Yet, before you can settle in and begin savoring all the sights and sounds, you'll need to take care of the logistics that come with an international move. Though many people choose to hire an experienced transport company to handle all the heavy lifting - it's advisable that you at least familiarize yourself with the documents you'll need, the duties you'll pay and the regulations you must follow. Otherwise, when it comes time to clear Italian customs, you could be in for a rude awakening or long delays.
Bringing Your Household Goods Through Customs
Second, you must have owned and personally used these goods for at least the last year. Third, you must import them within 6 months of moving into the country. Lastly, you are not permitted to give away, sell or even let others borrow these goods for the entirety of your stay within Italy. If you meet these straightforward rules, then your shipment should be free of any import duty or taxes (2).
That said, it isn't clear if the Value-Added Tax (VAT) of 22% will be exempted or not (3). This VAT may only be charged on new items that aren't eligible for duty exemption, or it may be levied on all items regardless of their age or duty status. To determine if your particular shipment will incur this extra charge, it's best to just speak with Italian customs directly.
Learn more about the various requirements here.
Regulations For Your Household Goods
If your shipment includes any of these products, you must declare these to Italian customs. You must also show the certificate verifying that they've been analyzed, and this should enumerate what materials the products contain. Finally, the certificate is required to verify that no dimethyl fumarate is present, as concluded by a fully accredited UNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 17025 lab. You may also need to have this certificate translated into Italian, in addition to the copy that you'll present in English (4).
Documents For Your Household Goods
A large number of documents are also necessary, in order to process your shipment at the point or port where it will enter Italy. You'll need to show customs your passport and Residence Visa, along with your Work Permit. A complete inventory (written in Italian) is also required, and this must be signed by you and approved by the Italian consulate in your country of origin (5).
Other sources disagree, and state that this inventory must only be stamped by the Italian consulate if you're either a returning Italian citizen or a citizen of another EU member country. That said, the same source recommends that you have your inventory stamped regardless of your country of citizenship - in order to avoid issues when clearing customs. This inventory should also include a full description of all art and antiques within your shipment (6).
Dichiarazione Sostitutiva di Certificazione
The Dichiarazione Sostitutiva di Certificazione is also required documentation, and it should state how many people are in your family and your origin country of residence. It should also name your origin city and when you established residency within Italy (7).
Residency Certificate and More
You'll also need to show customs your Fiscal Number (Codice Fiscale), which you must get through the Italian Ministry of Finance (8). A Residency Certificate is also required, though this covers the same information as the Dichiarazione Sostitutiva di Certificazione (9).
Therefore, it's possible they are one and the same - though Dichiarazione Sostitutiva di Certificazione roughly translates as “statement in lieu of certification” - so it seems to be a separate document (10). Also, this document is to be provided by your destination agent (shipping company or third-party customs agent most likely), so again it appears to be distinct and separate from the Residency Certificate.
This type of confusion throws into sharp relief, the need to work with a qualified international moving company, who will be knowledgeable about the paperwork involved when moving to Italy. It's also prudent to contact Italian customs before sending your shipment, to ensure that you have all of the appropriate paperwork squared away.
Permit To Stay
A Permit to Stay issued by the Police Office Foreign Department must also be submitted to customs, along with your Autocertificazione. This document is your personal statement, which says that you're changing residence from your origin country to Italy. It also details the status of your family (though what this should state isn't clarified) and lists the monetary value of the items you're importing.
Customs will also want to see either your Original Bill of Lading or Air Waybill, along with a Power of Attorney (giving your shipping company permission to act on your behalf). You'll need to show a letter from your employer, which should verify that you have a valid work contract in place and when this goes into effect (11). Finally, a Mandato procura Importatore is required before your container can be released (though this may only be needed for enclosed containers) (12).
Now required for all shipments passing through customs in EU member countries, you'll need to apply for and obtain your own Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number. Otherwise, your shipment will not be authorized to proceed into the country (13).
Bringing Your Vehicle Through Customs
Though many countries around the world impose significant import duties and taxes on vehicles – Italy allows you to be exempted from these added costs. As long as you've owned the vehicle for a minimum of six months and have lived outside of Italy for at least a year – your used personal vehicle can be imported without paying duty.
Be aware that the vehicle must be for your own personal use (commercial use vehicles are not duty exempt), and that customs does prefer you to have purchased the vehicle at least 12 months ago (though this isn't required). Also, you won't be permitted to sell the vehicle, rent it out or give it away for one full year after bringing it into the country (14). Finally, it must adhere to European technical standards, in order to be eligible for duty exemption (15).
If for any reason your vehicle doesn't meet these standards, then you'll be charged a 10% import duty on the CIF value of the vehicle. In addition, a Value-Added Tax (VAT) in the amount of 22% will be assessed – though this appears to only apply to returning Italian citizens (16). To clarify what fees will be applicable to your situation, contact Italian customs to learn more.
Documents For Your Vehicle
The paperwork you submitted for your household goods, is not sufficient to clear your vehicle through customs. In addition to your passport, Original Bill of Lading or Air Waybill – you'll also have to provide other documentation.
This includes the title and registration for the vehicle (no copies allowed). Paperwork demonstrating that you're the owner is also required, and a purchase invoice would likely be acceptable for this purpose. This must show that you've owned the vehicle in question for at least the last six months, in order to be eligible for import duty exemption.
You must also provide proof of insurance which is valid within Italy, and a technical data sheet. This document is from the company which manufactured your vehicle, and lists its features and its adherence to EU technical standards. A Certificate of Residence is also mandatory, and you can obtain this from the city hall in the municipality where you'll be residing within Italy (17).
Written by Jay Mueller.
(2) Found on Atlas Int'l “Importing Personal Property Into Italy” page
(5)Found on Moverscom “Customs Regulations – Italy” page
(8) Found on Atlas Int'l “Importing Personal Property Into Italy” page
(9) Found on Moverscom “Customs Regulations – Italy” page
(11) Found on Moverscom “Customs Regulations – Italy” page
(12) Found on Atlas Int'l “Importing Personal Property Into Italy” page
If you enjoyed this guest post, you may also like to "dare un'occhiata" at these ones:
Guest Post: How I Followed My Dreams of Becoming a Writer in Rome
Guest Post: My Story with the Italian Language
THE ITALY EXPERIENCE: Canadian Expat vs. American Exchange Student
Popular Posts about General Expat Life:
My Hypothetical Italian Teenagers Won't Have Varsity Jackets or Homecomings
My Canadian Identity Abroad in Italy: The Conundrum
FIVE Ways I've Become More ITALIAN in Canada
Annoying Things Non-Canadians Say About Canada
Two Sides of the Italy Coin
Dating Diversity: Italy vs. Canada (and North America)
Daily Things I Never Did Before Moving to Italy