- Ilinca Stroe
How to Import Your Household Belongings and Vehicle into Romania
Romania is a beautiful country and despite its current status as a developing nation, Romania's capital city of Bucharest is recognized as a hub of commerce and culture within the European Union (EU). Thus, the country is a popular destination for both travelers and international transplants who are planning to live in Romania for an extended period of time.
Of course, moving your entire household (including a vehicle) to Romania comes with a set of unique challenges. However, those hurdles are easily handled, as long as you prepare ahead of time by adequately planning and organizing your move. That includes getting all of the necessary documentation in order or picking the shipping method that works best for you. To help you get started, here is everything you need to know about importing your household belongings and vehicle to Romania.
Importing Your Household Goods
Before you can bring your household belongings into Romania, you must gather the necessary documents and present them to customs. First and foremost customs will need a copy of your passport, your visa and your Original Bill of Lading or Air Waybill. You may also need to submit a CMR (or “Convention relative au contrat de transport international de Merchandises par route”), as well as the associated weights for your shipment. These weights must be verified by an origin agent (1).
On the A-1 Auto Transport, Inc. website they say you will also need to provide specific documents from your employer, including a letter verifying that you have employment arranged within Romania. This should state both your starting date and your employer's fiscal code, and you must also show a Romanian Employer's Registration that has been obtained from the Romanian Chamber of Commerce. Other required paperwork includes your rental agreement and your Residence Permit, and copies of these documents are permissible (2).
If you cannot obtain your Residence Permit by the time of the move, you have a grace period of six months before it must be submitted (3). In addition, you have 90 days from the time that your Residence Permit is granted, to import your goods without paying any import tax or duty. If you fail to bring your belongings into Romania during this 90-day window, then you'll have to pay these fees. Fortunately, they will be refunded when you leave the country, provided that you export your goods at that time (4).
Three more important documents must be provided, before your shipment can clear Romanian customs. First, you must submit a full inventory of your electronics and appliances with the serial numbers listed. This inventory should also include descriptions of any jewelry, precious metals (such as items made of gold or silver) and artwork (like paintings or sculptures). You're also required to list any carpets and antiques - which includes items made before 1945 (5). Invoices for these items where possible are encouraged, as well as at least two photos of each item. You will also need a document assigning your international shipping company Power of Attorney – which allows them to handle all the possible legal and tax entanglements that can occur during an international move (6).
Finally, a Declaration of Owner or personal declaration document rounds out the list. This is your official statement that the belongings you're bringing with you to Romania have been in your possession for at least six months – which is the period of time necessary to import goods duty-free (7). It will also inform customs that you've lived outside of Romania for at least the last 12 months (8).
The Shipping Process
If you're moving from a country that's not part of the EU, you must have an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI) before you can have your goods shipped to Romania. This number works as a quick-reference code that is used across a variety of interactions with customs. You can find out more information about obtaining this ID number from the Romanian customs EORI page.
Of course, before you can move your things to Romania, you must also choose an experienced international shipping company to do all the heavy lifting. You should be able to pick a shipping company that not only meets expectations, but exceeds your needs. Once you've made arrangements with your shipping company of choice, you'll also have to decide whether or not you need assistance with packing. You may want this service for your most valuable items, and some companies require that they handle the packing of these pieces for documentation reasons (9). When everything is packed, the shipping company will load your boxes onto shipping containers and take them to port, if your goods are moving by ship.
Upon their arrival in Romania, your household goods will pass through customs. Customs does not require you to be present to receive your goods, which makes the logistics of moving less constraining. In addition, you won't have to pay import taxes or duties to bring in your household belongings, provided that you've owned your effects for at least six months and you don't plan to sell them for at least two years (10).
Importing Your Motor Vehicle
Importing your vehicle into Romania is fairly straightforward. Only one vehicle is permitted per driver, so plan accordingly. If you're going to be shipping your vehicle over the water, then you'll likely be clearing customs in the port city of Constanţa (located on the Black Sea). Romania's major port, this ancient city is roughly 140 miles (227 km) from the capital city of Bucharest, and it's actually one of the largest ports in all of Europe (11).
When clearing your vehicle through a busy port like Constanta (or just a smaller point of entry like a land border crossing), you'll need to have all of your paperwork in order. Many of the documents required to import your personal effects will also be needed to import your vehicle – which can streamline the process. Be sure to keep most of the documents already covered above close at hand, plus some additional paperwork which pertains to your vehicle. This includes your title and registration (these must be the original documents, as copies will not be accepted), proof of insurance and license plate certificates (12).
You will also need a copy of the vehicle's purchase invoice. This should show the amount you paid, and where and when you purchased the vehicle. A transportation invoice is also required, and this should clearly state the total shipping costs paid to bring it into the country (13). Be sure to have your EORI number handy as well, as it will be used by Romanian customs to identify and verify your shipment.
The Shipping Process
Before you ship your vehicle into Romania you'll have to register it – which can only be done once your Residence Permit has been approved (14). This registration charge differs depending upon whether your vehicle is classified as Euro 3 or Euro 1 - which has to do with adherence to EU technical requirements. Euro 1 vehicles will incur a higher registration charge, which could run into the thousands (15).
Some reputable sources also state that you'll have to provide a Bank Guarantee, when importing your vehicle into the country. Refundable at the time of exportation when leaving Romania, this document proves that you've placed into escrow the amount required by customs (16). Other sources don't mention this requirement, but do state that you'll have to pay both import duty and value-added tax when bringing your vehicle into the country (17). Whether this import duty and value-added tax imposed by customs is refundable isn't clear. For this reason, it's recommended that you contact Romanian customs directly to learn what duties, taxes and fees you'll face during the importation process.
(1) Found on Atlas International “Importing Personal Property into Romania” page
(4) Found on Atlas International “Importing Personal Property into Romania” page
(6) Found on A-1 Auto Transport “What Is Power of Attorney and Do You Need It?” page at https://www.a1autotransport.com/overseas-auto-transport-what-is-power-of-attorney-do-you-need-it/
(7) Found on Atlas International “Importing Personal Property into Romania” page
(9) Found on Moving Angels “International Moving Process” page
(10) Found on Atlas International “Importing Personal Property into Romania” page
(11) Found on K International Transport Co., Inc. “How Do I Ship a Car to Romania?” page
(12) Found on Atlas International “Importing Personal Property into Romania” page
(17) Found on Atlas International “Importing Personal Property into Romania” page