How can you Import your Personal Effects?

You will need to import your personal effects into Spain if you have resided outside the EU and for this there are some fundamental points to bear in mind, as they will have to pass through Spanish customs. You will be able to import furniture, household appliances, clothes, books, or other personal items, as well as a car. Depending on the volume and quantity of personal affects you want to transport, as well as the nation of origin, you will have to decide whether the importation of personal effects will be by land, sea, or air.

Personal effects can be imported by land, sea, or air, depending on the urgency of the cargo, and each mode of transport has an associated cost, which varies according to volume and origin. 

In addition, you should evaluate whether you need an expedited import of your personal effects, as you may need them immediately. If this is the case, the import should be done by air, even though it is a more expensive shipping method.

However, if you can wait longer, it is recommended to use sea transport as, although it is slower, it is less expensive and allows the import of a larger volume of personal goods.

Therefore, each of these means of transport has a unique price, called international freight, which also depends on the distance between the country of origin and destination.

Also, when importing personal effects, they must clear customs in both the country of origin and the country of entry.

In addition, you will most likely have to pay a fee at Spanish customs, such as VAT or tariffs (customs duties).

If you want to bring personal goods from an EU nation to Spain, this will not be seen as an import and, therefore, as the freedom of movement of people and goods is in the territory of the European Union, this will be an easier process.

It is essential to collaborate with specialized companies. Given the unique characteristics of importing personal belongings, we suggest that you hire an international transport service that will take care of the loading at origin, the transfer and unloading at destination, as well as the necessary customs formalities.

If you need to import your personal belongings by sea or air, the freight forwarder you will hire will take care of the pick-up at origin and the loading of the personal belongings in a suitable container. They will organize the transport to Spain by ship or plane, as well as the subsequent transfer of your personal belongings to the place you specify.

If you are not sure how to import your personal effects or which is the best and cost-effective method to do so, we recommend that you hire an international freight forwarder to take care of all the paperwork. 

For example, a freight forwarder can advise you on whether your personal belongings will fit in a 20-foot or 40-foot container, or whether a groupage (container shared with other customers’ products) is a better option for you if your personal belongings will not fill a container. They will be able to provide you with a quote for the service as they are a specialized company.

They will also inform you of the personal effects you can bring, as some are prohibited from importing, such as those that are classified as dangerous goods, i.e. those that can catch fire or cause an accident.

In addition, you will be prohibited from importing other personal effects such as live animals and plants, fresh food (fruits, vegetables and meat), beverages, cleaning or perfumery items, medicines and pharmaceuticals, cigarettes, combustible or explosive items and firearms.

What Documentation will you need? 

To begin with, you will be allowed to import personal items tax free when you live outside Spain for more than one year and have a document certifying your departure from the country where you were living (customs duties and VAT).

From here on and to apply for the tax exemption for relocation of the habitual residence, you will need the following papers:

  • Photocopy of your DNI, NIE or passport.
  • Notification of arrival or transport document
  • Declaration of value and content of the goods
  • Authorization of dispatch (we will provide you with a model).
  • Certificate of registration in Spanish territory
  • Certificate of consular deregistration in the country of origin
  • Document of accreditation in the country of origin of a minimum stay of one year.
  • Affidavit stating that you have had them for at least six months and that the imported personal items are not sold in the 12 months following their introduction.

At Connecta Customs Agency we have 30 years of experience in importing personal effects. We will coordinate all the paperwork and arrange import clearance within 24 hours.

If, on the other hand, you do not need a tax exemption because you have moved your main residence, you only need the following papers:

  • Photocopy of DNI/NIE/Passport.
  • Notice of Arrival or transport document
  • Declaration of value and contents of the goods
  • Clearance authorization (Connecta will provide you with a model)
  • Affidavit that you have possessed your personal effects for at least 6 months.

You need a primary transport document, B/L or Bill of Lading if you are importing personal effects by sea.

This document can be obtained from the freight forwarder and processed by the shipping company.

Finally, to make your personal effects more secure, we suggest that you take out insurance, as this coverage covers loss and damage in the transport of your objects.


 Do you need us to Arrange the Importation of your Personal Effects?

Connecta Customs Agency advises you on the import of your personal belongings by land, sea, or air from anywhere in the world.

We will coordinate all the paperwork, organize the import clearance in 24 hours, as we have the necessary experience.

We will also keep you informed of all the paperwork and manage the documents with the shipping lines, airlines, and transport companies.

Connecta’s experts will carry out the necessary customs formalities for the import of your personal belongings, so that they can easily get from one place to another. Transparency is the basis of all our interactions with customers.


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