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Posted by portugalpress on March 01, 2018

Ask Afpop
In this new monthly column, afpop, Portugal’s largest foreign residents’ association, aims to answer some of the most frequently-asked questions by members.

Question: I’ve been told that I can import my car to Portugal without paying importation tax, but I can’t sell it for five years after that. Is this true?

afpop answers: Actually, there’s good news and more good news about vehicle importation from January 1, 2018. You are correct that it used to be the case that vehicles imported with an exemption for ISV (importation tax) would incur a pro-rata charge in the first five years after importing it, equivalent to fifths of the ISV that would have been payable. This is now no longer the case. You can’t sell the vehicle in the first 12 months after importing it without then being charged the full amount of ISV that you would have paid, but after that time you can sell it at any time without any charge.

The rules on vehicle ownership prior to importation have also been relaxed for those wishing to bring in a vehicle as part of their personal goods and being exempt from ISV. In order to qualify for the exemption, you now have to prove that you owned the vehicle for more than six months (previously 12) before becoming a resident in Portugal and also prove that you lived in the country where the car was registered for that same period (again previously 12) before becoming a resident here (proof can be utility bills in your name). You have 12 months (previously six) to begin this procedure from the moment that you become a resident in Portugal/cancel your residency in the country you move from.

Not quite such good news for those people who wish to import a vehicle without the exemption though, as ISV rates have been increased. However, you can sell the vehicle at any time after importing it, if you have paid the ISV.

For information about what Importation Tax you are likely to pay, you can contact the afpop office and we will be pleased to help you find the charge for the vehicle you are thinking of importing. If you are not an afpop member, please quote this article when contacting afpop about this.

In either case though, the dealings with Alfândega (customs) are all done electronically on the Portal das Finanças ( The Alfândega no longer receives any paper applications.

afpop is the largest foreign residents’ association in Portugal with over 6,000 active members and is a non-profit association. The benefits of membership include information and support on any subject affecting property owners or foreigners living in Portugal, together with savings in many areas of every day expenditure in Portugal through their ADvantage Directory. afpop also arranges regular social events for its members across the region.

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