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Bringing in stuff from UK by car


Posts: 427
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(@aspidistra)
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Joined: 11 months ago

Hi all

if the purchase I want goes ahead, the owner will leave some stuff for us. We will also want to bring in bits and bobs by car to equip the house, just small stuff. I see people talking about customs forms and so on.

If I am bringing things over and am non-resident, as someone from a non-EU country, do I have to do any sort of declaration? Also wondering about if it will cause a problem going through France and Spain. We could bring our van but maybe that would cause more problems?

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(@stephenwonders)
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Joined: 8 years ago

Ola,

We took our car with quite a lot of personal belongings from England, everything was what we already owned so no brand new stuff. We have a big car and I had taken out the rear seats.

It was mostly tools, family photos, some items of furniture such as lamps and mirrors, bedding, towels etc.

We sailed from Portsmouth to Santander then drove to the Alcobaca area. We was never stopped or searched or asked about what we were carrying.

At the same time we had hired the services of a well known removal company that has been moving people to Portugal for many years. We filled out the manifest of all of the 130 items that we had moved to Portugal, and we had to put a value on the load. Based on that value the removal company calculated the tax that we would have to pay and we did that up front.

We had to wait at our house in Portugal for 5 days before our stuff on the removal truck got customs clearance. I am glad to say that the Portuguese customers agreed with our valuation and no more tax was charged.

 

This was all done in July this year. 

boa sorte

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7 Replies
Community Member
(@aspidistra)
Joined: 11 months ago

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Posts: 427

@stephenwonders thanks Stephen. We might do the boat via Spain with the car as one less border to go through.

I am thinking no one knows if you are taking stuff in, if it is just for a holiday or not. It would all be second hand things, no real value. 

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(@dafnii)
Joined: 1 year ago

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@stephenwonders Hello Stephen, thank you for your post, it is very helpful to read other people's experiences especially now after Brexit when so many things are unclear! 

Could you please explain a bit more, how did you do the valuation of your things, especially if it is used stuff, did you check market values for electronics etc or you just put an approximate value? Did you valuate every single item or every box?

There is a bit of confusion regarding paying tax on items you have owned more than 6 months - I thought that you don't have to pay tax for those?

We are planning to move in a couple of months and trying to get our head round all the requirements. 

Which removal company did you use?

It would be very helpful if you explained a little bit more about the above, thank you and all the best!

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(@stephenwonders)
Joined: 8 years ago

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Posts: 92

@dafnii Bom dia,

 

First I must apologise for my very late response. We have been in Portugal cleaning the house ready for half term when we shall return with grandkids.

It is always so hard to return to England, but it is something we must do for a few more years.

When we are in Portugal I am far too busy to check the forum or other media, we use our time as productively as possible. We have been set back 18 months by the covid restrictions on travel.

So to get back to your questions.

We valued our personal goods based on what we insured them for.

So everything we bought over was things that we have some attachment to. Stuff we really like and that we know would look good in the house. Furniture, gym equipment, my tools, clothes, shoes, dinner service set, cutlery, kitchen equipment,pots, pans etc. It soon accumulated. What we most definitely did bring was books. We have laods of books but they are too heave and bulky to move over and we don't think worth it. We have read them anyway.

As regards big electrical items, we bought new in Alcobaca. We had great service from what we think is a GALP franchise called Cristo Cruz. They also sorted out the gas problem we had when we took possession of the house with 24 hours of us visiting the shop.

 We did bring three TV's but we cannot get any of them to work on the aerial cable in the house. They were only small tv's and they will be alright as monitors I suppose. Then again they will probably end up in the attic.

I would not bother taking any TV sets unless you can find a way of getting them to work on PT network or via fibre or satellite.

The removal company we used was Algarve removals and we was very happy with their service. They did the duty and tax calculation and paperwork.If you want to ask more then please do so.

Once again very sorry for the delay in replying.

 

boa sorte

 

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(@stephenwonders)
Joined: 8 years ago

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Posts: 92

To add to the above.

 

We DID NOT  bring books over.

The insurance I mention is the valuation that the removal company require. The higher the valuation the higher the cost. This figure is then submitted as the total value of the consignment and you are taxed on that figure if the customs agree with it. So we did not value individual items. At the end of the day we took the attitude that our stuff was going to be nice to have rather than must have. If something happened and we had to start from scratch then we would. 

We bought a new king bed and a new sofa from a great furniture store near Alfeizerao and they delivered the next day. This was possible because we accepted the store display stuff which was in great condition. They had not had much footfall in recent times. 

 

cao

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Community Member
(@dafnii)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 6

@stephenwonders Bom Dia Stephen,

Thank you so much for your responses and information!

That is really helpful! We are still a bit confused though because we were told that if we are relocating we will not be paying taxes on what we transport, so I gather that you didn't relocate completely from the UK?

So with items that have been used for years I suppose you simply come up with whatever value you think they are worth? Each item separately or groups of items (for example per box)? 

We will also not take everything, we have already started to sell stuff and clear out.

If let's say the value of our belongings is £2000 how much percentage is paid for tax?

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Premium Member
(@jeanne)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 347

@dafnii   "we were told that if we are relocating we will not be paying taxes on what we transport,". Isn't that tax exemption/ waiver tied to use of the bagagem certificate?  I.e.for personal goods imported through an  official channel and not in the back of a private vehicle? 

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Premium Member
(@stephenwonders)
Joined: 8 years ago

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Posts: 92

@dafnii Ola

We are not relocating for a couple of years. We still have some work to do so the house has to be regarded as a holiday home for now.

I cannot help you with the figures but our remover gave us a figure and we found it to be within our expectation. What I do know is that by using an experienced remover we took at lot of stress out of the task.

 

cao 

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Posts: 427
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Topic starter
(@aspidistra)
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Joined: 11 months ago

I'm still wondering, as a non resident, how the customs can police what we bring in. I just want to bring in a car or van load of stuff for my house.

If they were to decide, Spanish or Portuguese border patrol, that what I was bringing was being illegally imported and I had to pay a fine, I wonder if there is another option.

Years ago in Greece, I seem to recall it used to be you could bring in anything you liked, like windsurf equipment, but they wrote it down and you got a sort of receipt and then when you left you took whatever you brought in back out with you.

So, am wondering, if we had problems of bringing stuff into Spain/Portugal, could we say we were taking them back out of the country and indeed take them back to the UK? As it wouldn’t be anything worth much it would be worth taking it back when we drove the car back to the UK rather than a €1000 fine.

A bit complicated I know but anyone know if that system exists at all of showing you are bringing things in to the country but then taking them back out?

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Posts: 80
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(@midlifecrisis)
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Joined: 11 months ago

I'm not saying it isn't a risk (nor should you manage these things by anecdote) but I haven't heard a single person mention being given a hard time at the Portuguese border including those who came with transits or campervans full of stuff. I know of a couple who brought an oven and fridge, still in its packaging from UK in an estate car which would have been visible, without any problem.

I'm coming back in January as a tourist and I'm buying a car (hopefully I can buy petrol) just for the purpose of bringing stuff over. Anyway I will keep an eye on the thread incase someone has more personal experience.

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