Importing goods when moving to Estonia or arriving from travel
People travel and change their residence more and more these days. It is easy to move around within the European Union territory and take along goods from one Member State to another – goods can be brought to Estonia tax-free, except alcohol, tobacco products and fuels as those have quantity limits in place. But it is not as simple to bring goods into Estonia from countries outside the European Union.
Coming to Estonia from a country outside the Union
The goods must be declared for customs, and customs fees, value added tax and excise duties must be paid depending on the goods. Non-commercial goods with a value of no more than 300 euros may be brought in as part of personal luggage, the corresponding value in air and sea travel is 430 euros. Alcohol, tobacco products and fuels are subject to quantity limits. If you have been living in China, Brazil or any other country outside the Union for a period of time and now want to return to Estonia, it would be a good idea to check under what conditions you can bring your personal belongings to Estonia tax-free, for example if you have bought a car, furniture or other things while living abroad that you want to bring along when you move.
Tax exemption conditions
You can import goods tax-free if all the below conditions are met:
- the goods are personal items belonging to you (not to a company)
- you are going to live in Estonia permanently (i.e. you will be in Estonia for at least 183 days a year and will not be away from Estonia for more than 90 consecutive days);
- you have used those items in your previous place of residence for at least 6 months before starting to live permanently in Estonia;
- you will continue using those items for the same purpose in Estonia;
- you have been living outside the EU territory for at least 1 uninterrupted year (except if for instance you had a firm intent to live in that country for at least 1 year but the employer terminated your employment or there was some other reason outside your control that forced you to change your place of residence earlier than planned).
To apply for tax exemption, you need to file a tax exemption application with the Tax and Customs Board together with the customs declaration, available on the website of the Tax and Customs Board. The goods must be imported within 1 year after you start living permanently in Estonia. The items can be transported as several shipments.
A restriction on future use of the items
- For 1 year, items imported tax-free must not be given into the use of any other person (for a fee or for free), used as security, or sold. If you still wish to do any of that, you will need to inform the Tax and Customs Board and pay the relevant taxes.
It is recommended to contact the Tax and Customs Board already before your personal belongings reach Estonia, so you know whether all conditions are met. Also, retain the employment contract, rental contract or another document proving that you lived permanently in the foreign country, as well as purchase slips or sales contracts proving that you bought the personal items in question.