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When moving to a new country, one of the primary concerns is how you will transport your personal goods, pets, cars, or other goods to your new home. Shipping to Madeira could be VAT exempt, on some situations.


Shipping to Madeira - Personal goods

Shipping to Madeira is exempt from VAT if you are shipping your personal goods, if you have not been residing in Portugal for the previous 12 months, and if you can prove that the goods you are shipping to Madeira have been in your possession, and being in use in your home for, at least, 6 months. These goods must not have been VAT exempt, when bought.

In general terms, you will need the following documents:

  • List of goods to be transported, with a detailed description and their value.
  • Document proving that the goods to the transported have been in use in your home for, at least, 6 months
  • Document proving that be permanently residing in Portugal


What kind of goods can be shipped?

You can benefit from VAT exemption when shipping to Madeira:

  • Household goods
  • Pets
  • Vehicles intended for your personal use

You cannot benefit from VAT exemption when shipping to Madeira:

  • Food or drinks (alcoholic or not)
  • Tobacco products
  • Vehicles for commercial use

Transport of Pets and Vehicles to Madeira

Your pets can accompany you when you move to Portugal. The rules applicable to travelling with pets differ based on the type of pet, and where you come from.


Dogs, cats, and ferrets

The European Union allows for your dog, cat, or ferret to travel alongside you, provided that:

  • It has a micro-chip
  • Has been vaccinated against rabies
  • Has a valid European Pet Passport, if traveling from another EU country, or an EU animal health certificate, if travelling from a non-EU country
  • There are special rules if you are travelling with more than 5 pets


Dogs of Breeds Considered Potentially Dangerous

If you have a dog of one of the following breeds:

  • Brazilian queued dog
  • Argentine Great Dane
  • Pit bull terrier
  • Rottweiler
  • American Staffordshire terrier
  • Staffordshire bull terrier
  • Tosa inu

Beware that although the entry of these breeds of dogs is permitted, but you will have to go through a Traveller’s Entry Point in the port or airport of arrival.  You will also have to present a document notifying that you will be staying in Portugal for more than 4 months, or a statement of responsibility, if you are staying for less than 4 months.


Pet Birds

Your pet bird can come to Portugal alongside you. However, only pet birds from member countries of the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) are allowed entry in Portugal.

Be sure to have the following documents:

  • Document identifying each animal (if you are travelling with more than 5 animals special rules apply)
  • Official health certificate, issued by the official authority of the country of origin
  • The bird must observe one of the following: a period of isolation prior to the departure, or a period of quarantine after arrival, or vaccination against bird flu in the last 6 months

You will have to go through the Traveller’s Entry Point in the port or airport of arrival

Other animals can only be allowed to enter Portugal under an authorization of Portugal’s General Directorate of Food and Veterinary

When moving to Madeira you are entitled to benefit from exemption on ISV, VAT and Customs fees on the legalisation of your vehicle. Be aware that, while it’s possible to bring more than one vehicle to Madeira, only one per person can be legalised with tax exemptions.

To benefit from the tax exemption, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • have resided in the country of origin for, at least, 6 months
  • be the legal owner of the vehicle for the 6 months prior to your move to Madeira

In general terms, you will need the following documentation:

  • legal identification
  • proof of residence in the country of origin
  • proof that you have lived in the country of origin (for example utility bills or retirement pensions
  • proof of ownership of the vehicle
  • relevant vehicle documentation
  • proof that the vehicle is homologated in Portugal


Should the vehicle not be homologated in Portugal, shipping to Madeira could be quite troublesome and time-consuming.