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Importing personal items to Portugal

Importing personal items to Portugal

Old Apr 28th 2022, 11:58 am
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Default Importing personal items to Portugal

When we moved to Portugal 5 years ago we kept our house in the UK together with some personal effects which we locked in the attic whilst the property was let. We're now thinking of selling the UK property and would like to bring some of the effects to Portugal. The effects are some items of furniture, records, household goods, ornaments, and some pictures. Most are old, some are inherited, and not overly valuable - probably worth less than £5k. I've been looking into how we could do this and everything assumes that we would be bringing our effects within 12 months of moving and so potentially exempt from duty and VAT. My understanding is that I would not be exempt and so liable to duty/VAT. But on what value? I also seem to recall reading that you can bring 600 euro of items tax / duty free, is that correct?

I had vaguely thought of hiring a van and driving back what do I need to do? Or should I just speak to a removals company and let them deal with it? If so can someone recommend a company?



Last edited by borisface; Apr 28th 2022 at 12:04 pm.
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Old Apr 28th 2022, 12:55 pm
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Default Re: Importing personal items to Portugal

You might want to have a sift through this thread started by someone who has done it:

Moving Household goods from UK to Portugal - British Expats
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Old Apr 28th 2022, 2:27 pm
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Default Re: Importing personal items to Portugal

Originally Posted by NSG666 View Post
You might want to have a sift through this thread started by someone who has done it:

Moving Household goods from UK to Portugal - British Expats
I think 'thanks' is the appropriate response. A large PITA. Brexit - the gift that keeps on giving.
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Old Apr 28th 2022, 5:04 pm
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Default Re: Importing personal items to Portugal

Yes certainly created a few obstacles. Depending on what part of the UK your belongings are in then it sounds like the French aren't as keen to jump all over vans like the Spanish reportedly do at the ferry terminals so it might be worth risking a van via the tunnel.
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Old Apr 28th 2022, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: Importing personal items to Portugal

With all due respect to your Aged Ps and Grand Ps, I suspect that the stuff in your attic - whilst being worth something to you, would fetch little or nothing in a garden sale.
So my thought would be give as much of it as you can bear to part with to Oxfam or similar, and pile the rest into the back of an old van and drive it down through France and Spain.
I would be surprised if anyone on border duty wanted to even look at it, let alone dispute a nominal value of Euros 500. Maybe a 'House Clearance' person of the sort that advertises in your local newspaper, could be paid a small fee to issue a printed valuation, ie what he would give you for it - prob even less than 500.
Enjoy the trip.
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Old Apr 28th 2022, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: Importing personal items to Portugal

When you sell, also look out for the fact that you must submit a non-resident CGT declaration with 60 days of completion: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/capital-...ntial-property
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Old Apr 28th 2022, 8:29 pm
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Default Re: Importing personal items to Portugal

Originally Posted by riv View Post
With all due respect to your Aged Ps and Grand Ps, I suspect that the stuff in your attic - whilst being worth something to you, would fetch little or nothing in a garden sale.
So my thought would be give as much of it as you can bear to part with to Oxfam or similar, and pile the rest into the back of an old van and drive it down through France and Spain.
I would be surprised if anyone on border duty wanted to even look at it, let alone dispute a nominal value of Euros 500. Maybe a 'House Clearance' person of the sort that advertises in your local newspaper, could be paid a small fee to issue a printed valuation, ie what he would give you for it - prob even less than 500.
Enjoy the trip.
To be fair Riv, I have Northern soul singles in my attic back in the UK worth thousands of pounds, although I guess the average Spanish border guard wouldn't have a clue on their value 🙂




Last edited by chislenko; Apr 28th 2022 at 8:32 pm.
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Old Apr 28th 2022, 8:56 pm
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Default Re: Importing personal items to Portugal

Originally Posted by riv View Post
With all due respect to your Aged Ps and Grand Ps, I suspect that the stuff in your attic - whilst being worth something to you, would fetch little or nothing in a garden sale.
So my thought would be give as much of it as you can bear to part with to Oxfam or similar, and pile the rest into the back of an old van and drive it down through France and Spain.
I would be surprised if anyone on border duty wanted to even look at it, let alone dispute a nominal value of Euros 500. Maybe a 'House Clearance' person of the sort that advertises in your local newspaper, could be paid a small fee to issue a printed valuation, ie what he would give you for it - prob even less than 500.
Enjoy the trip.
You're right of course, it's largely stuff that if I had to buy again new would run into the small £1000s but second hand value would be not be much at all. I had thought about getting a value from someone who would do a similar exercise to a probate valuation to flash at any eager customs guys. It's not going to happen for a while so just mulling my options.
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Old Apr 29th 2022, 8:06 am
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Default Re: Importing personal items to Portugal

I have been through it and honestly, if you don't *have* to bring it - don't! Admittedly, I think you probably suffer from the same problem I do - I like my own stuff and I don't care how old it is.
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Old Apr 29th 2022, 9:40 am
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Default Re: Importing personal items to Portugal

Thinking further : if you've done without it for five years that probably means ytour really REALLY don't want it around you.

Maybe be virtuous and give the lot to Oxfam. Think of Marie Kwondo's approval !
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Old Apr 29th 2022, 10:43 am
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Default Re: Importing personal items to Portugal

I have just completed the same exercise and arrived back in Portugal a week ago, selling UK house and dealing with full contents. Vast majority of furniture went on ebay and turned into very much less cash than what was spent on it. Loaded personal belongings and a couple of bits of furniture we wanted here into Portuguese registered motorhome. Family, friends and a couple of neighbours picked through, then I paid a house clearance company from Wigan (we were in Doncaster), who I highly recommend, £250 to take the rest, rubbish along with saleable stuff. We then drove to Portugal via channel tunnel and apart from a quick check too see if the gas was turned off they made no effort to check anything else or charge for imports.

That said, it's not a cheap exercise driving the return journey by tge time you've paid fuel, tolls and tunnel costs. I could also suggest this:
https://www.mycheapremovals.co.uk/
Quoted me £1600 for 10 cubic metres, door to door, Doncaster to Lagoa, including import duties, which is in the same league as we paid for the return journey without 8 days of driving.
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Old Apr 29th 2022, 10:58 am
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Default Re: Importing personal items to Portugal

A word of warning for anyone getting quotes by the cubic metre, we twice had to complain to a very well known removals company based in Algarve about their charges.

We discovered that they work on the basis of one of their guys looking at the stack of stuff they loaded and going "that's 10 cubic metres (or whatever), here's your bill". Then if you complain they "remeasure" (ie actually measure) and it magically turns into 8 cubic metres or 7 cubic metres...
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Old Apr 29th 2022, 11:37 am
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Default Re: Importing personal items to Portugal

Originally Posted by Alan PT View Post
A word of warning for anyone getting quotes by the cubic metre, we twice had to complain to a very well known removals company based in Algarve about their charges.

We discovered that they work on the basis of one of their guys looking at the stack of stuff they loaded and going "that's 10 cubic metres (or whatever), here's your bill". Then if you complain they "remeasure" (ie actually measure) and it magically turns into 8 cubic metres or 7 cubic metres...
That sounds about right Alan, I've had the same with 2 out of 3 of them making prices up as they go along. The price depends on which member of staff you deal with too and what mood they're in on the day.
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Old Apr 29th 2022, 11:49 am
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Default Re: Importing personal items to Portugal

I always measure and list boxes in m3 with a total m3 for everything.
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