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Relocating to Israel

All You Need to Know About Relocating Your Household Goods and Pets

Planning to relocate to Israel? There is a lot you will need to prepare, including figuring out how to move and ship your household items, getting your vaccinations, and possibly finding storage space. We have you covered in this section with everything you will need to know for a successful relocation. For example, any gifts brought into the country cannot surpass 200 USD (approximately 697 ILS). If you are moving with pets, they will need to be microchipped and require a health certificate.

Need to move abroad? Organizing an international relocation is not something you should do on your own. As expats ourselves, we understand what you need, and offer the essential services to help you move and live abroad easily. Contact us to jump start your move abroad!

What does it take to relocate to Israel? Plenty⁠! But not to worry⁠—this relocation guide provides you with all the information required. The relocation steps and process includes knowing what to bring and pack when moving to Israel. For example, female expats will want to bring clothing to cover their head, neck, and shoulders for religious areas.

Wondering how to relocate to Israel? You can fly or ship your items over to the desert country in up to three separate shipments. You may also consider hiring the Moving Services of InterNations GO! to get everything to your new destination safe and sound. Learn more below.

Moving and Shipping Household Goods

When entering Israel, it is crucial to know how to move household items and belongings. Custom regulations for Israel are strict, and you must be aware of them. Be sure to take note of what not to pack and avoid any problems.

We outline some of the major allowances and restrictions below, but for a complete, detailed look at the country’s import tax table visit Israel’s Government Services and Information Website.

Israel Customs Allowances

For travelers over 18 years of age, you can import the following items duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 250 g of other tobacco products;
  • two liters of wine and one liter of liquor.

All passengers are allowed to bring ¼ liter of eau de cologne or perfume.

For travelers two years of age or older, you can import gifts up to 200 USD (approximately 697 ILS). If an item is over this amount, you will have to pay taxes on it.

Food that is not restricted (see below) can be imported for up to a total weight of three kg (seven lbs), and not exceeding one kg (two lbs) per food item. Food must also respect kosher customs.

You are allowed to bring up to two televisions and two PCs per family. For any other electronic devices, you are entitled to bring in one per item type.

You may be exempt from paying taxes on business machinery, tools, and devices for the establishment of a business, but this is with appropriate approval. Exemptions also exist for the following:

  • Portable hand tools for work cannot exceed 1,650 USD (approximately 5,752 ILS).
  • The total value of business machinery does not surpass 36,000 USD (approximately 125,500 ILS).

If you are importing a vehicle (i.e., motorcycle or passenger car), it may not exceed 3,500 kg (7,716 lbs). A vehicle owner is exempt from all sales tax but will be obliged to pay the rate of 50% plus VAT (76% total rate custom taxes). If importing a vehicle manufactured on January 1, 2007, or later, you will be eligible for a green tax deduction depending on the vehicle’s pollution grade given by Israel’s Ministry of Transportation.

If you are a foreign journalist working in Israel, click here for specific information on the clearance procedure for photography and communication equipment.

Israel Prohibited and Restricted Items

The following is a list of items prohibited from importation:

  • bananas and pineapples
  • fruits and vegetables from Africa
  • knife (except pocketknife) unless needed for one’s profession, business, trade, or another legitimate purpose
  • deadly weapons
  • disruptive laser speedometer
  • pen-like guns or gun-like devices, or gas-powered guns and alike
  • mace container shaped like a gun
  • games of chance/wagering and gambling machines
  • explosives, ammunition, weapons, and flammable materials
  • live creatures such as live viper snakes, and other dangerous goods
  • goods used for the preparation of a dangerous drug or its’ consumption
  • illegal drugs
  • dangerous toys
  • objects that incite violence, racism, or terrorism
  • objects that demonstrate affiliation with or sympathy for a terrorist organization
  • soil
  • pornographic material
  • counterfeit money and goods

The following items require approval and/or a license from the following certified authorities:

  • mobile phones (Ministry of Communications)
  • motorized scooters (Ministry of Transportation)
  • fruits, vegetables, plants, and plant products (Ministry of Agriculture)
  • gas grill (Standard Institute)
  • meat, dairy, and fresh fish products (Ministry of Health)
  • medications (Ministry of Health)
  • raw materials (Ministry of Industry and Trade)

How to Ship Household Items and Belongings

When moving your things to Israel, keep in mind that you can do so in up to three shipments. Items must arrive within three years from your date of entry into the country. The form you will need to fill out can be found here. You will require:

  • bill of landing, gate pass, and freight invoice;
  • packing list;
  • invoices and receipts;
  • proof of residence in Israel (rental or purchase contract);
  • passport;
  • ID card.

To ensure all your items get to your new destination, consider hiring the Moving Services of InterNations GO! We treat your items with care and provide a smooth door-to-door delivery, to and from anywhere in the world. Our services include packing, overseeing customs processes, and shipping. Quality and reliability are our top priorities, so you can expect your items to arrive safely and on time.

What to Pack When Moving to Israel

Expats, particularly women, will want to pack modest clothing and outerwear. Women will need something to cover their heads, shoulders, and necks. They will also need long skirts and dresses for religious sites. Pants must at least fall below the knees. Men will also need pants that cover the knees and shirts that cover their shoulders. Tank tops are not allowed in many public places. Opt to wear loose clothing. No political slogans of any kind should be worn. If you plan to partake in Shabbat, you may want to pack some nicer clothing.

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Home Goods Storage

If you are looking for long and short-term storage in Israel, there are plenty of companies to choose from to secure your items. We have outlined some below, along with their locations:

  • Avia⁠—Rishon LeZion, Holon, Netanya, Petah Tikva-Kiryat Matalon, Petah Tikva-Kiryat Arye, Haifa “Check Post,” Haifa “Bay,” and Tzur Yig’al, Kibbutz Harel
  • Isra-Storage—Ceasaria
  • Ga’ash Logistics—near Jerusalem
  • Safe Storage—Rishon LeZion
  • Green Storage—Jerusalem, Tel Aviv

Pricing depends on the length of time and size of storage space you need. InterNations GO! offers storage should you need it. Our partners provide spaces in both your current and future overseas destination. Contact us for more information.

Vaccinations and Health Requirements for Israel

The Middle East is currently under an outbreak alert due to several cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome reported in the Arabian Peninsula. Expats in Israel should practice hygiene measures such as washing their hands before and after handling animals, as well as avoiding contact with sick ones. While there are no vaccinations required for Israel, there are some that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What Vaccinations Do I Need for Israel?

Some of the recommended immunizations for Israel include:

  • dengue;
  • hepatitis A and B;
  • DTP;
  • Rabies;
  • measles;
  • typhoid;
  • routine vaccinations (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and your yearly flu shot).

The hepatitis A shot is recommended as you can get it via contaminated food and water in Israel. The hepatitis B vaccination is suggested if you plan on having sex with a new partner or getting a tattoo or piercing while abroad. The rabies vaccination is suggested for expats who will be working with animals or in remote areas. Finally, if traveling to the West Bank and Gaza, you should get the typhoid immunization as you can contract it through contaminated water or food.

Health Requirements for Israel Immigration

To be issued a B/1 work visa in this country, you will require a medical certificate showing the results of blood tests and normal test results for tuberculosis, hepatitis, and AIDS.

Your medical exam for immigration must be performed at an approved clinic or hospital recognized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Moving with Pets

Can you bring pets into Israel? Yes, moving to Israel with pets is possible so long as you meet Israel’s pet relocation conditions and requirements outlined below.

Taking your Dog or Cat to Israel

Your animal will need to be microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 pet microchip with 15 digits and non-encrypted. If the microchip is not ISO 11784/11785 compliant, you may bring your own scanner. After it has been microchipped, the animal must be vaccinated for rabies no earlier than 31 days. After the rabies test, a rabies titer test will be necessary no sooner than 31 days. This 31 day period is not required if your animal received an annual booster shot, or if its previous vaccination was a one year shot, and had not expired at the time of the booster. The rabies titer test is not mandatory if your pet is coming from Oceania, Britain, Japan, or Cyprus.

Your cat or dog will also need a health certificate to enter Israel which must be endorsed by the exporting country. The veterinary certificate must state that the animal showed no signs of infectious or contagious diseases at the time of the exam.

Your animal must arrive in Israel at one of the following ports: Ben Gurion Airport, Haifa Port, Port of Ashdod, or Port of Eilat. You must give customs advance notice so that a veterinary inspector is ready and available to inspect your animal upon arrival. Animals can arrive in the country either as checked baggage or air cargo.

You do not require an import permit if you are entering Israel with one animal per person and have signed a declaration stating that the owner has owned the animal for less than 90 days. Otherwise, you will need an import license, with which there is no limit to how many pets you can bring. If an import permit is required, you need to give customs a minimum of two working days advance notice and arrive as air cargo at Ben Gurion Airport.

Puppies and kittens coming from Britain, Japan, Cyprus, or Oceania can enter Israel if they are at least three months of age, and have been vaccinated within five days of arrival. For young animals coming from anywhere else, they will need to have been vaccinated at three months of age and then wait 30 days before entering the Middle Eastern country.

The following breeds of dogs will need advance permission from the Director of Veterinary Services and Animal Health to enter the country:

  • American Staff Bull Terrier (Amstaff)
  • Bull Terrier
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Staff Bull Terrier (English Staff)
  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Brazilian Fila
  • Rottweiler

Additionally, the owner must be over 18 years of age.

For certain breeds, an import license may be required. Other conditions for importing these types of animals include being spayed or neutered, and the animal must have lived with their owner for a minimum of 18 months before entry. A muzzle must be worn by these animals at all times while in public. Additional requirements may be necessary for Miniature Bull Terriers and American Bulldogs.

Other Animals

Other types of pets that will require a health certificate to enter Israel include

  • birds (with an import permit);
  • invertebrates;
  • tropical fish;
  • reptiles;
  • amphibia;
  • rodents;
  • rabbits.

Your animal must not be protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Otherwise, you will need to apply for additional permits to bring in your pet.

The costs of bringing any animal into Israel depends on the airline and the type of container you will need. It can also be dependent on the size and weight of your animal. It is best to contact your airline for information on this. You can also rely on the dependable services of InterNations GO!

The well-being of your pets during a relocation is very important. Yet, international regulations, vaccinations, quarantine periods, travel documents, and shipping arrangements can make their transition as stressful as your own. We ease this process with the assistance of professional animal caretakers, who arrange it all for you. Whether it is a bird, dog, or even a horse, we will make your pet’s arrival smooth and convenient with our Pet Relocation service. Request more information today.

Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!

Updated on: October 14, 2019
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