How to Import Your Car and Household Goods to Estonia

Import Your Car and Household Goods to Estonia

Moving abroad can be overwhelming, and like any traveler you must ensure your belongings end up exactly where you do. Luckily, it’s quite easy and smooth to import your car and household goods to Estonia. 

This is true even if you reside outside of the European Union, and even if you’re moving something as large as your personal vehicle. With some foresight and planning, importing your car and household goods to Estonia, doesn’t have to add undue stress. You just need to be prepared and organised. With that end in mind, here’s a basic overview of the customs process you’ll encounter.

How to Import Your Car and Household Goods to Estonia

Import Your Vehicle to Estonia

import your car to Estonia

Required Documentation

If you stay in Estonia for longer than six months, and want to officially register your vehicle, you’ll need to gather specific documents for the Estonian Road Administration. These include the vehicle’s original registration and title, a copy of your passport and Air Waybill or Original Bill of Lading (depending upon your transport method). You’ll also need a customs declaration form, as well as a purchase invoice for your vehicle, which should include both the price and the date purchased (1).

A letter confirming your employment status is required, and this should be written on company letterhead. Customs will also need to see both your driver’s license and international driving permit. Additionally, if you’re using a third party agent or company, you must provide customs with a Power of Attorney authorising them to act on your behalf (2). Finally, you will have to pay a state fee, and the proof of that payment should be included with your other documents. (3)

The Import Process

First, you must decide how you want to transport your vehicle to Estonia. While air freight is feasible, the best method is to transport by ship. It’s recommended that you do your research and choose a trusted international auto shipping company. You should consider one that has all the necessary certifications, licensing and insurance (4).

You have five days to register your vehicle, starting from the day that it arrives in Estonia. However, you have to first pre-register your vehicle, before you can officially register it at an Estonian Motor Vehicle Registration Centre (ARK). This inspection is a formality that includes going over the documents to make sure all required paperwork is accounted for, and that the vehicle itself meets full registration standards (5).

EORI Number

A new regulation for all shipments in EU member countries was enacted a few years ago, making it mandatory that you obtain an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number for all shipments. Without this document, your shipment will be unable to clear Estonian customs (6).

Receiving Tax Exemption

If everything is in order, you can move onto the official customs clearance and registration process. To receive tax exemption during importation (you don’t have to pay import tax unless you sell the vehicle within one year of registering it in Estonia) – you only have to show residency outside of the EU for a full year, and that you owned the car for the last 12 months. To complete registration, you must provide proof of your residency and submit your vehicle for a full inspection at the nearest ARK. If your vehicle passes inspection, you’ll receive import tax exemption on your shipment. You can find much more information about the various traffic laws and even the roads in Estonia, by visiting the Road Administration website.

Import Your Household Goods to Estonia

Import Your Household Goods to Estonia


When it comes to importing your household goods, perhaps the most relevant issue at hand is the import tax. You can avoid paying this tax when you relocate to Estonia (namely from a non-EU country if you’ve resided there for at least a year) by applying for tax exemption. Items that you’ve owned for at least six months prior are eligible for exemption.

Unfortunately, items that you haven’t owned for at least six months will be subject to import duties and taxes. However, it’s quite likely that the bulk of your household goods will be exempt. As with your vehicle, if you sell any of your goods within one year, you’ll forfeit this tax exemption. You’ll also have up to 12 months to import your household goods. This is actually a lengthy grace period so you can take your time when settling in Estonia (7).

Required Documentation

You will need specific documents in order to complete the importation of your household goods into Estonia. The first and most important piece of paperwork is either your Work Permit or Residence Visa (8). Other sources term this the Resident ID card and it can take up to 40 days to obtain one of these. This means you should plan ahead accordingly – as you won’t be able to bring in any of your items without this document. You will also need a copy of your passport, a copy of your housing agreement in Estonia and a packing list (9).

A separate inventory that includes values for your items is also required, and this document must be written in English. You must also present proof of your employment in Estonia, along with a Power of Attorney if you’re using a third party agent or company (10).

The Shipping Process

In order for your goods to be able to clear customs you must be in Estonia. This means to avoid any delays, you should plan to already be in the country when your goods arrive (11). The main port is in Tallinn, and this is the likeliest place where your goods will enter the country. Once they arrive in the port you must wait for a customs inspector to perform an examination of your items. After that, you’ll receive authorisation to bring your belongings into the country (12).

An interesting regulation in Estonia is the need for an inventory of valuable art or artefacts. If you hope to take these valuables with you, you’ll need a document to prove your ownership.

If you have any questions about how to import your car and household goods to Estonia, contact the Estonian customs to obtain relevant information concerning your shipment.


  1. Country Guide: Estonia
  2. Atlas Int’l “Importing Personal Property Into Estonia” pdf
  3. Registered security over movables
  4. How to transport a car overseas
  5. Work in Estonia: Car registration and driver’s license
  6. Atlas Int’l “Importing Personal Property Into Estonia” pdf
  7. Customs clearance and tax exemptions
  8. Atlas Int’l “Importing Personal Property Into Estonia” pdf
  9. Morganshipping Shipping to Estonia page
  10. Atlas Int’l “Importing Personal Property Into Estonia” pdf
  11. Moverscom “Customs Regulations – Estonia” page
  12. All you need to know before moving to Estonia

Guest post, courtesy of Jason Mueller

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