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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).

(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.
(12)Found on Atlas Int'l “Importing Personal Property Into Romania” page.
(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.


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