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Relocating to Italy
All You Need to Know About Relocating Your Household Goods and Pets
When planning to relocate to Italy, be prepared for their relaxed customs laws but possibly disorganized customs processes. You might also want to account for some difficulty if you need storage for your items in Italy. Moving your pets should be relatively hassle-free, provided you follow all the requirements and all your documents are in order.
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Know all the ins and outs of how to relocate to Italy. This relocation guide covers all the essential relocation steps, from moving your belonging, to going through customs, finding storage, and all health requirements for both you and your pet.
Depending on where you are moving from, you have the option to bring your belongings into Italy by road, air, or sea. Make sure you follow the right procedures before you pack to have your items go through customs, so you don’t have any setbacks at the border.
Moving your pets should be easy, as long as they are vaccinated against rabies in the right timeframe, have identifiable microchips, and are accompanied by the owner and the necessary documentation.
As for your own vaccinations and health requirements, these are the standard—there are no specific health concerns to moving to Italy, and you shouldn’t have to worry as long as you are healthy and have the routine vaccines up to date.
Moving and Shipping Household Goods
Given the country’s advantageous location, you can choose to have your items shipped to Italy by road, air, or sea freight. How you move your household items and belongings may come down to personal preference, as you will likely have more than one option. Airfreight is the fastest option, but also the most expensive. If you choose to bring your items to Italy by cargo ship, it may take a month or two for them to arrive. If you have the option to move your belongings by land, this is likely your best choice, as it is speedy and just as affordable as sea freight.
If you wonder how difficult it is to ship your belongings to Italy, you should know Italian customs processes may be inconsistent. While some expats experienced no hiccups whatsoever when importing their household goods into Italy, others had setbacks with missing documents or inconsistent communication on the status of their belongings.
As for what to pack when moving to Italy, you should know you can find most things you need once there. Unless you have specific needs such as medication, you don’t need to worry about bringing anything specific to the country.
What are the Customs Regulations for Italy?
At the time of your move to Italy, you can bring your household goods and belongings with you free of tariffs, import duties, or tax. However, you must have acquired your items at least 12 months before your move and used them in your previous residence. For your goods to be duty and tax-free, you must also have lived outside of Italian borders for at least a year.
What Documents Do I Need to Import my Items?
You will need to prove you are eligible for exemption on paying duty and taxes on your household items. Since any items you own for less than a year may be subject to import tariffs, do your best to provide receipts for your belongings.
To bring your belongings with you to Italy, you will need:
- A copy of your residency application showing your last country of residence, which must correspond to the origin of the shipment;
- A copy of your passport;
- A copy of the registration for the Italian fiscal code by the Agenzia delle Entrate (Italian Revenue Agency);
- A declaration related to anti-mold products in your shipment from the USMAF (Uffici di sanità marittima, aerea e di frontiera);
- A declaration that you don’t bring forbidden items (Dichiarazione di libera importazione)
- A declaration of your transfer of residence from abroad to Italy, the status of the family, the value of the goods, and official proof that you have stayed in the previous place of residence for at least 366 days (Autocertificazione).
To avoid setbacks, it’s recommended that you have all your documents in Italian.
What are Italy’s Customs Allowances?
Customs allowances in Italy for goods traveling within the EU are the following:
For tobacco products:
- 800 cigarettes
- 400 cigarillos (cigars weighing no more than 3 grams each)
- 200 cigars
- 1 kg of smoking tobacco
- 10 liters of spirit drinks
- 20 liters of intermediate products
- 90 liters of wine (including a maximum of 60 liters for sparkling wines)
- 110 liters of beer
For goods coming from outside the EU, you can bring up to the following quantities tax-free:
- 200 cigarettes
- 100 cigarillos
- 50 cigars
- 250 g of tobacco
For alcoholic beverages:
- 4 liters of still wine
- 16 liters of beer
- 1 liter of spirit drinks
- 20 liters of intermediate products
- The fuel contained in the standard tank of a vehicle
- Up to 10 liters in a portable container
Which Items are Prohibited or Restricted in Italy?
Some items are restricted or strictly forbidden to bring into the country. If you are transporting cash, you are only allowed to bring up to 10,000 EUR (11,000 USD) with you.
Objects such as firearms, knives, or other weapons are forbidden unless accompanied by an authorization by a competent body of the origin country. Weapons are held by the Customs Office until the authorization has been granted. Counterfeited goods are strictly forbidden.
There aren’t specific regulations for medicines carried by passengers. However, as common practice, you are recommended to have prescriptions for medication that exceeds a personal use of 30 days.
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Home Goods Storage
Whether you are looking for long- or short-term storage for your belongings in Italy, you may run into some issues. Italy is among the European countries with the least offer when it comes to storage. You may need to do an online search in Italian. The few options available will likely not allow for online reservations through the website. They may also not show their prices online. To ensure you are covered with your storage needs, take this into account, and plan your move in advance.
On the positive side, storage is relatively cheap in Italy. The average rent per square meter a year is less than 250 EUR (275 USD).
For more information on storage in Italy, consult the AISI (Associazione Imprese Selfstorage Italiane).
Vaccinations and Health Requirements for Italy
If you are wondering what vaccinations you need for Italy, you are required to have the routine vaccines up to date. These are for measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and the yearly flu shot. Consult with your doctor to know if you need any additional vaccination.
As for health requirements to immigrate to Italy, you may need a medical exam depending on the type of visa you apply for.
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Moving with Pets
If you are moving to Italy with pets, you should know that dogs, cats, and ferrets have to be at least three months old to cross Italian borders. You must accompany your pets at the time of your move. Exceptionally, your pet may be brought into the country five days before or after your own relocation, on justified and documented grounds.
You should know you can only bring up to five pets with you to Italy.
Dogs, cats, and ferrets must have a microchip or a clearly legible pet tattoo, if applied before 3 July 2011.
What Documents Do You Need for Your Pet’s Relocation to Italy?
Taking your dog, cat, or ferret to Italy requires the following documents:
- The pet’s original vaccination book or certificate—this must contain details about the animal, the owner, and certify the animal’s good health;
- Rabies vaccination and certificate—this vaccination must be at least 21 days old at the time of the final health exam;
- EU Health Certificate filled in by an accredited veterinarian—this is only valid for ten days counting from the date of the veterinarian’s signature until entry into the country;
- EU pet passport for animals traveling within Europe.
Moving Other Pets to Italy
There are no special requirements for the entry of other animals in Italy, such as invertebrates, aquatic animals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, or rodents. These must simply be transported in appropriate containers, accompanied by the owner or authorized person.
If the animals are coming from a third country, they must be accompanied by a Health Certificate signed by an accredited veterinarian.
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!