Tax exemption on import

Importing goods is generally subject to tax. There are separate regulations on tax-exempt importation in the Value Added Tax Act.

The aim of the so-called principle of neutrality is to ensure that the same provisions regarding tax exemption are implemented on importation and national taxation. The importation of certain goods is tax exempt by law, since selling the goods in the country is tax-free. Goods such as investment gold, mother’s milk or dentures are examples defined in the Value Added Tax Act.

Importing natural gas distributed through networks for electricity and natural gas is tax-exempt by law, since the taxation of these products is based on the VAT regulations in the country of sale.

Tax exemptions that correspond with exemptions from customs duties

Goods that are exempt from customs duty by virtue of the Regulation on reliefs from customs duty (EC), the Customs Code or national legislation, can also quite often be imported free of tax. However, in some cases there are additional conditions in place for the tax exemption.

Removal goods of persons moving permanently from a non-EU country are tax-free, as well as goods imported on the occasions of a marriage; personal possessions acquired by inheritance and a student’s household effects brought in for personal use for the duration of their studies; if the importation of these goods is duty-free based on the Regulation on reliefs from customs duty.

Tax exemption on import is also tied to the exemption from customs duties e.g. in the following cases:

  • basic necessities imported by State organisations or other charitable or philanthropic organisations approved by Customs for distribution free of charge to needy persons
  • cups and medals in fields such as the arts and sport as in recognition for merit at a particular event
  • gifts to reigning monarchs and Heads of State
  • articles for advertising purposes, of no intrinsic commercial value and

products used at a trade fair.

There are certain conditions linked to the exemption of duties and therefore also of taxes for these goods

Points to consider