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When will we get our baggage certificate?
I’ve been getting mixed opinions on this among various shipping companies and hope to get clarification here. We are awaiting our D7 visa approval, having applied in DC 4 weeks ago.
When will we receive our baggage certificate? Some say shortly after receiving our visa, others say we must have our SEF appointment and have our residency permit before the baggage certificate will be issued. Can anyone clarify please?
After your SEF appointment and you receive your residence card you then update your NIF address to Portugal in order to get your baggage certificate. This is only required to ship duty free. You can ship at any time and pay the duty. That is the last I heard about the process since it changed last year.
The DC consulate will issue your baggage certificate and send it to your US address, at your request (in the form of an inventory of what you're shipping.) I hope it isn't too early in the morning and I'm all confused, but I think that means this must happen before your SEF appointment - you do the US things first, and then travel to Portugal for the SEF appointment. I haven't noticed anything about NIF in the certificado request.
Then when the shipment arrives at Portugal customs, that's when you need to have been through SEF, to get the exemption for which you got the certificado. After SEF you can change your NIF residence to Portugal, which customs requires for the exemption.
The exact logistics of this are a bit of a mystery to me. I guess your shipping firm gets in contact with you, and maybe you appear at customs in person. But my point is that there are two different steps we're talking about - getting the certificate at the beginning of shipment, and much later at the end, using it.
I haven't been through it, I'm just trying to get started right now and could benefit from getting all this straight myself. The thing I'm scratching my head over, is that it seems like we need to pack for shipping far in advance of the movers arrival, because it's practically necessary to make out the inventory that goes to the consulate for the certificate - the certificate leaves the house with the shipment, right?
I didn't think we'd even try for the exemption, because of this somewhat backwards exemption process with the SEF requirement, but somehow I got a SEF appointment very soon (awkwardly soon.) If it had been months later, as apparently often happens, we'd have had to hold the shipment off waiting for that.