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Household Effects Certificate
HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS CERTIFICATE
Persons who transfer their usual residence to Greece:
(PERSONS in Chapter B΄, Decision of the Minister of Economy and Finance no. D.245/88)
1. Transfer of usual residence
Persons (Greeks) or even foreigners who have their usual residence abroad and transfer it to Greece, in order to settle permanently, may import-transfer their personal cars under the relief from taxation provided.
A usual residence is the place where a person usually resides, that is to say, for at least one hundred and eighty five (185) days per twelve-month period, because of personal and professional bonds. In case of a person without professional bonds, his/her usual residence is the place where he/she usually resides (for at least 185 days in each 12-month period), because of personal bonds, from which close relations are evident between this person and the place where he/she lives, i.e. in order to determine the usual residence of the person, the personal (family) bonds prevail.
Consequently, in order to ascertain whether a person has his/her usual residence at a place abroad, he/she must prove, on the one hand, that he/she stays in this place for at least one hundred and eighty five (185) days in each 12-month period and, on the other hand, that his/her stay in this place is due to him/her having his/her personal and professional bonds there or only his/her personal bonds.
The studies at a University or another faculty of a country do not mean that the person has his/her usual residence in this country.
2. Establishing the repatriation right
The professional bonds are proved by the profession of the person.
The personal bonds are proved by the family or other constant and permanent bonds that this person has in this place.
We indicatively mention some supporting documents, by which (and depending on the case) the establishment of the repatriation right is cumulatively ascertained:
-the person is settled with his/her family (particulars of residence for himself/herself and the remaining members of the family).
-the person has the citizenship of the country or, if he/she is a Greek citizen, he/she has a permanent residence and work permit, issued by the competent authorities.
-the person is a taxpayer-citizen of Sweden.
-the person has a privately-owned or rented residence in Sweden.
-the person is insured through the social security system of Sweden.
-the person is registered in the city in which he/she has settled.
-details of education of the children (if there are any children).
-details of various transactions (electricity, telephone bills, etc.).
-any other details, by which close bonds of the person with this place result, in combination with the above.
3. Exercise of the repatriation right by foreign citizens
The repatriation right can be exercised by persons who have a foreign
citizenship and they are of Greek descent or spouses of persons with Greek citizenship or transfer their usual residence to Greece on the occasion of marriage to a Greek citizen.
If he/she is a citizen of another member-state of the European Union (EU), and provided that the requirements are met and the repatriation certificate is issued, he/she has to produce to the competent customs authority any evidence by which it will result that he/she intends to transfer his/her usual residence to Greece and, in particular:
• a residence permit, of at least annual duration or
• a labour contract of indefinite duration or
• a residence lease contract, attested by the competent Tax Office (D.O.Y.) or
• an evidence of a privately-owned residence
If he/she is a citizen of a third country, and provided that the requirements are met and the repatriation certificate is issued, he/she must produce to the competent customs authority a residence permit of at least annual duration.
4. Fictitious repatriation
The relief from taxation is granted to persons having their usual residence abroad, because they transfer their usual residence to Greece, i.e. because they settle permanently in Greece, where they transfer or create their personal and professional bonds.
It is, therefore, pointed out that the persons concerned must request a repatriation certificate and exercise the right, provided that they have actually decided to settle themselves permanently in Greece, otherwise, in the event of a fictitious repatriation, a violation of the regulations in force takes place, which involves the revocation of the relief from taxation granted and the enforcement of sanctions.
PERSONAL BELONGINGS FOR WHICH A RELIEF FROM TAXATION IS PROVIDED
(Article 2, Decision of the Minister of Economy and Finance no. D.245.88)
Personal belongings, in the sense of repatriation, are the belongings intended for personal use of the beneficiary and the members of his/her family or for the needs of his/her household.
Specifically, personal belongings are:
1. Household effects:
That is to say personal objects, including a personal computer and a bicycle, the domestic clothing, the furniture and equipment of the house.
With regard to household effects operating with electricity, the relief from taxation is provided for one piece of each type. A relief from taxation is also provided for a second piece of the same type, provided that a second piece is justified to exist, depending on the members of the family repatriating, such as a second television, (portable, up to 16 inches), a second washing-machine (small one), etc.
Specifically for the air conditioning appliances, a relief from taxation is provided for all pieces justified for the particular area of the house, in which the beneficiary person resides in Greece.
(NO central system – air conditioning machinery for buildings).
Repatriates from other member-states of the European Union may transfer their household effects, without observing the customs formalities, upon entering Greece.
2. Means of transport:
- a passenger car for private use, up to nine (9) seats, including the driver (or an automotive caravan) and its trailer.
- a trailer (not allowed, if an automotive caravan is also imported).
- a motorbike or a motorcycle.
- a pleasure boat.
- a private airplane.
3. Other items:
- domestic supplies.
- domestic animals.
- rideable animals.
- portable instruments of mechanical or liberal arts, which are relative and essential for the practice of the beneficiary’s profession, i.e. light tools and instruments which are portable in their use and their utilization does not depend on their installation in a particular area.
Personal belongings should not have, because of their type or quantity, any commercial interest, or be intended for economic professional activity, with the exception of the portable instruments and tools that are relative and essential for the practice of the beneficiary’s profession.
A relief from taxation is not provided for:
- Vehicles of public use (passenger cars of ten seats and above, including the driver, lorries for transportation of goods, any other special vehicle).
- Items that have, because of their type or quantity, any commercial interest or are intended for economic - professional activity (with the exception of the portable instruments).
- Alcoholic products, tobacco and the products of tobacco, with the exception of the quantities that are given tax-free to the travelers.
(Articles 2, 3 and 5, Decision of the Minister of Economy and Finance no. D.245/88)
1. The household effects may also be new ones, on the condition that they were received by the beneficiary person in the country from which he/she repatriates, before the issuance of a repatriation certificate and are listed in detail on the repatriation certificate.
2. For the means of transport (one of each, as mentioned above), a relief from taxation is granted when the particular means of transport that the beneficiary person had in his/her possession and used in the place of his/her previous residence for at least six (6) months before the issuance of the repatriation certificate and are listed on the repatriation certificate, are imported.
The condition for the 6-month possession, which in any case should be full and exclusive, as well as the utilization of the particular means of transport, must be proved by evidence.
3. The ownership is proved by the title of ownership and the license for the means of transport that is in effect in each State and covers the required period of the six (6) months before the repatriation.
The utilization of the means of transport for at least six (6) months is proved by the driving license of the beneficiary or by official documents stating that the beneficiary exclusively used a professional driver during the required period of six (6) months.
It is pointed out that the six-month ownership is combined with the simultaneous utilization and circulation of the means of transport in the place of previous residence of the beneficiary, where the beneficiary and the means of transport should be at the same time.
Specifically for the passenger car or automotive caravan, the condition of 6-month ownership and use may exist in its entirety or cumulatively, for any of the family members (spouses and single children) that repatriate together, provided that they establish a right, i.e. the members of the family must have their usual residence abroad for more than two consecutive years, according to the above regulations for the beneficiary persons.
4. The persons repatriating from an E.U. country, with regard to means of transport, must have duly paid the taxes that are in effect for their normal circulation in this country and not enjoy a relief from taxation or tax refund because they are exported from this country in order to be imported to Greece.
5. For the passenger cars, automotive caravans and motorcycles, a relief from taxation equal to 80% of the corresponding registration duties is provided, as well as a relief from any duties due (from third countries) and V.A.T..
For the remaining personal belongings (household effects, other items) a complete relief from duties and other taxes is provided.
It is pointed out that, the older the technology is, as it concerns the emission of exhaust fumes for the above vehicles, the higher the rates of the corresponding registration duties.
For the category of Greeks working abroad, the relief from taxation is only limited to household effects.
The relief from taxation provided for is granted once only in total for the family (spouses and single children).
The adult single children of a family, who have their usual residence abroad, may exercise independently and in its entirety their repatriation right, provided that they repatriate separately from their parents. The same applies if they repatriate to Greece on the occasion of a marriage, in which case, provided that they create their own family, they may exercise in its entirety their repatriation right, independently from their parents.
It is emphasized that the driving license may have been issued in the name of another member of the family (spouses and single children), than the person to whom the car belongs or is cleared, provided that they repatriate together and they establish a right.
6. When the beneficiary person repatriates from the continents of America and Africa, as well as from the states of Australia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, irrespective of him/her having a car in his/her ownership and use in the place of his/her previous residence, he/she may receive a passenger car or automotive caravan from any country except Greece, even after the issuance of a repatriation certificate, on the condition that the customs clearance will take place within twelve months from the issuance of the repatriation certificate and on the condition that the beneficiary has a car driving license (Greek or foreign one) which is valid at the time of issuance of the repatriation certificate. The passenger car is required to be brand new, of new anti-pollution technology (with a catalyst).
In this case, the Value Added Tax (V.A.T.) provided for is paid in Greece as well.
The extent of the relief from taxation amounts to 80% of the registration duties, for cars up to 2000 c.c. If the passenger car for private use or the automotive caravan that is imported has an engine capacity above 2000 cubic centimeters, the relief from taxation is limited to 50% of the registration duties provided for.
7. All personal belongings (household effects, means of transport, other items), according to the conditions mentioned above, must be cleared once all together or even partially, before the expiry of the 12-month period from the date of issuance of the repatriation certificate. That is to say, they must be presented to the Customs House for clearance, at the latest within (12) months from the date of issuance of the repatriation certificate.
More specifically, the means of transport, within one month from their entry in Greece, must be presented to the Customs House for clearance, on the condition that this period does not exceed the effective duration of the repatriation certificate (12 months from its issuance).
It is pointed out that, if the cars do not meet the last effective Community Directive, with regard to the emissions of pollutants and exhaust fumes, or they are of conventional technology, the persons concerned must contact the Ministry of Transports and Communications (tel. 210-6508438) in order to ascertain the possibility of their registration.
(Articles 7 and 8, Decision of the Minister of Economy and Finance no. D.245/88)
1. The personal belongings must be intended for use by the beneficiary person and the members of his/her family, for the needs of his/her household in Greece, where he/she settles and must not be intended for third non-beneficiary persons.
2. The household effects and the means of transport are not allowed, until a year lapses from their customs clearance (starting from the date of acceptance of the customs receipt), in any way, formal or informal, to be:
- the subject of a pledge or accommodate
- conceded for use to third persons
- remain, not even for custody, in areas where similar items are traded or, with regard to cars, not even in parking lots for cars which are also trading areas for cars
- be driven (with regard to cars), not even once, by third persons, irrespective of the culpability of the beneficiary.
Specifically for a car, during the annual restrictive period, it is allowed to be driven, apart from the beneficiary person, by his/her spouse or single children.
If the beneficiary person is single, then it is allowed to be driven by his/her parents and single brothers or sisters.
3. In the event that the beneficiary wishes to sell the household effects and the means of transport before the restrictive year lapses, he/she must previously ask for customs approval and pay the charges from which he/she was granted relief, on top of the dues for overdue payment from the time of import.
After the expiry of the annual restrictive period, the beneficiary person has the possibility, only with approval by the competent Customs Authority (Customs House which cleared the car), to transfer the car, provided however, that a percentage of the registration duties is paid, depending on the time that has lapsed from the date of acceptance of the import receipt until its payment, in the following way:
- From 1 to 2 years, 50% is paid.
- From 2 to 3 years, 40% is paid.
- From 3 to 4 years, 30% is paid.
- From 4 to 5 years, 20% is paid.
- From 5 years and above, without payment.
The approval for the transfer of the car is granted upon application submitted in person to the competent Customs Authority, by the beneficiary.
When the application is submitted to the competent Customs Authority by a person authorised to transfer the car, then the approval is granted, provided that, previously, an amount equal to double the amount resulting, according to the above, is paid and, in any case, no less than 2.934 Euros.
In the event of death of the beneficiary before the restrictive year lapses, the restrictions for the year are lifted, provided that no law violation has previously been ascertained.
In this case, the heirs do not pay anything to the Customs House.
Specifically for the car, the Customs House grants a special certificate, by which the restrictions for the year are lifted.
PROCEDURE FOR ISSUANCE OF THE REPATRIATION CERTIFICATE
(Articles 28 and 29, Decision of the Minister of Economy and Finance no. D.245/88)
1. The persons who transfer their usual residence to Greece, as well as the category of Greeks working abroad, in order to enjoy the relief from taxation provided, must produce to the Customs House the repatriation certificate issued by the competent Greek consulate in their place of residence abroad.
For the convenience of the persons concerned and the consulates, samples of repatriation certificates have been drawn up, depending on the category of the beneficiary.
The person concerned produces to the Consulate all essential supporting documents, by which it results that he/she establishes his/her right, either as a person that has his/her usual residence abroad, or as a Greek working for more than two (2) consecutive years abroad and that the remaining conditions required concur. Copies of the supporting documents are kept by the person concerned, in order to submit them to the competent Customs House, translated into the Greek language.
He/she also produces all his/her passports (both the valid and the previous ones), as well as the passports of his/her family members.
He/she submits to the Consulate the repatriation statement, in which he/she declares the members of his/her family living with him abroad (spouse and single children) and mentions the members of his/her family who will repatriate with him/her to Greece.
He/she also declares the repatriation certificates that have been issued in the past in his/her name or in the name of his/her spouse or if he/she has been given a certificate for a secondary residence in Greece. He/she also declares the exact address of the residence, in which he/she will stay in Greece.
After that, he/she declares in the detailed list all personal belongings (baggage, means of transport, other items), which he/she will import to Greece.
2. The right for relief from taxation, under the provisions for the repatriates, is only exercised once for the total of relief from taxation.
By exception, the same person may additionally exercise the right for a second time and only for personal belongings that he/she had not received the first time, on the following conditions:
a. After the exercise of the right for the first time, the person left the country again for various reasons and stayed abroad for at least two (2) consecutive years, after the expiry of the twelve-month period from the exercise of the initial right. Any provisional stay of this person in Greece during these two (2) consecutive years, does not create a problem, provided that his/her stay does not exceed ninety (90) days per twelve-month period.
b. When exercising the right for the second time, the person establishes the right, as if it was the first time he/she exercises the right and the remaining -per case- required conditions concur, as provided for by the regulations.
TRANSFER OF SECONDARY RESIDENCE
(Chapter F΄, Decision of the Minister of Economy and Finance no. D.245/88 - articles 22 and 23)
The provisions for the secondary residence grant relief from taxation only for the furniture and other movable items that are imported to furnish or equip a residence in Greece, i.e. only for items of domestic use and items of domestic economy.
The relief from taxation is granted to persons who have their usual residence in a country outside the European Union and import domestic items in order to furnish and equip a secondary residence in Greece, i.e. these persons continue having their usual residence in a country outside the European Union and make a secondary one in Greece.
V.A.T. is collected upon import of the domestic items, i.e. a relief from taxation is provided only for duties and other taxes, except for the Value Added Tax (V.A.T.).
The relief from taxation is granted to the person who:
- has his/her usual residence in a country outside the European Union and
- he/she is an owner of a residence in Greece or has rented it for a period of at least two (2) years.
The relief from taxation is limited to the domestic items which:
- were in the ownership of the beneficiary and were used by him/her in the place of his/her usual residence, for at least six (6) months before he/she exports them from the country where he/she had his/her usual residence, i.e. they must have been used for at least six (6) months.
- they correspond, as to their type and quantity, to the usual furniture and equipment of the particular residence in Greece.
- they are cleared once only or even partially, within a 12-month period from the issuance of the certificate for a secondary residence, which is issued by the competent Greek Consulate.
The domestic items that are imported by a person according to the provisions for the secondary residence are subject to a restrictive period of one year, during which their transfer, concession of use, etc. is not allowed, as in the repatriation restrictions mentioned above.
Moreover, in the event that the person changes residence in Greece before (1) one year lapses from the import of his/her domestic items, he/she must previously ask for approval by the Customs House, to which he/she must make known the new residence in which he/she will reside.
The domestic items for the secondary residence, which are imported from third countries to E.U. countries, are delivered upon receipt of an escrow, bank or written guarantee (from a third solvent person), which will be valid for the restrictive period of a year.
The relief from taxation for the secondary residence is granted once only and, for the relief from taxation to be granted, the beneficiary person must produce to customs the certificate for secondary residence, which is issued by the competent Greek Consulate.
The certificate must confirm all conditions, as provided for above, depending on the case.
If a person has received domestic items according to the provisions for the secondary residence and afterwards he/she exercises his/her repatriation right, provided of course that he/she meets the conditions, he/she cannot import, according to the provisions for repatriation, items similar to those he/she has imported for the secondary residence.
The provisions for the secondary residence do not apply to Greeks working abroad, the Greek civil servants, etc.
PERSONAL ITEMS THAT ARE ACQUIRED IN THE CONTEXT OF HEREDITARY SUCCESSION
(Chapter D΄, Decision of the Minister of Economy and Finance no. D.245/88 - articles 16,
17 and 18)
The personal belongings (household effects, means of transport) which are abroad and devolve by hereditary succession (through a will or intestate succession) to a person who has his/her usual residence in Greece or devolve through a will to non-profit legal entities established in Greece, are exempted from duties and taxes.
With regard to passenger cars for private use, automotive caravans and motorcycles, 20% of the corresponding registration duty is paid.
The personal items must be abroad at the time of death of the person being inherited and the heirs must be persons who are settled in Greece and the items must devolve to them either through a will of the person being inherited or through intestate succession or there must be a will, by which the personal items devolve to a non-profit legal entity, which is based in Greece.
THE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE EXCLUDED FROM THE RELIEF FROM TAXATION:
- alcoholic products
- tobacco and products of tobacco
- vehicles of public use
- items representing, because of their type or quantity, a commercial interest or are intended for an economic (professional) activity, with the exception of the portable instruments and tools that were essential for the practice of the profession of the deceased,
- reserves of raw materials and processed or semi-processed products,
- living animals and reserves of other agricultural products that exceed the quantities corresponding to the usual family needs.
The personal items that devolve by hereditary succession to heirs must be imported and presented to the Customs House all together or even partially, within a period of two (2) years from the date on which they finally devolved to the legal heirs (final settlement of hereditary succession).
In order for the relief from taxation to be granted, the legal heir must produce to the competent Customs House a certificate by the Greek Consulate or the local municipal or communal authority of the country where the inherited personal belongings of the person being inherited are, by which it will be certified that the items imported to Greece were acquired because of hereditary succession (through a will or an intestate succession) and the items being the subject of the heritage will be reported, as well as the legal heirs, to whom the specific personal belongings of the deceased devolve.
The personal items, which are imported in the context of hereditary succession, are not subject to the annual restriction of non-transfer, etc., but they must not have a commercial interest or be used for an economic activity.
ITEMS OF CLOTHING AND SCHOOL MATERIAL FOR PUPILS AND STUDENTS
(Chapter F΄, Decision of the Minister of Economy and Finance no. D.245/88 - article 24)
The clothing, school material and used furniture that constitute the usual furnishing of a student room and belong to pupils or students who have their usual residence abroad and come to Greece exclusively in order to study, are exempted from duties and other taxes.
These items must be intended for personal use of the beneficiary during his/her studies.
A pupil or a student is the person who has been duly registered in an educational institution or school for full attendance of the courses taught in them.
Clothing is the personal and domestic wear and the clothes, used or not.
School material is the objects and instruments (including typewriters and calculators) that pupils and students usually use for the accomplishment of their studies.