Learning the custom and import rules for Greece can help save time and money when you are moving overseas. The import regulations for shipping to Greece are simple to follow if you plan ahead. Greece, which has over a thousand islands, has one of the longest coast lines in the world, therefore shipping your belongings overseas should be easy with the help of an international cargo shipping company.
You can ship household items duty free to Greece if you have a residence permit before you arrive. In order to qualify for a residence permit, you must either be:
1) Of Greek descent
2) Married to a Greek citizen, or
3) In possession of a work permit granted by the Greek government
If you qualify for a Certificate of Repatriation, you are allowed to bring certain items to Greece duty-free. For example, if you are Greek but you have worked out of the country for a few years, you can begin the repatriation process. This requires that you have a Greek Tax number by the time your items are entering the country through customs. You will need to contact the nearest Greek consulate in order to receive a duty-free certificate.
Currently, it may be difficult to obtain an employment visa in Greece. Greece has been hit particularly hard by the worldwide recession and is experiencing high rates of unemployment, especially for the youth. An employment visa can only be obtained if an individual already has a contract to work for a company in Greece or they are being transferred to a branch of their company in Greece. The employer must first prove though that a Greek national or European Union national is not able to fill the position. If you do qualify to work in Greece, you can work with the Greek consulate to obtain the correct visa.
The duty-free tax relief does not count toward any items that have commercial value, determined by customs officials by the type of item and the quantity. Alcohol and tobacco products are not duty-free; you will have to declare them at customs. Greece also places restrictions on a few items which you cannot bring into the country including:
- Meat or dairy products
Only one of each electronic item is duty free. However, if you can provide a justification, such as family size, for having two or more of any one item, it is possible that those items can also be duty-free.
You can only make one duty-free shipment to Greece, so make sure to pack everything you need in one trip. You must be present at customs with your passport in order to receive clearance on your shipment. In order for all household items to remain duty-free, you cannot sell, give or lend any of the items for one year after import. If any of your imported items are sold or lent, you must pay the original custom taxes and you will have to make an overdue payment from the time it was first imported.
People who are moving to Greece to study can also import items related to their education duty free. Students can import clothes, furniture, and school related items such as calculators and books.
Interested in shipping a car to Greece? Vehicles can be imported to Greece duty free if you have owned the vehicle for at least six months. New vehicles will be subject to value added tax or VAT. You must also pay for license plates for all vehicles that you ship overseas and import to Greece. Just as with household goods, you cannot sell, give or lend anyone your vehicle for at least five years after importation or you will be subject to the original import taxes. In fact, no one other than a direct family member can drive the car for any reason or you could be subject to the original import taxes.
You can import a household pet when you are moving to Greece. All pets imported to Greece must be microchipped for identification purposes. All pets must be vaccinated against rabies. If you are moving overseas and bringing a pet to Greece, your pet will need a blood test, taken at least thirty days after the vaccination, in order to make sure the vaccine is working and protecting the animal. Finally, all pets must travel in a cage with the owner’s name, postal address and telephone number listed on the outside.
Finally, before you move to or even visit Greece, you will need to have a yellow fever vaccine which you can get from a travel clinic is your area.
Moving to Greece is a great opportunity to live or work abroad. While moving a household to a new country can be stressful, knowing what you can and cannot bring with you will make it easier to relocate. Making a detailed packing list and packing similar items close together will make it easier to go through customs. An international shipping company can help you obtain all the correct paperwork to help make your move to Greece much easier.