The instruction is meant as an explanation for persons transferring their normal place of residence from a country outside the European Community to Estonia and wishing to import their personal property free of import duties.
- Council Regulation (EC) No 1186/2009 of 16 November 2009 setting up a Community system of reliefs from customs duty (hereinafter Regulation 1186/2009), Articles 3 to 11
Personal property means any property intended for the personal use of the persons concerned or for meeting their household needs.
The following, in particular, shall constitute personal property:
- household effects,
- cycles and motor cycles, private motor vehicles and their trailers, camping caravans, pleasure craft and private aeroplanes.
Household provisions appropriate to normal family requirements, household pets and saddle animals, as well as the portable instruments of the applied or liberal arts, required by the person concerned for the pursuit of his trade or profession, shall also constitute personal property. Personal property must not be such as might indicate, by its nature or quantity, that it is being imported for commercial reasons.
‘Household effects’ means personal effects, household linen, furnishings and equipment intended for the personal use of the persons concerned or for meeting their household needs.
‘Alcoholic products’ means products (beer, wine, aperitifs with a wine or alcohol base, brandies, liqueurs or spirituous beverages, etc.) falling within heading No 2203 to 2208 of the Combined Nomenclature.
‘Tobacco and tobacco products’ means products (unmanufactured tobacco, tobacco refuse; cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes, of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes) falling within Chapter 24 of the Combined Nomenclature.
‘Commercial motor vehicle’ means any motorised road vehicle (including tractors with or without trailers) which by its type of construction and its equipment is designed for and capable of transporting more than nine persons including the driver or goods; and any road vehicle for a special purpose other than transport as such.
Certain goods, such as household pets, plants, medicines, arms, etc., may be subject to import restrictions, incl. the requirement to submit certain documents on importation. If the required documents are not submitted, the importation shall not be allowed. Additional information about prohibitions and restrictions can be obtained from the customs information by phone on +372 880 0814, and from service bureaus and customs offices of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board.
No relief shall be granted for alcohol, tobacco and tobacco products, commercial vehicles and articles for use in the exercise of a trade or profession, other than portable instruments of the applied or liberal arts.
Conditions for granting relief
1. Relief shall be granted only to persons whose normal place of residence has been outside the Community for a continuous period of at least 12 months. However, the customs authorities may grant exceptions to the rule in paragraph 1, provided that the intention of the person concerned was clearly to reside outside the Community for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
For example, the person had intended to reside in a non-Community country for at least 12 months in connection with the commencement of work, but the employer terminated the employment contract before the prescribed time.
Residing in a non-Community country, and also transferring their place of residence to the Community has to be certified by submitting relevant documents (for example, a residence permit, work permit, lease contract, registration card of a non-Community country, notice of applying for a passport submitted to Citizenship and Migration Department of the Police and Border Guard Board). Customs authorities have the right to require explanations about the documents submitted.
2. The personal property, in respect of which the relief shall be granted, must have been, in general, in the possession of the person at his former normal place of residence for a minimum of six months before the date on which he ceases to have his normal place of residence in the third country of departure. The customs authorities may require, where appropriate, the documents certifying the possession or use of the property (purchase invoices, guarantee talons, delivery notes and the like).
3. The personal property is intended to be used for the same purpose at the new normal place of residence of the person; it means that the purpose of use must not be changed on importation.
4. In general, the person, who transfers his normal place of residence from non-Community country to Estonia, may import his personal property free of duties within 12 months from the date of establishment of his normal place of residence in the Estonia. Within the period mentioned the personal property may be arrived in several separate consignments.
5. Until 12 months have elapsed from the date on which its entry for free circulation was accepted, personal property which has been admitted duty-free may not be lent, given as security, hired out or transferred, whether for a consideration or free of charge, without prior notification to the customs authorities. Any loan, giving as security, hiring out or transfer in respect of the personal property entered for free circulation before the expiry of the abovementioned period shall entail payment of the relevant import duties on the goods concerned, at the rate applying on the date of such loan, giving as security, hiring out or transfer, on the basis of the customs value ascertained or accepted on that date.
6. The person may perform the operations mentioned in paragraph 5 with the property imported duty-free before the expiry of the 12 months, if he has notified the customs authorities and paid the relevant import duties.
7. The person, who transfers his normal place of residence to Estonia may send his personal property to the Community up to six months before the actual transferring his normal place of residence. In this case the person has to submit a written undertaking that he actually establishes his normal place of residence there within a period of six months and a security covering the customs debt liable to be incurred. The amount of the security shall be, in general, the sum of the import duties and the value added tax that ought to have been paid, if no relief was granted. The security shall be returned, if the person concerned has established his normal place of residence in the Community within a period of six months, submitted necessary documents to the customs authorities and the goods shall fulfil the conditions giving entitlement to relief.
8. Where, owing to occupational commitments, the person leaves the third country where he had his normal place of residence without simultaneously establishing his normal place of residence in the Estonia, although having the intention of ultimately doing so, the customs authorities may authorise duty-free admission of the personal property. In this case the term with the transfer prohibition within the period of 12 months shall be calculated from the date on which the person actually establishes his normal place of residence in the Community. The condition giving entitlement to relief is a written undertaking of the person where he undertakes to establish his normal place of residence in the Community within the certain period mentioned in the undertaking and accepted by the customs authorities. The customs authorities may require a security together with the undertaking. The amount of the security shall be, in general, the sum of the import duties and the value added tax that ought to have been paid, if no relief was granted. The security shall be returned, if the person concerned has established his normal place of residence in the Estonia within the period mentioned in the undertaking, submitted necessary documents and the goods shall fulfil the conditions giving entitlement to relief.
9. The person, who transfers his normal place of residence to Estonia or his legal representative, shall have to submit the following documents giving entitlement to relief:
- a customs declaration;
- an identity card;
- a representative’s authorisation document;
- a certificate attesting residence in a third country/outside the EU (visa, residence permit, work permit, certificate of residence, letter of the Estonian Embassy, contract of employment, company registration documents, if the person owns a company); and/or
- a certificate attesting working/studying in a third country; these can be either the employer’s confirmation or certificate of an educational institution;
- a document in proof of resettlement (e.g. flight tickets, a stamped border crossing document);
- a residence permit issued by an Estonian authority (if a third country citizen settles in Estonia);
- a complete list of goods either in Estonian or in English containing the description of goods and stating the value of the goods in euros, confirmed by date and signature;
- a document certifying the acquisition/use of the goods;
- transport documents of the goods (the consignor and the consignee on the transport documents must be the same person);
- a written undertaking and a security, if the person imports the goods before the resettlement;
- a written confirmation that the person is aware of the conditions referred to in Regulation 1186/2009 granting entitlement to relief.
10. The person applying for relief shall be liable for the accuracy and correctness of the information and for the authenticity of the certifying documents.
We suggest that the applicant for relief from customs duty or his representative should apply to the customs authorities long before the arrival of the personal property!
Additional and specifying information can be obtained from the customs information by phone on +372 880 0814