Customs duty and tax exemptions concerning Individuals transferring their habitual residence to Greece

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Greeks having their habitual residence abroad can import their personal property, including motor vehicle, to Greece with customs duty and tax exemptions, when transferring their habitual residence to Greece. 

“Habitual residence” refers to the place where an individual usually lives, that is for at least one hundred and eighty-five (185) days in each calendar year, because of personal and occupational ties or, in the case of an individual with no occupational ties, because of personal ties which demonstrate close links between that individual and the place of residence. 

In order for an individual to establish the right -to transfer his/her habitual residence with the above tax exemptions, his/her habitual residence must be abroad for at least two (2) years prior to/ before its transfer to Greece.

Important Note! Studying at a university or other school in a country abroad does not mean that the individual has a habitual residence in that country.

Personal property that can be imported with customs duty and tax exemptions includes household goods (i.e. furniture, clothes, books, pc, etc.), transport means (motor vehicle or caravan, motorcycle, pleasure boats), and other items (i.e. pets, professional equipment). 

Regarding the motor vehicle, only one (1) maybe imported provided that the person concerned has the ownership and use of the vehicle at the place of his/her previous residence, for a period of at least six (6) months before the transfer of the residence. 

Important Note! Motor vehicles subject to emission standards Euro 1, 2, 3 and of conventional technology, for which CO2 emissions are not demonstrated, are not allowed to be imported and registered in Greece. 

In the case of individuals transferring their habitual residence from America, Africa or Australia, as well as from Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates and regardless of whether they owned and used a motor vehicle in the place of their previous residence, they have the right to buy a motor vehicle or caravan with an 80% exemption from the registration fee.

Customs and tax exemptions extend to the following

-    Custom duties (in cases of third countries outside EU)
-    VAT
-    Registration fee (for vehicles)
-    Environmental fee (for vehicles)

Exemption is NOT granted for

- Vehicles for public use (with ten (10) seats or more, including the driver, truck for transporting goods, any other special vehicles).

- Property that, by their nature or quantity, reflects any commercial interest or is intended for economic-activity (except for portable tools or instruments necessary to the person concerned for the pursuit of his profession).

- Alcohol products, tobacco and tobacco products, with the exception of quantities delivered free of charge to travelers.

Persons interested in transferring their habitual residence to Greece must visit the competent Greek Consular Authority of their previous residence and apply for the issuance of Certificate of transfer of habitual residence in Greece.  In the event he/she has already arrived in Greece, he/she may contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (tel. 210 3682360, 3 Zalokosta str. Athens,, submitting the relevant supporting documents for the issuance of the Certificate. 

As regards the customs procedure, the interested persons must submit the relevant customs declaration along with the aforementioned Certificate to the Greek Customs Authorities.  

The introduction of the property may be carried out all at once or in stages within a period of twelve (12) months after the issuance of the Certificate. 
Personal property introduced under the abovementioned terms and conditions shall not be disposed of, hired out or lent during the period of 12 months following their introduction. 

More information about transferring the habitual residence in Greece can be obtained from the "Handbook on Customs Exemptions for Transfer of Habitual Residence in Greece", available on the IAPR web site.