FET on Vehicles Exported from the U.S.

Originally published in the October 2014 edition of Tech Trends (e-newsletter and as an article within NTEA News), this article is also available to you below as an employee of an NTEA member company.

The NTEA has been receiving an increased number of questions regarding Federal Excise Tax (FET) on vehicles exported from the U.S. As with any FET issue, there is no simple, clear-cut answer. The sale for export is tax-exempt so long as certain conditions are met. If you as the seller do not meet the conditions and hold the proper paperwork, the Internal Revenue Service can hold you responsible for the FET on the sale as if it was sold to a customer in the U.S. for use in the U.S.

Key Guidelines

  • Paperwork proving the vehicle (truck/trailer/tractor or other taxable article) has been exported is required for you to prove it was a sale for export. For example, one option is to provide import documentation from the country to which the item was exported.
  • You can also use export documentation from an official registered broker in order to prove exportation.
  • Sales to U.S. territories like the U.S. Virgin Islands is considered an export sale with proof of exportation.

Are you faced with technical or engineering challenges?
Contact the Technical and Engineering Hotline at (800) 441-6832 for individual attention on varied topics such as Federal Excise Tax, truck certification and labeling, vehicle compliance and truck spec’ing. The Hotline is available Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm (EST). Members can contact the Association as frequently as needed.