Receiving packages from outside the European Union, will likely make you liable to pay custom fees and VAT.
According to the Italian legislation, every single parcel delivered to you in Italy (including gifts or personal items) is subject to import custom clearance in Italy.
The delivery is tracked by the local customs disclosing certain elements:
- Country of Origin
- The value of the goods
- The amount of the goods
If you receive a parcel from outside the EU customs fee apply. Its calculation varies depending on the value of the goods delivered. According to the customs legislation, a gift (hence a delivery between two private persons) is not treated as such for customs purposes. You are therefore required to pay customs duties on gifts received from outside of the European Union.
How to calculate custom duties?
There are two types of custom duties payable depending on the type of the parcel:
- Duty ad valorem based on the value of items in transit. The value on which you calculate the custom duties include also the shipping expenses and the insurance;
- Specific duty, where the duty is payable on certain characteristics of the item itself (length, weight, quantity etc.)
The most common custom duty is the first one.
|Item value||VAT Applicable||Custom duty applicable|
|€ 0 – € 45||NO||NO|
|€ 45 – € 150||NO||YES|
|€ 150 +||YES||YES|
The amount of the custom duties applicable varies depending on the type of the item, and its origin. The country of origin triggers the duties applicable based on the agreement between Italy and the other nation.
When you purchase items online, VAT and custom duties are normally included within the price, however it is important to double check prior making the purchase.
The delivery agent normally takes care of all the compliance required with the customs, as well as anticipate the duties and VAT on your behalf.