Skip to main content

A Guide To Importing Your Belongings and Vehicle Into Romania

Jennifer reached out with some suggestions for new blog posts and I thought, why not have a guest blogger? Her post addresses several questions I've already received from readers and will be helpful to anyone who is looking to make the same move I made years ago. It is a well sourced guide, but keep in mind that when it comes to bureaucracy in Romania there are usually alternatives and variations to the process on a case by case basis.

Jennifer Bennet loves to travel and to write when she travels. She also enjoys reading and a simple life with few belongings.
Here is her guide to importing your belongings and vehicle into Romania.












Smârdan Street in Bucharest,
Source: Ștefan Jurcă via Flickr

There are many reasons to make Romania your new home, when looking to change your country of residence. Romania offers free or nearly free healthcare to foreigners, as long as you work within the country. Crime rates are also quite attractive, with the capital city of Bucharest enjoying a rating as one of the safest capitals within the European Union. Finally, the economy is on the rise - with Romania posting the most economic growth in the EU as little as two years ago (1). 

All of these advantages make moving to the country an encouraging prospect, especially if you need to find new employment. Yet, an international move comes with a whole set of challenges - from packing and finding a qualified moving company to obtaining the necessary paperwork and clearing customs.

With the regulations subject to change, the documentation requirements being extensive and the physical logistics complicated – it is highly recommended that you work with an experienced international transport company. They will be able to provide you with expert guidance. However, you still need to be familiar with the paperwork you'll need to obtain and the fees you may have to pay. To help you better grasp this process from A to Z, here is a brief discussion of the information you'll need to be aware of.

Your Household Goods: Duties
        








 


A Lake in Fall, Bucharest, Romania

Clearing your household belongings through customs can come with stiff import duties and taxes. Fortunately, Romanian customs allows you to be exempted from such fees – as long as your items are a minimum of six months old and have been used personally by you during this time.

Import Time Limit
Also, you must import them within 90 days of obtaining your Romanian Residence ID Card, to receive upfront duty exemption. If you import your belongings after this time limit, you'll be required to pay the customary duties and taxes when entering – but then these charges will be refunded when you export your goods upon leaving the country (2).

Additional Requirements For Exemption
Other sources differ, saying that import duty and value-added tax (VAT) exemption is possible - but you must officially change your primary residence from your country of origin to Romania. This source goes on to say, that you must have lived elsewhere for a minimum of one year, and a two-year restriction on selling any exempted items is in effect (3).

Be aware that certain items aren’t eligible for duty exemption even if you follow these rules, including all alcohol, any kind of tobacco, food and perfume (3).

Your Household Goods: Documents










The Parliament Palace in Bucharest, Romania

Having the correct paperwork is paramount, when processing your shipment through Romanian customs. You’ll need to provide your passport (if it’s a copy, be sure that the page with your entry stamp is also included) and visa. Either your Original Bill of Lading or Air Waybill is also needed, and this should include the weights for your shipment.

Comprehensive Inventory
You also must provide a comprehensive inventory, and this should include a full description of all art, antiques, high-value carpets and jewelry. Antiques are defined as items made before 1945 (4). Other items may also require detailed descriptions, such as valuable lamps, silver and crystals - and photographs of all of these items appears to be required. You should also list the serial numbers for any appliances or electronic goods in your shipment (5).

Proof of Employment
You’ll need to have the company you’ll be working for within Romania write an official Letter of Employment for customs. This should include the fiscal code for the company (6). A Registration Certificate in Romanian also seems to be a suitable substitute, to fulfill this requirement (7). Other sources disagree, stating that in addition to the Letter of Employment, an Employer’s Registration from the Romanian Chamber of Commerce is needed (8). A Work Permit may also be needed, though a Residence Permit (if you have one or will get one) seems to be an acceptable substitute (9)

Proof of Residence
Romanian customs will want to see documentation that confirms your residency within the country. This takes the form of a copy of your lease or rental agreement and your Residence Permit (10). If you were unable to obtain your Residence Permit before your shipment arrived - then you’ll need a written statement saying this will be procured within six months’ time (11).

EORI Number
A piece of documentation you can’t afford to overlook, an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number is required for all shipments to and from EU member countries.

Power of Attorney
If you plan to have your international moving company or other third-party agent complete the customs clearance process on your behalf - then you’ll need to submit a Power of Attorney permitting them to do so (12).

Personal Declaration
A Personal Declaration or Declaration of Owner is also required. This document attests that you’ve owned the items being shipped for a minimum of six months. It should go on to say, that these belongings are for your own personal use only (not commercial use), and that you’ve resided for a minimum of one year outside of the country.

Import Application
Finally, an import application for your shipment is required, in order for your goods to be cleared to enter Romania (13).

Your Vehicle: Duties


Bucharest, Romania

It appears that you won’t enjoy the same import duty exemption when bringing your vehicle into the country. According to reputable sources - except for vehicles shipped under diplomatic status - duties are always assessed (14). The amount of this duty is not specified, so it’s best that you speak with Romanian customs to learn what fees will be incurred by your shipment.

VAT and Registration Charge
Also, be prepared to pay value-added tax (VAT), when importing your vehicle into Romania (15). A registration charge is also levied and this can range widely. The specific amount that you’ll pay will depend upon what compliance classification it is assigned. If your vehicle meets Euro 3 technical standards - then you can expect to pay just a few hundred Euros. In contrast, if your vehicle only meets Euro 1 standards or doesn’t meet them at all (non-Euro) - your registration charge will likely be in the thousands of Euros instead.

Bank Guarantee
Finally, a Bank Guarantee seems to be required, and this will be refunded either at some point during your stay or when you move away from Romania (16). With all of the fees involved in vehicle importation - it’s recommended that you carefully consider whether purchasing a vehicle in Romania might be a better option for your situation.


Your Vehicle: Documents












               Law Faculty Building, University of Bucharest

According to leading international vehicle transport company A1 Auto, you’ll need a fairly extensive list of documentation. This includes your passport and any paperwork proving that you’re the owner of the vehicle being imported. You’ll also need to provide the purchase invoice or receipt for the vehicle (17). This should specify how much you paid, the date and where you bought it - along with any conditions agreed upon for delivery.

Further Documentation
Customs may also request the transport invoice or proof of shipping costs, though this doesn’t always seem to be required. A document showing the vehicle’s chassis and engine number must be provided (and this should also list the name of the shipper) (18). In addition, you’ll need to submit the vehicle’s title and registration, which was issued in your country of origin. A valid Residence Permit is also required, before you’ll be allowed to bring your vehicle into Romania (19).

EORI and License Plate Certificates
As with all shipments entering and exiting EU member countries, you’ll need to provide your EORI number. A copy of your license plate certificates is also required by Romanian customs. Finally, the documentation needed for your shipment of household goods, is once again required for your vehicle. The paperwork just covered, is to be provided in addition to these forms (20).

Additional Regulations
Romanian customs may insist that you be present when your vehicle is being processed. Also, be aware that you’re only allowed to import one vehicle per registered driver in your household (21). Once your vehicle has been granted entry by customs, it will also need to undergo a road test (or roadworthiness test), in order for it to be registered within the country (22).

SOURCES:
(2) Found on Atlas Int'l “Importing Personal Property Into Romania” page.
(4)Found on Atlas Int'l “Importing Personal Property Into Romania” page.
(6)Found on Atlas Int'l “Importing Personal Property Into Romania” page.
(8)Found on Atlas Int'l “Importing Personal Property Into Romania” page.
(10)Ibid.
(12)Found on Atlas Int'l “Importing Personal Property Into Romania” page.
(14)Ibid.
(15)Found on Moverscom “Customs Regulations - Romania” page.
(18)Found on Moverscom “Customs Regulations - Romania” page.
(21)Found on Atlas Int'l “Importing Personal Property Into Romania” page.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

10 Reasons Why Romania is Better Than America

Really? Yes, really. Let me count the ways.

In America you can get everything you've ever dreamed of: GameBoy, Sega Genesis, plants that look like faces, and more.  Maybe if you work really hard long hours at the job you hate (but that you tell everybody you love lest you appear to be a miserable person), you can even get a flat panel home theater TV that takes up half your basement (on credit, of course). Awesomeness!!
In America you can always be sure to be on top of the latest fad, such as devil sticks or Tamagochi and you will be first to read bestsellers like The DaVinci Code and Fifty Shades of Crap literature. Basically there are thousands of ways of feeling accomplished -or pretending that you are - you just need to be there to catch all these wonderful trends on time!

I know what you're thinking, how can Romania possibly top all that considering America is also the land of Root beer floats and Antoine Dodson?

Everything's been done in America, that's why peopl…

Is Cluj The Best City On Earth?

It's a question I ask myself at times.

Let's put it this way; I've been around. Maybe not all around the world, but halway-ish maybe. Sailed the canals of Amsterdam, biked from one end of Paris to the other, took the train from Budapest to Berlin, drove the 405 in LA, and yeah, I even rode a hay cart back in the day. But other than enjoying all these forms of transportation, I got to enjoy the places I visited. I don't know about you, but when I visit a place I always ask myself,  'would I live here?' While the answer is often 'yes, why not', the only place I moved to was Cluj.

Cluj, how do I love thee, let me count the ways:

1. I love your smell. It's like earth, and air, and city. I will never forget my first day here, when I  walked out of the arrivals building at the airport and breathed in your smell. Spring. You're the city of eternal Spring. On a balmy day, it's what you smell like, even if it's December, or August.

2. I love your…

Are Romanian Women The Most Beautiful In The World?

More than once, I was asked to write about the beauty of Romanian women, but...

I have no words. Besides, I may be biased, but clearly it's a rhetorical question.

However, there is no shortage of Facebook pages dedicated to the subject.





Image: A typical Romanian woman, Madalina Ghenea.

10 More Reasons Romania is Better Than America

I get it. The US is special. I hate to say it, especially as a Canadian, but it is.

But it's mostly special because of the America that it used to be. The idea of America is special.

There was, once, an American Dream within the reach of any hard working man. It was a country that offered unprecedented freedoms and opportunities unmatched by any other. The great melting pot was about inclusion towards one common goal, it was not divisive, individualistic and driven by a Bergeron-esque vision of 'equality'. Assets were not based on decades-long lines of credit, and salaries kept up with cost of living increases. I could go on about 'the way things used to be' but you can look it all up if you're interested. If you live there, you should be.

The reality in America is different now.

Sure, it's still the land of plenty. But the plenty is not all good. Plenty of debt, plenty of poverty, plenty of obesity, plenty of civil unrest coupled with plenty of heavy-hand…

10 Things Romania Does (A Bit) Differently - Part 1

A few days ago, after walking into a grocery store, I couldn't help noticing I was in a state of trepidation. The reason? I'd walked in with my gym bag, purposely avoiding the security guy at the entrance. I felt his eyes must be following me and that a loud, "Hey, you!" would ring out the moment I turned into an aisle.

It turns out that the longer you live somewhere, the more you get used to it. A truism, of course. What is not immediately apparent is that this isn't necessarily a good thing, especially when you find that you've become used to something you may have found, at some point in the past, in another place, entirely unacceptable.

This is why, now that I've crossed over the honeymoon period of my move to Romania, I find my enthusiasm for life here wanes when, for the 286th time, I  am forced to walk into a supermarket through the designated entrance point, even if an empty checkout is much closer and no less accessible. Then, upon entry, a grump…

You Can't Plan a Romania Road Trip, But You Should Anyway

I started writing this post in September 2014, not long after coming back from vacation. I dropped it because I got sick of going through the hundreds of pictures we took just to pick the perfect ones for this post. But, like a seed once planted, it needs some water and the right conditions to flourish. In my case: an email from a reader, asking me about road-tripping through Romania, and the chance to lift this weight off my back. So here it is, a summary of one Romania road trip, from Cluj and back.



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2,656 Kilometers.
188 Liters of gas.
2,919 RON.

That's more or less the tally for the Romania road trip I took with my roomie/wife Roxana. We could have booked an all-inclusive vacation to Greece, Turkey, or Bulgaria at about the same cost, but how could we resist a road trip? A unique waterfall, the 'tunnel of love', the best driving road in the world, Summer …

What I Learned About Driving In Romania

I get it now. I understand Romanian drivers and their follies. It's something I thought would never happen. All it took to shape me into a Romanian road rage machine was one month of driving around Cluj and a 400 km round trip. I'm kidding about the rage part.

The idea of driving in Cluj was intimidating. Last time I'd driven manual shift was almost ten years ago when a co-worker asked me to drive her and her newly purchased, Pontiac Firefly home because she had no idea how to do it. So of course I stalled that little bastard all over the place. Little surprise that the idea of driving along busy and narrow European streets was unappealing - especially after years of driving automatic on wide, North American roads.

But I managed. Stalled an average of once per trip during the first week, and then a couple of times in the second week, and now, a little over a month later, I sometimes stall at stoplights when I forget I'm driving stick and leave it in gear when I release…

Here Is Why Romania's Future Is Bright

The festival is only in its second edition, but following last year's inaugural event, Electric Castle has stirred up enough buzz to attract visitors from beyond Romania's borders. Walking around the festival grounds I had the impression that every other group was comprised of foreigners speaking Hungarian, English, German, or French. And judging by the license plates in the parking lots, every county in Romania was well represented. While there's plenty to be said about the artists and the music, there's something else I want to discuss in this post.

When you think "music festival", the image that comes to mind is that of overly excited youth on a drug and alcohol infused rampage, laying waste to everything in their path. Maybe it has something to do with the way festivals like to promote themselves; these are basically the images that stand out on most 'Official Aftermovie' videos from major music festivals. But obviously the experience is defined b…

Why Romanians Don't Like Romanians

To my knowledge, this national self-loathing is a uniquely Romanian experience. Maybe we share it with some of our neighbours, but I doubt it. I've never seen a people dislike their own as much as the Romanians.
This is going to be highly generalized, but as with most things I write here it's rooted in personal experience and observations. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

1. Romanians like the exotic, to be Romanian is the antithesis of what it means to be exotic.

2. Romanians are often prejudiced. The thought process goes something like this: If you're Romanian you're probably bereft of interesting experiences and financially limited. You're from 'the-worst-country-on-earth', after all. If  you're well off, then you're just a rich asshole (probably a thief, too). Either way, your Romanian-ness ensures you're seen as a person with limited horizons who likely can't offer anything new or different.

If you're Western European or Nort…

Rosia Montana - An Informed Reply

It's always a pleasure to see a new email message from somebody who's been reading this blog. In this case, the message came in from a reader who first contacted me last year. He moved to Canada quite a while ago and settled in the Northwest Territories. He wanted to respond to the previous post on Rosia Montana, but given the length of the reply, I've asked him to allow me to publish it as its own post. He asked me not to share his name, but outside of that, I'm copying it verbatim.

(Edit: In Romana mai jos)

Hello Matt,

Here we go again: Rosia Montana. I got involved in this project about four years ago. I had had phone interviews with radio stations in Bucharest; I published several articles in two or three magazines in Bucharest. I hosted, guided and loaded up with data and portable computer equipment one “Romanian explorer” as the Romanian media called her: Uca Marinescu. Perhaps the name rings a bell. Anyhow she never got back to me; there was no feedback, no follo…