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Recommendations of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board to a person who orders goods from online stores

Ordering various goods from foreign online shops is spreading more and more.

If you order goods from an online store locating within the territory of the European Union, you need not submit a customs declaration and you need not pay import duties either. Nevertheless, you should take into account that alcoholic products, for example, may possibly be ordered in the presence of a tax representative only, and ordering of certain goods such as medicinal or tobacco products are prohibited.

When ordering goods from outside the European Union, the obligation to declare and pay duties shall arise.

If the value of goods in a consignment is up to 150 euros, the VAT to be paid shall be 20 per cent. If the value of goods exceeds 150 euros, the goods shall be charged with the duty, in addition to the VAT, the rate of which shall depend on the particular goods. Goods subject to excise duty cannot be ordered.

If you have paid for the transport as well when ordering goods, then the total amount shall be charged (i.e. the price of goods together with the transport costs).

Ordering of some goods are prohibited or subject to limitations. No medicinal products, tobacco products, milk and meat products, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, weapons and their parts, etc. may be ordered.

In addition, ordering from online stores you should take a certain risk into account, because the goods can be counterfeited or substandard, and the electronic products meant for the Asian market may not meet the requirements established within the European Union. Buying counterfeit  goods does not pay off because you may lose a large amount of money, because counterfeit goods, i.e. goods infringing intellectual property, are not returned but destroyed under customs supervision.

No export duties have been introduced for goods sent outside the European Union and in the case of the goods under the value of 1000 euros no export declaration shall be made.

If you return the goods ordered before, for the purpose to replace it by some other goods (for example, in order to change the size of the clothes) or you return the goods finally (for example, the goods did not meet your expectations), it is recommended to make an export declaration regardless of the fact that the value of the goods is less than 1000 euros. Making an export declaration on returning of the goods shall simplify the claim for refund of the duties.

All prohibitions and limitations on importation or exportation shall depend on the rules both of a country of consignment and a country of destination, as well as postal traffic rules.

In order to obtain more specified information, it is recommendable before ordering goods to read the information on the website of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board or contact us by the customs information telephone: +372 880 0814 or by e-mail:

Postal service companies or express mail companies shall assist you in explaining rules on postal traffic.