Moving soon from the U.S. to Portugal - Shipping container question – Cars, Transport & Getting Around – Expats Portugal Community Forum
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Moving soon from the U.S. to Portugal - Shipping container question

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(@designer_phil)
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Hi, we've recently bought a house near Viseu Portugal, and will be moving there soon from the U.S.

I'm packing up all my hand and power tools today, writing the contents on each box, and then entering that same info into a spreadsheet. I plan to ship them to PT in a shipping container.

It's suddenly occurred to me that I have an enormous amount of high-quality tools, and they obviously have a high monetary value.

Pardon me for the dumb newby question, but am I going to have to pay taxes or import fees on these tools, based on the value that I declare for these 50-60 boxes full?

 

Thanks,

Phil

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(@old-bloke)
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Posted by: @designer_phil

Pardon me for the dumb newby question, but am I going to have to pay taxes or import fees on these tools, based on the value that I declare for these 50-60 boxes full?

 

Thanks,

Phil

Personal effects imported within 12 months of becoming resident are free of import duty & IVA (terms & conditions apply).

As ITexpert7 said re your power tools, if they aren't multi-voltage (110 & 220) is it worth bringing them.

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(@mrsbrabbit)
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@old-bloke @designer_phil

Bom Dia! Terrific information here! Question for you both.

U.S. Citizens, we plan on moving over next fall. Any idea how far in advance we should make our Embassy appointment for D7 visa? I know it's a 60 day turnaround, but is there generally a long wait for an Embassy interview/appointment.

Abrigada,

Anna and Steve

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(@old-bloke)
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@mrsbrabbit 

I don't know, I didn't need a visa.

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(@dzid_)
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Posted by: @designer_phil

Hi, we've recently bought a house near Viseu Portugal, and will be moving there soon from the U.S.

I'm packing up all my hand and power tools today, writing the contents on each box, and then entering that same info into a spreadsheet. I plan to ship them to PT in a shipping container.

.

In order to import tax free, you need to request luggage certificate from the Portuguese consulate before shipping the stuff. And residency cancelation certificate for the car. Perhaps it can be done together. 

https://novaiorque.consuladoportugal.mne.gov.pt/en/the-consulate/warnings/covid-19-services-by-mail#luggage-certificate

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(@itexpert7)
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Do these tools work with the 220volt electricity we got here?

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(@designer_phil)
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Thanks for the reply, guys. Good to know, regarding the import duty and IVA.

 

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(@derrymore)
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Hi Phillip

The electrical voltage in Portugal is 220v @ 50hz.  In USA it's typically 110v @ 60hz.  This means that 110v power tools are very unlikely to work safely, if at all.  It is also possible that hand tools with replaceable blades (such as a smoothing plane) and other parts may not be easily maintained unless you are prepared to go to the cost and bother of importing these each time you need them.  Many cordless tools, such as drills, may not function unless you can obtain  chargers that work on 220v.

If you really must bring over your tools, check with the manufacturers if it is possible to get voltage transformers, or 220v motors.  This is an expensive,  clunky and tedious process, and shouldn't be considered lightly.  You will find 110v equipment virtually impossible to obtain not just in Portugal, but anywhere in continental Europe.

Good luck with your move.

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(@designer_phil)
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@derrymore  Thanks for that info. I'll be bringing my portable generator-on-wheels (8500 starting watts/5500 continuous). I also have a new 2000 watt, whisper-quiet Yamaha small generator, which I just packed yesterday. If my health improves/allows, I may build a she-shed at the far end of our property, well away from the house, and any source of electricity. I'll need to run a chop saw, portable table saw, drills, etc. Those tools would just be too expensive to replace in Portugal, and since I already have them, I'm going to bring them. I've already purchased a medium-duty step-down transformer from Amazon, and in fact have already used it in Portugal on a recent trip. It worked flawlessly for our CPAPs, laptops, etc. and I believe it will work to power the battery chargers for my small cordless tools. It was $34 from Amazon.  I have also researched more heavy-duty transformers, and I plan to bring at least 1-2 along to Portugal. They can be found for under $100 on Amazon here in the States. I will keep one in the garage for the stereo and for a large, LED garage light fixture I'm bringing. (The attached garage at our new house will serve as a workshop, which I will set up on day one.) The other transformer will stay in the house, and be used for lamps and a food processor, until we can source local lamps/appliances.

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(@jeanne)
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@designer_phil   can you post a link please to that step down you found on Amazon. Thx.

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(@designer_phil)
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(@jeanne)
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(@brandy)
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@designer_phil Would this step down work for most small kitchen appliances? For example, I'm trying to decide whether it's worth it to bring my Kitchen Aid standing mixer and food processor with us or whether I should plan to purchase these types of appliances once we're there.

There are other factors that will influence whether we bring them, such as whether or not our future rental flat will have a kitchen with sufficient storage/counter space for them, but I'd like to first determine the feasibility of bringing them.

We're planning our move in 3 years, but I'm already assessing  everything we own! We don't plan to bring very much with us at all.

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(@designer_phil)
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@brandy Hi Brandy. I think you may want a slightly larger transformer (than the one I posted) for small appliances, but not to worry, there are many different sizes available. You should be able to check the label on your blender, and see how many watts it uses. Your blender for example, might use around 400 watts, while the laptop I had plugged into the transformer I posted probably only used 100 watts. Here's a good list for general power consumption of most household appliances: 🥇 List of Electric Appliances & Wattage Usage Chart (2021 UPDATE) (generatorist.com)

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(@brandy)
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@designer_phil , Thank you so much for your response and for the helpful link! This is exactly the information I didn't know I didn't know. 😊

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(@tinad)
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Wow, a guy with tools...too bad you are pretty far from the Algarve. 🙁

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Community Member
(@designer_phil)
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@tinad Lol...Tools sure do come in handy. My girlfriend is fighting me on bringing so many, but I've accumulated them over a lifetime, and I've used them all many times to build furniture, decks, sheds, etc. I remind her that we're setting up / partially-renovating a house, and terra-forming a pretty large yard. We will need the power tools to do that....

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(@jeanne)
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@designer_phil  If you will be renovating at all, the more tools in your stash the better. In my experience,  however many I have, the current project always requires just that one tool that I don't have yet.

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(@designer_phil)
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@jeanne Lol...that happened to me for many years, and as a result I now own 50 boxes of tools...lol

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(@jeanne)
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You could start a lending library for tools. I'd signup for that!

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