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How to Relocate Your Household & Pets to Ireland

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If you want to know how to relocate to Ireland, this relocation guide is a good place to start. We cover all the steps from the best way to ship your goods, customs allowances, and even a reminder to dog owners that they must license their dogs within 30 days of their arrival.

What does it take to relocate to Ireland? For the majority of expats, it will not take much. As with almost any move, it is advisable to secure either short- or long-term storage when you first arrive, as that will give you time and flexibility to complete all the other necessary steps of the relocation process.

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Moving and Shipping Household Goods

Need to know how to move your household items and belongings to Ireland? If you are moving to the island nation, this is probably at the top of your mind. Moving and shipping your goods can often be as complex as applying for your work visa.

How to Ship Household Items and Belongings

When moving to Ireland, you have two options for shipping your belongings: by boat or by plane. Unless you are relocating from Northern Ireland, it is not possible to drive your goods to Ireland. Shipping your items by boat is the cheapest option, but it is also the longest option. Because Ireland’s housing market is competitive, and it can take up to a month to find a home, shipping your items via boat may be ideal because it will give you more time to search for a place.

If you want your belongings to arrive sooner, consider sending your goods via plane. This option is more expensive than a boat, but your items can easily arrive on the same day you do or within a week.

What to Pack When Moving to Ireland

Because Ireland is a highly developed, modern country, there are not many goods missing from the country. Shops abound in the country and it is easy to order items online and have them shipped to you.

That being said, there are still a few items that are useful to bring with you.

Bed Sheets

If you are shipping a bed to Ireland from outside the EU, you may want to consider bringing your own sheets with you as well. Beds in EU countries are slightly different sizes than those in countries such as the US or Canada. This makes the perfect fitting bedsheets hard to find.


If you are coming from countries known for larger people, you may want to bring all the clothes that you can. European sizes can run small, and it is rare to find clothing above an XL (which is the equivalent of a medium or large in countries like the US).

DVD Player

If you have an extensive DVD or Blu-ray collection, you may want to consider bringing your own player. Ireland is similar to the UK in that discs are regional and can only play on devices that are equipped for UK DVDs.

Custom Regulations for Ireland

The customs regulations you will face in Ireland will depend on whether you are moving from inside or outside the EU. If moving from inside the EU, you will be subject to the following allowances:

  • 800 cigarettes;
  • 400 cigarillos;
  • 200 cigars;
  • 10 liters of liquor;
  • 20 liters of drinks containing 22% alcohol or less;
  • 1 kg smoking tobacco;
  • 90 liters of wine;
  • 110 liters of beer.

You can bring meat as long as it was produced in the EU.

If you are moving from a non-EU/EEA country, you will be subject to the following customs allowances in Ireland:

  • 200 cigarettes;
  • 100 cigarillos;
  • 50 cigars;
  • 250 g of smoking tobacco;
  • 1 liter of liquor;
  • 2 liters of drinks containing 22% alcohol or less;
  • 4 liters of wine;
  • 16 liters of beer.

If you are traveling with another person, you cannot combine customs allowances.

Prohibited or Restricted Items in Ireland

  • firearms;
  • ammunition;
  • explosives and fireworks;
  • indecent or obscene material (books, periodicals, prints and video recordings);
  • plants or bulbs
  • birds, poultry, or eggs;
  • endangered species;
  • meat and meat products;
  • milk and milk products;
  • hay or straw;
  • oral smokeless tobacco products.

If you can prove that the goods have been in your possession for at least six months, and that they are intended for personal use, you should not have to pay tax. Whether or not you need to pay a tax is also decided on an individual basis. The most you may be asked is 2.5% of the declared value of the goods.

When you are packing, be sure to keep an itemized list of everything that goes into your boxes. This will be needed when declaring your stuff from customs.

Home Goods Storage

Short and long-term storage solutions are ideal for expats who are unable to move straight from one home to the next. And for expats relocating to Ireland, this is largely the case. Luckily, the housing market throughout the country, and even in the capital of Dublin, is not as strenuous as it is in other European countries and cities such as Stockholm and Sweden.

In order to find the best place for you and your family, taking your time to search through the Irish market is advisable. This means moving into a temporary accommodation at the start of your new Irish life.

Top Storage Companies in Ireland

  • AMC Removals and Storage
  • Two Men and a Truck
  • IRVINE Moving Solutions

Vaccinations and Health Requirements for Ireland

The vaccinations required for Ireland are standard throughout Europe and the rest of the western world. It is an advanced country with high health standards and infrastructure. The water is safe to drink and there is little-to-no threat of diseases such as malaria or yellow fever.

That being said, expats planning to move to Ireland should still be sure to have all of their required vaccinations up-to-date.

What Vaccinations do I Need for Ireland?

What are the immigration vaccination requirements for people entering Ireland? Everyone arriving in the country, and intending to stay long-term, must have been vaccinated against the following:

  • MMR: measles-mumps-rubella;
  • DTaP: diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis;
  • chickenpox (also called varicella);
  • polio;
  • hepatitis A and B;
  • rabies.

Rabies may seem like a surprise addition to this list, but it is a good idea to have the vaccine if you plan on living in Ireland. Bats are common throughout the country, even in the Irish cities. Because bats can transmit rabies, it is best to protect yourself. For this same reason, it is especially important to vaccinate any pets you may be importing into the country. You can read more about this in our Moving with Pets section below.

In addition to these vaccines, you need to have also received a yearly flu shot.

Health Requirements for Ireland Immigration

There are no health requirements for entering Ireland. As long as expats entering the country have the above mentioned vaccinations, and a valid passport and visa, you should be allowed entrance into the country.

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Moving with Pets

Moving to Ireland with pets does not have to be a stressful situation. As long as you start your preparation early, and ensure your furry friend has all the right paperwork and vaccines, everything should run smooth and efficiently.

Can you Bring Pets into Ireland?

Yes, you can bring your pets to Ireland. Just like with people, the protocols to importing your pet are based on where they come from. As a general rule, no matter the country you and your pet(s) are coming from, they must arrive at least within five days of when you enter Ireland.

Failure to follow the right rules and regulations regarding pet relocation to Ireland could result in a lengthy quarantine or your animal being sent back to their origin country.

Taking Your Dog or Cat to Ireland from an EU Country

If your pet is coming from an EU country, they may enter Ireland through any airport or ferry terminal. They must have an EU passport, which verifies that they were vaccinated against rabies. They must also be microchipped with a chip that can be read by a standard ISO 11785 reader.

Animals from Finland, Malta, and the UK must also have been treated for tapeworm (Echinoccoccus) no less than one day and no more than five days before their arrival.

You cannot bring more than five animals per person.

Bringing Other Pets from the EU

If you are bringing a bird, rodent, or rabbit with you to Ireland, you must fill out and submit a form of Advance Notice at least 24 hours before the animal’s arrival in the country. The animal must travel with its owner or the owner’s representative.

Taking Your Dog or Cat to Ireland from a non-EU Country

The standards for bringing your pet to Ireland from a non-EU country vary slightly dependent on whether the origin country is deemed a low- or high-risk for rabies.

Whether you are coming from a low-risk or high-risk country, you must follow these requirements:

  • your pet can only enter the country through the Dublin Airport;
  • it must be transported via an approved airline or pet cargo carrier;
  • it must have a microchip, which can be read by a standard ISO 11785 reader;
  • you must present evidence that the animal is being transported for non-commercial purposes.

In regard to the rabies vaccine, animals from low-risk countries need to meet the following requirements:

  • be accompanied by a veterinarian certification stating the pet has received a recent rabies vaccine;
  • dogs must have been treated for tapeworm at least one day before their arrival, and no more than five days beforehand.

Animals from high-risk countries must also meet these requirements as well as undergo a blood titer test at least 30 days after receiving their rabies vaccine. After taking this test, you must wait three months before your pet can enter Ireland.

Bringing Other Pets from Non-EU Countries

Like dogs and cats, all other animals entering Ireland from non-EU countries must enter through the Dublin Airport. Birds may also enter through the Shannon Airport. You must submit a form of Advance Notice at least one week before the animal enters Ireland.

A Note to Dog Owners Moving to Ireland

Dog owners must license their dogs in Ireland within the first 30 days of their stay. You can do this at any An Post or online. This license will need to be renewed every 12 months.

There are no banned dog breeds in Ireland, but certain breeds and mixes must always be kept on a leash when out in public.

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