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Tax-free allowances: permanent imports of personal property


This Directive aims to eliminate the tax obstacles to the importation by private individuals of personal property into one Member State from another Member State through the introduction of tax exemptions.


Council Directive 83/183/EEC of 28 March 1983 on tax exemptions applicable to permanent imports from a Member State of the personal property of individuals [see amending acts].


Within the limits and subject to the conditions laid down in the Directives, Member States exempt personal property of a non-commercial or non-speculative nature imported permanently from another Member State by private individuals from the turnover tax, excise duty and other consumption taxes which normally apply to such property.

Personal property means:

  • property for the personal use of the persons concerned or the needs of their household;
  • instruments necessary to the person concerned for the exercise of his trade or profession.

Conditions governing the granting of the exemption.

Particular conditions governing the application of the exemption to certain goods:

  • tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, perfume, coffee and tea;
  • saddle-horses, motor-driven road vehicles (including trailers), caravans, mobile homes, pleasure boats and private aircraft.

Save by way of exception, motor-driven road vehicles (including trailers), caravans, mobile homes, pleasure boats and private aircraft may not be disposed of, hired out or lent during a period of 12 months following their importation free of duty.

Specific provisions on the importation of personal property:

  • in connection with a transfer of normal residence;
  • in connection with the furnishing or relinquishment of a secondary residence;
  • on marriage;
  • acquired by inheritance.

Member States may retain or introduce more liberal conditions for granting tax exemptions than those laid down in the Directives, but only for certain goods.


ActEntry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 83/183/EEC31.3.19831.1.1984OJ L 105 of 23.4.1983
Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 89/604/EEC28.11.19891.7.1990OJ L 348 of 29.11.1989
Last updated: 01.01.2007
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