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Relocating to Sweden
All You Need to Know About Relocating Your Household Goods and Pets
If you are planning to relocate to Sweden, you will need to know about shipping and storage as well as the customs allowances to enter Sweden. EU/EEA citizens are allowed to bring most household goods with them without declaring anything at the Swedish border. Non-EU/EEA citizens, however, will need to fill out a customs form. In addition, expats may be surprised to learn that, unlike other EU countries, Sweden recommends residents be vaccinated against tick-borne illnesses before their arrival.
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Given Sweden’s reputation for openness and tolerance, expats may feel like there is very little they need to know in regard to how to relocate to Sweden. Yet, it is still advisable to review this relocation guide to ensure there are no surprises.
What does it take to relocate to Sweden? Primarily paperwork and patience. Whether you are moving from inside or outside the EU, the customs restrictions to enter Sweden are not many. As long as you can provide proof that your household items are used and not for commercial sale, most items will be allowed into the country duty and tax free. Likewise, the relocation steps and process to bring pets into Sweden are few and it is rare that quarantine is required. However, to avoid any hiccups, you will need to ensure that your pet meets all of the rabies and microchip requirements.
Moving and Shipping Household Goods
As with everything in the EU, how to move your household items and belongings depends on whether you are moving from within the EU to Sweden, or from outside of the EU. If you are moving from within the EU, you will automatically be exempt from paying any sort of customs tax. You are also not required to present your items to Swedish customs.
If you are moving from outside the EU, you will need to apply for a relief from duty and tax on personal belongings. The rules for this will differ slightly depending on whether you are a new immigrant to Sweden or returning.
New or Returning Immigrant?
You are considered a new immigrant to Sweden if you meet the following requirements:
- You have never lived in Sweden or an EU country before.
- You and your family have lived outside of the EU for at least one year.
- You are single and have no family ties currently in the EU.
To be considered a returning resident, you must have a residence or familial connection to Sweden, and have only been away from the country for one year due to temporary work or travel.
Custom Regulations for Sweden
Duty and tax relief does not cover new, unused products. To import your goods under duty and tax relief, you must provide proof that these goods have been used and in your possession for some time. It must be apparent that the goods are not for commercial interest.
Personal belongings that can be imported into Sweden include household effects, linen, furniture, personal items, bicycles, and cars or other vehicles such as motorcycles, boats, or caravans.
Customs Allowances in Sweden
When thinking about what to pack when moving to Sweden, you need to keep in mind the customs allowances. If you are moving to Sweden from within the EU, there is no limit to the amount or value of the goods you import as long as they are not intended for commercial use. If you are moving from a non-EU country, the following items will be restricted when entering Sweden:
- one litre of spirits over 22% ABV
- two litres of spirits under 22% ABV
- four litres of wine
- 16 litres of beer
- 200 cigarettes
- 100 cigarillos
- 50 cigars
- 250 grams of tobacco
- other goods valued up to 4,300 SEK (440 USD)
Items prohibited from being imported into Sweden include:
- firearms and ammunition
- unprescribed medicine and narcotics
- meat and dairy products from outside the EU/EEA
Documents Required to Ship Your Goods to Sweden
When presenting or claiming your goods at customs, you will need to provide the following documents:
- valid passport
- detailed itemized list of your goods
- completed Swedish customs form
How to Ship Household Items and Belongings
You can ship your items to Sweden using a variety of methods. As part of the Scandinavian peninsula, shipping your items via a cargo ship is a common option as it is typically the cheapest, but it is also the longest. Depending on where you are shipping your goods from, shipping via water transport can take upwards of several months.
Air and ground transport are the most popular methods as they are faster and more efficient. They are also the more expensive options, so it is up to you which is most important: will you pay more to have your goods arrive sooner? Or can you afford to wait for some time? If you would like more information, contact the relocation experts at InterNations GO! to discuss the best options for moving your household effects to Sweden.
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Home Good Storage
Given that it takes both foreigners and native Swedes months, if not years, to find a permanent place to live, long-and short-term storage is rife throughout Sweden. From units only meant to hold a few boxes to spaces meant for multi-bedroom homes, Sweden has a variety of storage options to meet every expat’s needs.
When looking for a storage unit in Sweden, it is a good idea to shop around. Because housing is limited and many people find themselves moving from one second-hand lease to the next, storage units are in high demand. This means, like the rental market, competition for storage units is a bit stiff and options are limited at times.
However, finding the optimal storage space is possible. Some of the top storage providers include:
- City Self-Storage
- Enkel Magasinering Vasastan
- Pelican self-storage
Depending on your needs, the cost for a storage unit in Sweden can range widely from 250 SEK to 1,000+ SEK (25 to 100+ USD) per month.
Vaccinations and Health Requirements for Sweden
The vaccinations required for Sweden are similar to those found throughout most of the EU. In general, those moving to Sweden are expected to have been vaccinated against the following:
- polio vaccine
Other recommended, but not required, standard travel vaccines include:
- hepatitis A
- hepatitis B
In addition, it is also a good idea to get an annual flu shot when moving to Sweden and while living there. In past decades, Sweden has experienced periodic flu outbreaks. In 2012, this resulted in more than 1,000 deaths. Swedish hospitals reported a shortage of flu vaccines in 2018.
What Vaccinations Do I Need for Sweden?
Besides the standard vaccines listed above, there are no immigration vaccination requirements to enter Sweden. Health and safety standards throughout the country are extremely high, and food and water-borne illnesses are rare.
The only recommended health requirement for immigration to Sweden pertains to the wilderness. Nearly 10% of Sweden’s landscape is covered by wilderness, including 30 national parks and over 4,000 nature reserves. If you plan to spend a good amount of time in these wilderness areas, it is recommended that you get vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Foreigners moving or traveling around the Stockholm archipelago are especially advised to get this vaccine.
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Moving with Pets
When moving to Sweden with your pets, it is important that you have all the correct documentation needed before your arrival. To ensure your furry friend makes it to your new home with you, contact the experts at InterNations GO!
Can you Bring Pets into Sweden?
You can bring pets in Sweden as long as they meet standard EU animal import requirements. Just as with relocating yourself to Sweden, the rules and regulations for pet relocation into Sweden differ depending on whether the animal is coming from outside or inside the EU.
Requirements for Pet Relocation into Sweden
Whether you are taking your dog, cat, or ferret into Sweden, they must be vaccinated against rabies and have proof of that vaccination. The vaccination must have been administered no less than 21 days before arrival into Sweden.
Other requirements include:
- valid veterinary certificate or EU passport
- owner’s declaration for pets
Your pet must be declared at the Swedish border. If your animal arrives before or after you, it must do so within five days of your arrival into the country. In addition, it will need to arrive with a veterinary certificate as well as an authorization form from you stating that the animal is yours. You will also need to include a copy of your travel documents stating when you intend to arrive in Sweden.
Horses must be examined by a vet in their own country 48 hours before their arrival into Sweden. The vet will need to sign a health certificate demonstrating that the animal is healthy by EU standards. You must keep this certificate on you for a period of six months. Foals traveling with their mother can be listed on the same certificate.
Importing Reptiles and Other Animals
Reptiles and other animals may be brought into Sweden if you can provide proof that they were born and raised in captivity. They must also be transported and arrive with the owner.
If the EU considers the origin of your country be high risk for rabies, then your animal may be subject to an extra rabies vaccine (even if your animal has already received the shot).
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!