Vanuatu Car Registration Canceled: What’s Next for the World on Wheels?

The idea of ​​offshore vehicle registration for duty-free vehicles has always been popular, but more in recent times. For many years, residents of European countries had the right to register their vehicle in other neighboring countries tax-free. Why would they want to do this? Usually, it is because the vehicle they want to import does not meet local vehicle registration requirements. Generally, the vehicle you are importing is safe and in working condition, with only the minimum amount of emissions from the engine. However, emissions regulations in some countries are very strict and may require more expensive compliance testing. Also, other fees may be required, such as VAT or import duties. Essentially, the out-of-country tax-free car registration program saves time and money and allows people to drive whatever they want.

Legally speaking, cars can be purchased tax-free, as long as the necessary steps are taken to avoid duties and taxes. However, there is a requirement that car owners must live in a country other than their residence at least part-time. Advantages, in addition to low registration costs, include lower annual fees, avoiding all related costs like luxury taxes or VAT, and a much lower cost for personalized license plates. In fact, with this type of arrangement in some circumstances, you could literally drive anywhere in the world. (Although it is not advisable to attempt to skid over the Atlantic Ocean) However, with the help of a vehicle transport service, you can drive all over the United States and then fly your vehicle to drive in the Far East of Asia.

For a time, Vanuatu’s offshore vehicle registration was the most popular option in Europe. However, as of 2008, the country has discontinued its long-term foreign vehicle registration program. (They even canceled the show on their yacht registrations, what is the world headed for?) What happened? You must once realize that in years past, Vanuatu was seen as a tax haven; an island nation that never released account information to other governments or even law enforcement agencies. They also did not collect income taxes, withholdings at source, capital gains taxes, or other types of related fees. (You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the KaZaA network providers decided to host their controversial services here)

This convenient means of operation evidently led to some abuses of the system and Vanuatu soon came under great international pressure to conform to global standards regarding the disclosure of certain financial details. Eventually, pressure from Australia and other nations convinced the Vanuatu government to reconsider some of its policies and one of the victims was the registration of cars on the high seas.

However, there are still options open to you if you want to continue taking advantage of offshore vehicle registration. Andorra still exists, as well as the Cook Islands, which still have a tax-free status. There are still options to follow if you have the great idea of ​​registering a car tax-free. For more information on the Cook Islands program, you can refer to

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