Before your purchase – find out whether you need to clear the consignment through customs
Change as of 1 July
From 1 July 2021, all parcels arriving from outside the EU must be declared, and VAT has to be paid for them. Read more: Everything must be declared
Regarding online purchases, the country you ordered the goods from, i.e. the country where the online store is located, is not relevant. Instead, the decisive factor is from where the consignment is delivered to you and whether is delivered undeclared. Consignments transported from outside the EU usually need to be cleared through customs. As for consignments delivered from within the EU, it is important to know, whether the goods are manufactured in the EU or already cleared there or whether you have to take care of the customs clearance of the consignment. If you do not find this information on the website of the online store, contact the seller.
You do not have to clear the goods nor pay any import duties to Customs
- if the item you have ordered is delivered to you from another EU country and the item is either manufactured or already cleared in that country.
- if you download services, such as games, music or software directly from the internet.
Goods ordered from outside the EU have to be cleared, and customs duty and VAT have to be paid on them
As a rule, goods ordered from outside the EU have to be cleared, and the import duties have to be paid on them. If the consignment is delivered to you undeclared, you will be responsible for the customs clearance and for the payment of taxes.
There are separate instructions concerning gift consignments. See Gift consignments
Goods ordered from outside the fiscal territory of the EU have to be cleared, and VAT has to be paid on them
There are some areas that are part of the EU customs territory but not the EU fiscal territory. These areas include:
- the Canary Islands
Goods ordered from outside the fiscal territory of the EU have to be cleared, and VAT has to be paid on them. When the total value of the goods in a consignment without the transport costs is no more than 22 euros, VAT does not need to be paid. The minimum amount of VAT levied is 5 euros. The VAT free value limit does not apply to tobacco products, alcohol, alcoholic beverages or perfumes.
EU’s customs and fiscal territory
Countries and territories that are in a customs union with the EU
Countries and territories that are part of the customs territory but not
Common Transit Area