Q&A: Customs duty on products imported to Ireland during a visit
I received a question yesterday from a person who didn't leave a valid email address, so I'm hoping they're reading my response here. Even though the focus of this website is for people who are moving to Ireland, the question will be of interest to many of you who will visit ahead of time, or may have family/friends visit you in Ireland, after you move.
We are visiting our children in Ireland shortly. My wife wants to bring a used sewing machine with her for our daughter-in-law. Will there be any taxes or clearance duty payable when we arrive in Dublin?
The value and country of origin of the item will determine whether any duty will be assessed upon arrival. The rules differ depending on whether you are coming from within the EU, or from a non-EU country. For non-EU arrivals, your allowance for 'other goods' (i.e. non alcohol/tobacco products) is currently €430 per adult or €215 per child. This allowance cannot be combined when multiple travelers are travelling together.
I have no idea what sort of value a sewing machine has, but if it is close to the allowable value, it's probably best to bring proof of its value. Keep in mind that €430 is the combined value allowance of all gifts, souvenirs, etc that you are bringing in.
According to Revenue.ie (Ireland's tax and customs authority), "it is important to be aware that the above monetary allowances do not apply to any individual item the value of which exceeds the relevant limits. If you bring in something worth more than the relevant limit of €430 or €215, you must pay import charges on the full value."
For a full breakdown of permitted and prohibited items, as well as amounts/values that you are allowed to import, please read the information on the Customs regulations for travelers to Ireland page at Citizensinformation.ie.
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I have not been through customs into Ireland yet, but it is always good to bring proof of the value of an item. If you don’t have proof of the value the customs agent will assign an estimated value. This could be their own expert opinion/guess, or it could be based on a guide.
To highlight that. I went through customs into the US after a trip to Mexico in the 1990s. I had 4 wool blankets I had paid $20 total for. I didn’t have a receipt, and the customs officials assigned them a value of $40 each.
I wonder if you can bring up Ebay or Etsy as a relative guide for price of item – if you have a tablet or phone that can be used in the Customs area….
Not a bad idea, Joan, but it is at the discretion of the officer. Also, lots of countries do not allow you to use phones in the customs/immigration area. I haven’t passed through an Irish airport for a while, but it’s possible that they will stop you. A print out from one of those sites could be useful.