Overseas Buyers Drive Success in Second-Hand Machinery Sales

The second-hand machinery trade has stabilised after three turbulent years, though demand remains strong, especially for well-maintained lots and farm dispersals. Given the skyrocketing costs of new equipment, this demand is not surprising.


Overseas buyers have played a crucial role in achieving the best results, actively participating in sales over the past five months despite bureaucratic hurdles.


Key sales highlights


This spring has seen an exceptional run of farm sales, with key lots at every sale going to Ireland and Eastern Europe. It started with the arable dispersal for J.P. Stirke and Sons at Easingwold, where the NH CX 8050 combine (2011) sold for £81,000 to a buyer in County Donegal, and the MF 7720 tractor (2019) fetched £59,200 to go to County Kilkenny. Additionally, an AS grain trailer was sold to a buyer in Poland.


At the sale for the late Bobby Frankland at Dunnington, top-quality equipment was keenly contested. The Claas Lexion 580 combine (2006) fetched £76,000 and went to County Cork, while the Opico 630 Variflex rollers sold for £7,600 to a buyer in County Derry. Despite strong competition, the tractors remained in the UK, with the MF 7626 (1962) making £55,400 and the older but immaculate MF 3075 achieving £15,200.


Next was a partial dispersal for M.R. Cass at Scarborough, where his Deutz 4065 combine went to Northern Ireland for £11,000. This was followed by a small grassland sale for Richard Whitaker at Scarcroft, where both his John Deere 6430 tractors (2010 and 2013) were sold to County Kilkenny for £27,400 and £32,200, respectively.


Most recently, there was a sale for T.A. Broderick & Sons at Ilkley, featuring their bale contracting equipment. Although overseas buyers were active, they were unsuccessful. The NH 1290 baler fetched £53,400, the Claas 3220 sold for £25,000, and the MF 1839 Inline achieved £9,200.


York Machinery sales have seen a significant increase in quality and quantity this year, with entries exceeding 4,000 lots and over 200,000 online catalogue views per sale. There are around 2,500 registered bidders at each sale, with a database approaching 70,000 customers, mainly in the UK, Ireland and Eastern Europe. In 2023, over £2 million of machinery was sold overseas.


Northern Ireland regulations


For machinery going to Northern Ireland, the rules changed last October with the introduction of a new ‘green lane’ scheme designed to simplify and speed up the process. We are registered with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) as an authorised operator, which allows us to inspect items and issue Northern Ireland Health Labels (NIPHL), provided they are reasonably clean. Hauliers must obtain a Common Health Entry Document (CHED) from border control, for which we supply the necessary pro-forma details. Once processed, this machinery should remain in Northern Ireland for two years.


Exporting to Southern Ireland and the EU


Exporting machinery to Southern Ireland and the European Union (EU) remains complex and costly. All equipment must be:


  • Thoroughly cleaned to be completely free of soil and debris
  • Inspected by APHA for a Phyto-sanitary Certificate
  • APHA charges £255.20 per hour with a minimum charge of £127.60, plus £25.52 for the certificate, which is valid for 14 days. If items fail inspection, the process must start over.


Information for the certificate also includes:


  • Point of entry into the destination country
  • Consignee details
  • Serial numbers of machinery
  • Value




The next hurdle is the Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES), a tracking system that purchasers must be registered with. We provide and issue the necessary forms, which require details such as:


  • Country of origin
  • Travel route and point of entry
  • Weight of machinery
  • Serial numbers
  • Relevant commodity codes


The certificates are emailed out, with copies also sent to Customs & Excise for load checks at the ports.



Richard Tasker MRICS FAAV

t: 07801 685 662

e: rtt@stephenson.co.uk 


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