This guide provides an overview of importing household goods and personal belongings to Israel. While it is primarily designed to assist individuals who are Olim Chadashim, Katinim Chozrim and Ezrachim Olim, most of the guide will be helpful to anyone who is thinking of shipping goods to Israel. This guide relates to ocean shipments, and not to shipments of parcels sent via UPS or FedEx.
Understanding Your Rights and What Not to Ship
The package of rights outlined below is for people making Aliyah from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other (but not all) Western countries. To determine your rights package, Customs checks where your Aliyah visa was issued. Typically, your rights package will be granted by Customs based on the country in which your Aliyah visa was issued. Customs provides certain benefits that are designed to help new Olim set up homes in Israel and maintain the standards of living they enjoyed in the “Old Country.” The information provided here does not relate to commercial import. For new merchandise, particularly electronics, appliances and furniture, Customs requires a receipt, even if the goods are exempt from duties.
Determine Your Status
The first step in determining your rights is to understand your Aliyah status. The basic options are: · Oleh Chadash ‐ Eligible by the Law of Return · Ezrach Oleh ‐ Born Abroad to an Israeli parent · Katin Chozer ‐ Returning Minor · Toshav Chozer ‐ Returning Resident (limited Customs benefits)
Spouses of Different Status (Katin Chozer and Ezrach Oleh)
If a person of one status (for example, an Oleh Chadash) marries a person of another status (for example, a Toshav Chozer), the family can only open one Tik (file) with Customs. It is best to open the Tik under the name of the person with a larger rights package. If one member of the family has used his or her rights, check with Customs to determine what rights are still available to the family. In the event that spouses have different rights packages, you are required to go to Customs in person, or to submit to your Customs clearer the original passport of the spouse with the smaller rights package. A Katin Chozer and Ezrach Oleh have the same rights as an Oleh Chadash. However, if you have either of these status types, you are required to open your file at Customs before you can use your rights.
Rights for Personal Imports
An Oleh can import three “Oleh shipments” of any size within three years of making Aliyah. If a shipment is larger than a full container, it will count as two shipments, unless both shipments come on the same ship and are cleared through Customs at the same time. What you bring with you on your Aliyah flight will not count as one of these three imports. Your shipments can come from any country, not only from the country from which you are making Aliyah. Tax free items that may be imported include: • Books, clothing, linens, kitchen utensils, pictures, decorations, media, and general, personal effects • Furniture for household use • One of each type of appliance or electronic equipment, for household use only, i.e., not office or manufacturing equipment • Two computers per family • Two televisions per family • Carpeting for up to 25% of the area of the Oleh’s home in Israel • Air conditioners, fans and heaters relative to the number of rooms in the family’s new home in Israel • An Oleh Chadash is not exempt from port tax. Port tax is determined by the shipping company. When you choose a shipping company, please check carefully how the company calculates port tax, and what you will pay. • An Oleh Chadash is exempt from Customs handling charges. All goods imported with rights must stay in your possession for five years from the date of import; otherwise, depreciated taxes must be paid to Customs.
Importing a Car
An Oleh Chadash can buy or import a car or motorcycle within three years of making Aliyah with reduced taxes. In order to import a car, you will need a clean title on the vehicle (no liens) and the title must be in the name of the Oleh. You will also need: • Your Israeli driver’s license • A personal import license from the Ministry of Transportation approving the personal import of the specific vehicle (details are listed at www.mot.gov.il); the procedure for obtaining a personal import license is handled by Customs at the time that the car arrives in the port in Israel • Your driver’s license from overseas • The original invoice • A current CarFax report, if the car is used • A letter from a licensed Israeli garage stating that they are willing to supply parts and service on your specific car Married couples have only one set of car rights. If two people plan to get married, and only one of them used his or her rights to a car, the couple loses any additional car rights as soon as they get married. (This is also true of a refrigerator, or anything else purchased with rights) A car must remain in your possession for four years; otherwise, depreciated taxes must be paid.
Procedures in Israel
Procedures in Israel vary depending on the shipping company you use, so find out exactly what your shipping company’s requirements are. In all cases, you will need the following documents: 1. Foreign Passport (with the Aliyah Visa) 2. Teudat Zehut (Identity Card) 3. Teudat Oleh (New Immigrant Booklet) 4. Israeli Passport (if you have one) 5. Proof of residency in Israel (lease, purchase contract, or Arnona bill) 6. Receipts for new electronics, appliances or furniture in the shipment You will also be required to sign a power of attorney (a standard form that can be filled out in English) and a Customs declaration (also in English). Infinity Pack will provide these.