in the country the car is being imported to
If the buyer of your second-hand car wishes, you can, before the car is exported, obtain exportation declaration documentation. This may make it possible for the buyer to get a customs duty reduction in the country the car is being imported to. This is dependent on the car being of EU origin and the general agent or manufacturer being willing to issue a supplier declaration corroborating this. Thus, it is not enough that the car was made in the EU. To be of EU origin, it must fulfil certain rules of origin.
This is what you do:
1. Contact the general agent or the car’s manufacturer and ask if they can issue a supplier declaration. Remember that what either the general agent or the manufacturer certifies is that, when new, the car was of EU origin.
Volkswagen, Audi and SEAT do not issue supplier declarations.
2. When you have a supplier declaration, you can buy and complete a goods movement certificate (EUR.1). This shows the car’s origin.
3. When you have completed the goods movement certificate, you must ensure that it is stamped by Swedish Customs when the car is being exported. You have to take along the supplier declaration and also explain whether, or to what extent, the car has been renovated or repaired.
The EUR.1 goods movement certificate is not an automatic qualification for a customs duty reduction. The goods movement certificate can help the car’s buyer to get an eventual customs duty reduction in the country the car is being imported to provided that there is a free-trade agreement between the EU and this country.
The EUR.1 goods movement certificate can be bought from Lamanica Logistikservice AB/Industrilitteratur.
If you want to buy a car tax-free for export (i.e. get back the VAT on goods that you export to a country outside the EU), you must contact a car dealer.
Buying a car in another EU country
If you are buying a car in another EU country and, under the Swedish Tax Agency’s rules, the car is classed as new, you must, in certain cases, pay VAT in Sweden.
Selling a car to a person in another EU country
If you are selling a car to a person in another EU country, you do not have to notify Swedish Customs of this.
Remember that you must deregister your car from Sweden’s car registry.
When you sell or buy a car to or from another country, you must contact the Swedish Transport Agency. The agency will answer questions about registration, vehicle tax, registration plates, vehicles as relocation goods and vehicle origin checks.
Last updated: 2020-09-17
What is updated: Quality assured