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Advice on Shipping Household Goods to Portugal

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craigandmicki
7/9/2014 05:23 EST

A duty-free shipment of personal household goods is allowed within the first year of moving to Portugal. You need your Temporary Residency Card, which is the first document you get to remain in Portugal beyond 90 days.
1. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED
a.Passport (original)
b."Certificado de Bagagem" issued by Portuguese Consulate
c.Inventory (in Portuguese, bearing the stamp from the Portuguese Embassy in the USA, in duplicate and signed and dated by the customer)
d.If motor vehicles are included in shipment, they should also be listed on the inventory
e.Value of the inventory (for Customs purposes)
f. Serial number, brand name and description of major electrical appliances
g. "Atestado do Residençia" (proof of entitlement to reside in Portugal)
h. Either Deed to property you own, a Work Permit or Residency Permit
i. Declaration of ownership of goods, signed by the customer and witnessed by a Notary Public stating goods are the customers' own possessions

2. CUSTOMS REGULATIONS
a. CUSTOMER MUST BE PRESENT IN PORTUGAL PRIOR TO SHIPMENTS ARRIVAL FOR CUSTOMS INSPECTION
b. Shipment must arrive within 365 days of arrival and normally within 120 days of issue of the "Certificado de Bagagem"
c. Only one shipment allowed without special permit; If more than one shipment, detailed inventory must be submitted for each shipment with the first shipment
d. If shipment originates from more than one place, separate inventory must be submitted for each origination point
e.All shipments must be cleared through same Customs office in Portugal
f. Household goods must correspond in quantity to the social standing of the customer

3. DUTIABLE/RESTRICTED ITEMS
a. New items (less than six months old) or items not showing obvious signs of use (do not pack in manufacturer's cartons)
b. Electrical appliances and electronic items must be shown on the inventory with make, serial number, etc.
c.Tobacco products
d.Antiques
Above items should be loaded near container doors for easy access by Customs
e. A reasonable quantity of wine and spirits in a household goods import equivalent to the contents of a normal domestic wine rack and cocktail cabinet

4. PROHIBITED ITEMS
a.Firearms, weapons and ammunition (up to a caliber of 7.62mm requires a special permit, anything over is prohibited)
b.Drugs and narcotics
c.P**nographic material
d.Gold in bars
e.Perishable foodstuff
f.Alcohol
g.Games of chance

5. MOTOR VEHICLES
Vehicles that have been in possession of the customer for at least six (6) months can be imported. Duty and tax will be applied on all cars. The duty and tax rates vary based on year, make, model, and engine size. The duty and tax rates are very high.Documentation needed:
a,Original registration
b.itle
c.International driver's license
d.Insurance document

PETS
Certificate of Health issued by a veterinarian no more than four weeks prior to the date of entry of the pet in Portugal

NOTE - Customs regulations of Portugal are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to Portugal. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, double check with your local embassy or consulate before you make your move to Portugal.

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terrig123
10/10/2016 18:38 EST

This is great info but I'm curious where it came from. I've looked all over the Portuguese Embassy site and I don't see anything about import taxes. I'd like to read the most current regulations. Any idea where I should start to locate them? Thanks

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Sedonia
2/4/2017 10:24 EST

http://www.internationalmoving.com/moving-to-portugal.html

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Danryan01
2/4/2017 13:04 EST

Hi. This is interesting I just came across this. I have a house in Portugal and have just booked a shipping container to leave the uk and go to my house in Portugal
I haven't applied for the residency card yet as it's a holiday home. However I do intend to do so this year as I will be moving there and splitting my time weekly between the uk and Portugal. 5 days in Portugal 2 in uk. Yes I know a lot of flying but hey!
So will I have an issue with my container then considering I do not yet have this card
Cheers Dan.

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klfitch
5/8/2018 05:11 EST

I found this from 2014 and located a list of requirements on the DC consulate site. My question has to do with art and antiques. These are listed as 'possibly' being restricted or taxable but I cannot find more information. The only items I want to import are art (oils, watercolors, etc) I have accumulated over the years plus a few small pieces of furniture and area rugs. One rug is an antique and a few tables are antiques.
They have all been owned by me for many years or family pieces.
Does anyone know how to get more information or find out what issues I might encounter?
Thanks,

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realspear
5/8/2018 05:42 EST

We shipped lots of flat art with no problems. We also shipped lots of furniture that was all wrapped in paper and none of it was opened. We did use a large shipper who handled everything so we didn't have to deal with Customs. We did have the baggage certificate and a document from the parish council.

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klfitch
5/8/2018 06:32 EST

If anyone has recommendation of company that ships from the east coast of USA, I would love guidance.

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realspear
5/8/2018 06:52 EST

We used Global International Relocation out of Lisbon. They have movers in the US they work with and they are the only company you have to pay off you use them. We had some payments at the Lisbon end due to needing a street closure so you have to be aware of that if it could be an issue.

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rayandmary
6/11/2018 09:38 EST

Can you please tell me how you went about obtaining the baggage certificate and residential certificate. For the baggage certificate, I understand that has to come from the Portuguese Consulate? Do I need to go there in person to obtain it?

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realspear
6/11/2018 10:39 EST

We went to the Consulate but we also lived 20 minutes away. If it is difficult to go in person, you should ask the Consulate if you can do it without a visit. If you don't yet have your visa, you could ask when you apply for the visa how to go about it.

For the residence certificate from the Junta de Freguesia, I think you have to go in. We were required to have documentation of residence - a utility bill will suffice. If you use a lease, it must have the tax stamp on it. People talk about going in with two neighbors but that was not offered as a possibility for us when we showed up with the insufficient documentation.

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E025403
6/11/2018 11:17 EST

Hi, I shipped some households through a Portuguese company in the US. No documentation was needed. If you are in the NY area, I can give you the name. They were very good (and reasonable price). If you need transportation in Portugal, I also used a very reliable and excellent company. Let me know?

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E025403
6/11/2018 11:17 EST

Hi, I shipped some households through a Portuguese company in the US. No documentation was needed. If you are in the NY area, I can give you the name. They were very good (and reasonable price). If you need transportation in Portugal, I also used a very reliable and excellent company. Let me know?

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klfitch
6/11/2018 11:26 EST

That doesn’t seem possible since you should need the baggage certificate for going through customs. Did you pay vat on the items shipped?

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realspear
6/11/2018 11:46 EST

How do you get through Customs without documentation? It's not legal. And pretty much everyone who didn't have the proper documentation has a horror story about how long it takes to get it out, and how much they were charged.

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whatsnext
7/2/2018 17:03 EST

A couple of questions:

I realize you have to get the Baggage Certificate from the Consulate you work through, but does that have to be done at the same time you get your visa, or can it be done later?

How detailed does the packing list (inventory) have to be? Any suggestions on how to organize it? (If I were putting together the list as I packed, it would be by box, but we may not pack until a few months after getting residency.)

Did you just use Google translate to translate your inventory, or do you need something more sophisticated?

Thanks.

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realspear
7/2/2018 17:18 EST

You get it after your get your visa. I was required to submit the visa with the application for the Baggage Certificate.

The list needs to include anything with a serial number, like electronics, cameras, etc., and anything big. You don't need to list things like books or dishes. Make sure you put all the serial numbers on for items that have them.

Submitted in English, they were fine with it.

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JAfan333
7/3/2018 17:44 EST

Realspear -
Your story is encouraging. Can you say which Consulate gave you the Certificado to go with your shipping manifest? After spending much of the past year in PT while getting residency approved, we're back in the US trying to use the instructions on the San Francisco Consulate website to arrange shipment of belongings. Unfortunately, instead of useful boilerplate they give a model document (in Portuguese only) which is really designed for somebody whose residency visa was just approved and they are now planning to show up at the airport in Portugal with a couple of suitcases.:

http://www.portugalinsf.com/index.php/servicos-consulares/certificados/bagagem

(Eng instructions, same form letter) http://en.portugalinsf.com/index.php/servicos-consulares/certificates/luggage

Other people's recent history about procedures and requirements is essential, but unfortunately this information is hard to come by and probably not universally-applicable. Common-sense suggestions like "You don't need to list things like books or dishes." conflict with other advice we've heard, that you should list "everything", We've heard "Você precisa de mais um documento..." in enough other situations to get kind of paranoid, and boring customs officials into submission is a tried-and-true technique for getting yourself and belongings waved-through. Our stuff was packed up over a year ago just before leaving the US (residency approved end of last year for one of us, April for the other) and at that time we made ridiculously detailed lists (e.g. estimated numbers of books and dishes, items of clothing...), but S/Ns are something that didn't occur to us. Luckily the difference in power made it wise not to pack many S/N-labeled items, so we might get w=away with re-opening & re-packing just one box....

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realspear
7/3/2018 17:56 EST

This is what the San Francisco Consulate gave us in a document:

Requirements for a Certificate of Baggage (personal effects)

1 - List off all items in triplicate including serial #s for electronics, make your own list, do not use a shippers list.
Example: 1 - clothing
2 - bedding
3- books
4- washing machine (General Electric, model N. 12345, SN 12345), etc.
5- bedroom furniture

2 - Declaration in triplicate all items have been in your possession one year or more, and that you do not have a furnished home in Portugal.

3 - Declare the address you will reside at in Portugal and the one where you reside now in US. Please also indicate the date of your entry into the United States as well as the departure date.

4 - Fee is $56.85, please include a self addressed stamped envelope.

We didn't list anything specific beyond the electronics with serial numbers. We shipped a lot of art and I just said "art - 18 pieces". I deleted the spreadsheet I used, unfortunately, but there was no detail beyond that level, and since it was prepared before packing, I didn't have box counts.

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whatsnext
7/3/2018 18:37 EST

Realspear, I just want to tell you how helpful I'm finding your postings. I have tried to just upvote them but some glitch keeps taking me to an error message. So, thank you for sharing your experiences.

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Karstin
11/25/2018 21:03 EST

I'm having the same problem. I get a 404 error when I try to upvote/like a post. I posted a message regarding this, but have to track it down to see if there was a response on the main area. *newbie alert* (it might just be me)

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DJCCHV
5/3/2019 17:56 EST

Hello,
I don’t know whether you’ll have the answer to this or not, but maybe you’ll know who would. I used to be a textile designer, and as such a weaver, crocheter, beader, spinner, embroiderer, sewer, fabric painter, etc. If it involves something long thin and flexible, I do it and love doing it. I’m retired and won’t be working in Portugal, but I still want to keep doing it. Over half of what I hope to ship from the US to Portugal is materials for doing those things, yarns, fibers, dyes, etc. I’ve had them all for at least 6 months, so they aren’t new, but they aren’t used either. There is likely to be 50 cubic feet of all this. Is customs likely to give me a hard time? And how do I label the containers since “usado” certainly doesn’t apply?

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craigandmicki
5/4/2019 06:13 EST

DJCCHV's question about shipping textiles etc: (1) Possession: You've had them for 6 months or longer, so they are considered 'used' and/or in your possession, no problem. In your inventory, describe them as "Hobby / Handicraft" items so it's clear you're not shipping them to sell. (2) As to dyes, those might violate a regulated substance. Your shipper will be able to tell you if that is the case. (3) You will label the containers like this: 'Personal Hobby Sewing Textiles ' or 'Personal Hobby Weaving Threads', etc.

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DJCCHV
5/4/2019 11:21 EST

Thank you, CraigandMicki,
Both for the suggestions on labeling and the warning regarding the dyes.

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DJCCHV
5/4/2019 11:55 EST

As I read through the requirements for shipping personal goods, I’m getting rather confused about the order in which things need to happen. Always before, in moving across an ocean, I have sent my goods out several weeks before I left directed towards the country involved, but without an address for delivery, which I supplied to the company after I got there.

Is the Temporary Residence Card the same as (g.) Atestado do Residencia? And is (h) Residency Permit the same as one of those, or a third document?

I’m assuming the list of Documents Required a list of documents you’ll need to show customs on claiming your goods. Right? Does this mean you have to go to the port yourself when they arrive rather than having them claimed by the shipper and transported on to where you’re living?

I’m dealing with the Embassy in DC. Obviously I won’t be entirely packed up until just before I leave, but this says I need to show a full inventory in Portuguese in order to get the stamp from the Embassy. Does that mean I’ll have to make another trip to DC at the last minute to show that inventory and get that stamp?

At what point in the process do I get the Certificado do Bagagem? I was thinking I ask for it at the same time as I submit my application for the visa, then receive it at the same time as I get my visa. But I’m leaving 3 months between submitting my application and my flight, which I’m interpreting as giving me a month after I arrive in Portugal to acquire the documents listed that I won’t get until I’m in Portugal, right?

Whew! I feel dizzy just writing all that up. I’ve made a copy that I can correct from the replies to put in my file.

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realspear
5/4/2019 12:15 EST

You can receive your goods in Portugal without the residency card/permit. You do need to prove your residence through the atestado from the junta da fruguesia. You need to be in Portugal to get this.

If you use a good shipper, you don't have to go to customs, the shipper does it.

You need the visa to get the certificado so you can't submit at the same time.

Regarding the inventory, we were very general except for electronics. We listed things like number of boxes of art, of books, etc., and large furniture that was not boxed.

All of this was done in January 2018 so things may have changed a bit but the basics are probably the same.

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DJCCHV
5/5/2019 23:33 EST

Thank you, realspear.

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Bemadam
5/7/2019 12:48 EST

@Danryan01, you won't have any issues. It's mostly Americans posting here, and as they are outside the EU, there are far more restrictions and controls on them moving here. Since you are shipping within the EU, there are no taxes or import/customs controls on your personal items. So your possessions will get to your house in Portugal totally unhindered.

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