The Motor Vehicle Division of Misrad Hatachbura (Ministry of Transportation) permits Olim to import motor vehicles for personal use, in accordance with their regulations and procedures.
Importing a vehicle is complex, however by doing the necessary research and learning the rules and limitations involved in the process, importing may be worthwhile.
Important Note: NBN is providing information on the procedure of importing a vehicle as a courtesy. NBN does not encourage or discourage those who wish to import their car and does not assume responsibility for the information provided or the costs that may be involved. We strongly recommend that you conduct your own research regarding the costs and benefits involved in this procedure.
For information regarding the Driver’s License Conversion process, please click here.
The authorities involved in the process:
• Misrad Hatachbura: Licensing and standardization
• Meches (Customs Authority): Customs taxes and VAT
• Shipping Companies: Shipment of the vehicle from overseas to Israel
• Customs Agent: Releasing the vehicle from Meches
• Insurance Agencies: Insuring the vehicle for marine transport
There are two ways to import your vehicle to Israel:
1. Using a vehicle importer
- Pros: Saves time and you do not need to be involved in the actual procedure.
- Cons: High cost
2. On your own
- Pros: Less expensive – your costs will be the shipment, insurance and taxes
- Cons: Bureaucratic challenge of dealing with all the government offices involved
The country where the vehicle is manufactured is important to the process of importing your vehicle and is necessary for taxation and standardization of the vehicle once it’s imported. The standardization of vehicles in Israel is based on the standards of the European commonwealth. Only vehicles that fit these standards are permitted for import. In order to prove the European standards one must provide a Certificate of Conformity (COC).
Vehicles based on the US FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) or the CMVSS (Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) may be imported to Israel regardless of the country where they were manufactured. To prove that your vehicle meets US standards you must provide a Certificate of Title and an original CARFAX that includes the vehicle’s fully detailed history.
It is vital that you confirm if your vehicle model is allowed to be imported to Israel. We strongly recommend you check the link to models permitted for import, to see if your vehicle appears on the list. The models appear in Hebrew only. To search, click on the box that reads שם יצרן (name of manufacturer). Please note that by each model, appears the name of a country. This refers to the country the model was manufactured in. This does not mean that the model cannot have been manufactured in one of the NAFTA countries mentioned above. Please advise the manufacturer to confirm where the car was manufactured. If your vehicle model is not on the list but its manufacturer is represented in Israel by a certified importer, please contact the importer to check if your vehicle model can be imported and if they are able and willing to provide maintenance services.
For more information, please contact the Motor Vehicle Division of Misrad Hatachbura by mail: P.O.B 57031 Tel Aviv 61570, Israel, or by fax: 03-5657105.
After you make Aliyah and before the vehicle can be cleared from Meches, Misrad Hatachbura will require a certificate of approval from an importer who represents the vehicle manufacturer in Israel, stating that they are capable of providing maintenance services and original spare parts for the vehicle. If the importer does not agree to provide such approval, you may present approval from a licensed garage with expertise dealing with your vehicle model and manufacturer. It is important to check this out in advance of your Aliyah in order to ensure that you will be able to receive the necessary service and parts for your vehicle.
- The speedometer must be in kilometers and not in miles.
- The vehicle signals must be adjusted to the European code.
Olim can bring in a vehicle (not including motorcycles – see the motorcycle tab) of any age; however, the importer must provide a letter from a certified garage in Israel guaranteeing they will provide service.
You must have a clear title to the vehicle. If it is leased or if there is some controversy regarding ownership, the vehicle’s departure from the port of origin will be delayed until the title issue is resolved. Furthermore, the entire contents of your shipment may be held up until the matter is resolved or until the vehicle is removed from the container.
Most vehicles are shipped in containers. They can be shipped in the same containers as household goods. A supporting wall is constructed around and sometimes on top of the vehicle to ensure that the vehicle is secured strongly in place. At the time of clearing, the vehicle is taken out of the container and cleared separately. It is not recommended to fill the vehicle with household goods, as this complicates the clearing process.
Most marine policies require that a statement of condition be signed by both the packers and the customer. Some insurance companies will not allow you to insure used vehicles except in cases of total loss.
Olim are entitled to import one vehicle with their Oleh reduced tax benefits. This can be a Car or a Motorcycle.
Motorcycles – There are ONLY 2 scenarios in which an Oleh can import a motorcycle:
- Olim can import motorcycles which were manufactured no more than 24 months before arriving in Israel.
- Olim can import motorcycles which were manufactured more than 30 years before arriving in Israel.
However, you can import a motorcycle with the benefit, and then decide to import a car with the benefit. This will be possible only after paying back the amount of the tax break given when the motorcycle was imported.
This is not available as an option in the reverse scenario. If you import a car with the benefit, if you then pay back the amount of the reduced taxes you cannot then import a motorcycle with the benefit. At that point the eligibility is void.
OLEH TAX RATES ON IMPORTED CARS
Olim are entitled to import a car at a reduced tax rate of 50%, as opposed to the 92% that a veteran Israeli pays. In addition to the car tax, one must pay VAT on the final value of the car. The calculation is done as follows:
Car tax = [vehicle value=”” *50%=””][/vehicle]
VAT = [vehicle value=”” +=”” car=”” tax)=””][/vehicle] *17%
For example: If the car’s value is estimated at $5,000, one would have to pay $2,500 as car tax and additional 17% of $7,500 (car value + car tax) which comes out to $1,350. The overall taxes on the car would be $3,850 which is approximately 75% of the car’s value.
Tax Valuation (Relative to the Vehicle Value):
The valuation is based on the vehicle’s value in the global market, as determined by Meches. The value of the vehicle depreciates based on the following chart:
|From Month||To Month||Monthly Depreciation %||Yearly Depreciation|
Please note: Every vehicle which is imported to Israel is surveyed by an appraiser from Meches. If the appraiser judges the declared price to be unreasonable, they will notify the importer in writing. The importer, together with the Oleh, will have the option to appeal this decision, also in writing. This process can take several weeks and you may not have access to the vehicle during that time.
Terms & Conditions of the Customs Benefit:
- The benefit is given to Olim Chadashim, Ezrachim Olim, Ktinim Chozrim and former A-1 visa holders who are eligible for customs benefits.
- The time frame for using this benefit is three years from your date of Aliyah. Extensions are granted to those who serve in the IDF during these three years, study at a recognized university in Israel or travel overseas for more than six consecutive months.
- This benefit includes a motorcycle, passenger car = a vehicle designed for passengers transportation of class M1 or, M2 type, as defined in Article 271A of the Israeli Traffic Regulations, of weight not exceeding 3500 kg.
- Vehicle and import documents must all be under the Oleh’s name.
- The imported vehicle will be for personal use of the Oleh and their spouse. This limitation will remain in effect for 4 years from the date of import. After the 4 years the restriction will not be lifted automatically, you must fill out the following form and send to the following email address: Rehev_merkazun@taxes.gov.il or fax to: 03-942-1709. You must receive confirmation that the restriction has been lifted before transferring ownership on the car or allowing others to drive.
DOCUMENTS AND PROCESS
- All the documents required in order to use your Oleh benefits: Teudat Oleh or Teudat Zakaut, Teudat Zehut, foreign passport with Aliyah visa and Israeli passport (if applicable).
- A valid Israeli driver’s license (see note below) and a valid foreign driver’s license. Note: An Oleh can convert a foreign driver’s license to an Israeli license. However, in order for the conversion process to work, the foreign license must have been valid for at least three months prior to the Oleh’s day of Aliyah. In order to be eligible for the benefit you must have converted a foreign license to an Israeli one.
- The original purchase invoice of the vehicle which includes the details of the vehicle’s manufacturer and model, year of manufacture, engine number, chassis number, engine capacity and details of any additional installations in the vehicle.
- US vehicle registration.
- Declaration for Meches: http://taxes.gov.il/TaxesFormsList/meches21.pdf
- A clear title to the vehicle.
- Delivery order by the shipper.
- All invoices from the shipping and insurance companies.
- Confirmation that the vehicle has passed local safety requirements given at the time of the vehicle’s release from Meches.
- For US vehicles – CARFAX report and Certificate of Title.
- An affidavit that states the car has not been in an accident and did not sustain damage to its shield.
- Note: The Customs Authority may require this affidavit.
You will need to provide the following documents:
- Letter of invitation
- Teudat Zehut, driver’s license and temporary vehicle registration
- Letter of release from Meches
- Receipt confirming that the standardization check fee was paid, signed by a bank