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Relocating to Portugal

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

If you are planning on relocating to Portugal, be prepared for relaxed customs rules when moving from within the EU. On the other hand, third-country citizens will need an official luggage certificate and be subject to stricter customs processes. The good news is you have many options for shipping your belongings to Portugal. You may choose air, sea, or land depending on your budget and urgency.

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Everything you need to know on how to relocate to Portugal you will find in this section. We cover all the relocation steps and process you should know about, and what it takes to relocate to Portugal with your belongings and pets.

When it comes to moving your household items, you have a few options: air freight, sea, or land. What you choose depends on your urgency and budget. Your self-storage options, on the other hand, could be limited.

Moving with your pets is not complicated if you are moving from within the EU. If your pet is coming from outside the EU, you have more restrictions to abide by, including special requirements for dangerous breeds.

As for your own relocation, there are no specific vaccination requirements. However, you should make sure you have all your routine shots up to date before you travel. You may want to check with your doctor in case any other vaccines are relevant for you.

Moving and Shipping Household Goods

If you are moving to Portugal, you might want to know how to move your household items and belongings with you in advance. We give you all the insights on your best option for shipping, customs regulations, necessary documents, and more.

How to Ship Household Items and Belongings

Due to the country’s advantageous location, you have several options when it comes to shipping your household items to Portugal.

Shipping by sea is typically the cheapest option, but also the slowest—you should receive your items within one to three months. Shipping by air freight is the fastest choice, but also the most expensive. Your items should take no more than a week to arrive but will cost you twice as much as sea freight.

Shipping your item by road could be your best option if this option is available to you. It is slightly more expensive than shipping by sea freight but significantly faster. Your items should not take longer than a couple of weeks to arrive in Portugal.

Customs Regulations in Portugal

You should be in the country at the time your shipment arrives. This should be no later than 90 days after your arrival and within 120 days of the issue of the Luggage Certificate, Certificado de Bagagem.

Be advised that Portuguese customs are not known for their speedy and organized process. Be sure to abide by all customs requirements to avoid any setbacks.

What Documents Do I Need to Move to Portugal?

Make sure you check with your embassy or consulate before you move. You will need the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Certificado de Bagagem (luggage certificate) issued by a Portuguese consulate
  • inventory with the value of each item for customs purposes (should be in Portuguese and authenticated by the consulate)
  • serial number of major electrical appliances
  • proof of residence, work permit, or permanent residence permit, or deed of ownership of a property
  • declaration of ownership of the goods, notarized and signed by you

What to Pack When Moving to Portugal

As long as you do not have any special requirements, such as for medication, you should be able to find everything you need in the country or import it once there.

If you are packing your belongings and having them shipped to the country, you do not need to declare your items when arriving in Portugal so long as you are importing for non-commercial purposes. Your items would also need to be within the customs allowances, which differ depending on if you are bringing goods from within the EU or outside the EU.

Customs Allowances for Goods Traveling within the EU

Tobacco Products

  • 800 cigarettes
  • 400 cigarillos (cigars weighing no more than three grams each)
  • 200 cigars
  • 1 kg of smoking tobacco

Alcoholic Beverages

  • 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
Customs Allowances for Goods Traveling from Outside the EU

Tobacco

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 100 cigarillos
  • 50 cigars
  • 250 grams of tobacco

Alcoholic Beverages

  • 4 liters of still wine
  • 16 liters of beer
  • one liter of spirit drinks
  • 20 liters of intermediate products

Fuel

  • The fuel contained in the standard tank of a vehicle
  • up to ten liters in a portable container

As for other goods, you can bring in medication into the country if it is for personal use only.

Forbidden or Restricted Items in Portugal

Some items are strictly prohibited to be brought into the country, no matter where you are coming from. These are:

  • perishable foods;
  • protected species and products listed by the CITES, such as tortoise shells, corals, ivory, reptile skin, and others;
  • pornographic material;
  • drugs and narcotic substances;
  • firearms or other weapons;
  • gold bars.

Other items may be restricted which means you either need a permit or to abide by specific rules. These items are:

  • pets;
  • new items (i.e., less than six months old);
  • sealed non-perishable foods (e.g., baby food);
  • currency (maximum customs allowance is 10,000 EUR (11,000 USD)).

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Home Goods Storage

If you need a place to keep your items, whether that is short- or long-term storage, your options in Portugal may be limited. Portugal is among the European countries with the least options for self-storage per capita.

You will still find some options for self-storage in bigger cities. You can try your hand at a quick online research by typing armazenamento into a search engine, or simply the English term “storage.” You are guaranteed to find storage companies in places like Porto and Lisbon. In most cases, you will likely need to contact the company by email or phone to receive a quote and to book your storage in advance.

Another alternative is to contact InterNations GO! for information on our Moving and Storage solutions. If you need storage, our partners provide spaces in both your current and future overseas destinations.

Vaccinations and Health Requirements for Portugal

Wondering what vaccinations you need for Portugal? The good news is there are not any specific vaccination requirements for Portuguese immigration.

Required Vaccinations for Portugal

The vaccinations required for Portugal are the routine ones, which are the ones you typically receive as a child. You should be up to date on the following:

    • measles-mumps-rubella;
    • diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis;
    • varicella (chickenpox);
    • polio.

Taking the yearly flu shot is also advised.

Health Requirements to Enter Portugal

As always, it is recommended that you visit your doctor at least one month before traveling. Get advice on some other vaccines that may be right for you. These could include Hepatitis A, B or, in special cases, rabies.

As for other health requirements for Portuguese immigration, you typically will not be asked for any specific medical tests. You should, of course, check the specific visa requirements for your country.

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Moving with Pets

If you are moving to Portugal with pets, you should know that Portugal abides by European rules of pet importation. If you are taking your dog or cat to Portugal, the rules differ if you are coming from a third country or another European member state.

Can You Bring Pets into Portugal?

Yes, you are allowed to bring up to five animals into the country, as long as it is for non-commercial purposes. Rules for importation that will apply depend on whether you are moving from within or outside the EU.

Moving with Pets within the EU

If you are moving a dog, cat, or ferret within the EU, your pet will need a European Pet Passport, which contains all the relevant information about the animal. This is issued by an authorized veterinarian in your country of origin and should be sealed and signed by them.

They will also need a microchip, or alternatively a pet tattoo, which is only valid if it was done before July 3rd, 2011. This identification number should be stated in the European pet passport.

Your pet must also be vaccinated against rabies which should be duly documented. This vaccine is typically administered only when the animal is three months of age, which means animals under three months are not allowed to enter the country. If you have just vaccinated your pet, you must wait 21 days after the vaccine before you move with your pet.

Moving Other Pets

You may also import animals such as invertebrates, ornamental aquatic animals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, rodents, and rabbits. These must be accompanied by a veterinary certificate that identifies the animal and attests to its good health. This document should be issued up to five days before the animal is to move, and should be accompanied by a Portuguese translation.

Moving Pets from Outside the EU

In case you are coming from a country outside of the EU, you may only bring dogs and cats with you. These must also have a microchip or a readable tattoo, and be vaccinated against rabies. This vaccination should be administered before or at the same time of the implantation of the microchip, and at least 21 days before the animal is being moved.

If you are coming from a country with a risk of rabies, you must provide a blood sample of the animal to an approved lab three months before moving to verify that the animal is rabies-free.

Your dog or cat must also enter the country through a Traveler’s Point of Entry. These include the airports of Lisbon, Oporto, Faro, Funchal, Ponta Delgada, Ilha Terceira, and Beja.

Your Dog’s Breed

Also beware that there is a list of dog breeds that are considered dangerous. These are:

  • Fila Brasileiro;
  • Dogo Argentino;
  • Pit bull terrier;
  • Rottweiler;
  • American Staffordshire terrier;
  • Staffordshire bull terrier;
  • Tosa Inu.

These dogs are allowed in the country, but they must do so at the Traveler’s Point of Entry, where the owner must sign a:

For more information on pet relocation to Portugal, visit Direção-Geral de Alimentação e Pecuária (DGAV).

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: April 23, 2020
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