Tax free importation of personal effects, furniture and household goods to European Union (EU)

Navigating Tax-Free Importation of used furniture and personal effects/house removals to the EU under Transfer of Residence Procedure

If you find yourself in the process of relocating to European Union and are keen on understanding the conditions for tax-free importation under the transfer of residence procedure, this guide will provide you with crucial insights to ensure a smooth transition.


While the fundamental rules for tax-free importation under the transfer of residence procedure are generally consistent across the European Union, it's essential to be aware that individual EU countries may have specific nuances and variations in their regulations. In this guide, we'll explore major rules shedding light on the conditions that should resonate across the EU, while also recognizing potential divergences that may exist from country to country.


1. Timeline Matters: Twelve Months Window

The clearance of goods as duty-free personal property is a privilege granted within a specific timeframe. Individuals are eligible for tax-free importation within twelve months after the transfer of their normal place of residence to the country. It's essential to initiate the process promptly to take advantage of this window.

2. Possession and Usage Requirements

To qualify for tax-free importation, the goods must not only be possessed by the beneficiary but must also meet specific usage criteria. Non-consumable goods, for instance, should have been in the possession of the individual and actively used for a minimum of six months before the transfer of their normal place of residence to European Union.

3. Maintaining Residency Outside the EU

The normal place of residence outside the customs territory of the EU must have been maintained for at least twelve months. This condition ensures that individuals seeking tax relief have a genuine history of residency outside the European Union.

4. Establishment of New Residence in European Union

The granting of relief under the transfer of residence procedure is contingent upon the establishment of the new normal place of residence in EU country. It's imperative to demonstrate the intent and actual move of the primary residence to avail oneself of this tax benefit.

5. Goods Exempt from Tax-Free Importation

While many personal effects can be imported duty-free, certain items are excluded from this privilege. Goods such as:

  • alcoholic products,
  • tobacco and tobacco products,
  • commercial means of transport,
  • articles for use in the exercise of a trade or profession (excluding portable instruments of the applied or liberal arts) .

are not eligible for tax-free importation under the transfer of residence relief

6. Role of Customs Authorities

It's crucial to understand that the granting of tax relief is solely at the discretion of the Customs Authorities. As a messenger, our role is to convey the necessary information and documentation accurately. Customs Authorities will assess the compliance of the imported goods with the specified conditions and determine the eligibility for tax relief.



In conclusion, the conditions for tax-free importation to EU under the transfer of residence procedure are precise and require careful attention to detail. By adhering to the outlined criteria and working closely with the Customs Authorities, individuals can successfully navigate the process and enjoy the benefits of duty-free importation for their personal effects.


If you have any further questions in regards to custom documentation, please contact us or directly Bright Customs UK

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