Moving Your Household Items and Vehicle from USA to Romania


Romania Canal

Moving to a new city is not at all like relocating to a different country. First of all, you will spend hours upon hours getting all the paperwork you’ll need ready. You’ll also face inspections of your shipment by customs, possibly a lengthy clearing process and even import duties or taxes. All of this extra red tape means that you need to be prepared, and that starts by knowing the ins and outs of the process. To help you with your move to Romania, we’ll need to discuss both the documentation and duties that you can expect for your household belongings and your vehicle.

Import Duties For Your Household Items

If you’re relocating permanently to Romania, then you probably don’t want to leave the majority of your household belongings behind. While you may downsize to a degree to avoid paying transport charges for items you no longer need – you’ll still have a great deal of possessions to bring with you. That begs the question, are you going to be charged import taxes and duties when these goods cross the Romanian border (or enter port if you’re shipping them by sea)?

You’ll be relieved to hear that if you follow certain easily-met guidelines – you can import your household belongings without paying a dime in added taxes or duties. The first requirement to receive this benefit, is that these items be purchased a minimum of six months ago. The second is that you aren’t intending to sell them within Romania, for at least the first two years after moving (1). That’s all that is necessary to avoid any import duties or taxes, which makes this part of the customs process straightforward and simple.

What is more complicated, is the paperwork required for your shipment to clear customs.

Paperwork For Your Household Items

The Documents You’ll Need

Usually the most rigorous part of any relocation, the documentation you’ll need to submit to customs is extensive. They’ll want to see your passport and visa, which you were no doubt expecting. Less common paperwork required that you may not be familiar with, is your Original Bill of Lading or Air Waybill. Customs also requires an official letter from your employer (with their fiscal code included), that tells them the date you’ll begin working.

A housing contract or lease is also necessary, along with your Residence Permit (giving you permission to live long-term in the country). A specialized customs form call the CMR could be required as well, and the information on how much your shipment weighs. Your weights should not be estimated, as they must be confirmed by an agent (whether a customs official or a representative of your shipping company isn’t specified) at the shipment’s country of origin. A Romanian Employer’s Registration is also obligatory paperwork, and you must get this from the Romanian Chamber of Commerce (2).

Other Regulations You Should Know

Romanian customs recognizes that you may not have your housing situation yet settled, when first moving into the country. For this reason, they kindly give you six full months after relocating, to provide them with a copy of your Residence Permit (3). Once they have received proof of your Residence Permit, you are given 90 days to import your household items without paying import duty or tax. If you import your belongings after this time frame expires, you’ll be assessed the full import duty and tax on your shipment. The good news is, if you move out of Romania in the future, as long as you take your belongings back out of the country with you – these import fees will be returned (4).

If you already have your Residence Permit when first entering the country, then you may bring in your shipment along with you right then and there – without being hit with the typical import duties or taxes.

Your EORI Number

If you’ve never moved to an EU country before, then this final requirement will likely come as a surprise. According to new rules passed by the EU, you’re now required to apply for and receive an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number (5). If you fail to do so, your shipment will be stuck indefinitely in customs, until you obtain this (or it could even be shipped back to the shipment’s country of origin at your expense).

Import Duties For Your Vehicle

The decision on whether you should bring your vehicle with you to Romania, likely hinges on the costs involved to transport it. This means you should do your due diligence, and hire a highly-rated international vehicle transport company that also has competitive rates. Yet, the transport cost isn’t the only factor – as vehicle importation duties also come into play.

Regrettably, the policy regarding importation duty and tax for vehicles entering Romania isn’t abundantly clear. Respected sources seemingly disagree on this topic, with one holding that value-added tax (VAT) and import duty will be assessed on your vehicle by customs (but this might be refunded upon exportation) (6). Another differs in opinion, stating that a Bank Guarantee is required – but these funds held in escrow will be returned to you, when you transport your vehicle out of Romania upon leaving the country (7).

It’s possible that both sources could be correct in certain instances. It’s also possible that another scenario applies to your specific shipment. Due to this uncertainty, you should speak with Romanian customs about the particulars of your situation – to determine if your vehicle will require import taxes and duties to be paid.

Paperwork For Your Vehicle

Overlap in Customs Documentation

There is a good deal of overlap between your household goods and vehicle, when it comes to the documents you’ll need to pass through customs. Much of the paperwork we’ve already discussed above, will therefore be necessary when trying to clear your vehicle at the border or port of entry. Your EORI number is a good example, and this is a necessary piece of information that customs will ask for.

Extra Paperwork Needed

Some extra paperwork is required as well, such as evidence that you have insurance for the vehicle and also your license plate certificates. You’ll also need to have the receipt or purchase invoice for your vehicle. This document must list the date and place it was purchased, as well as the figure paid for the vehicle. The original title and registration from your country of origin, must be presented to customs as well (8).

Vehicle Registration

Actually one of the first pieces of documentation that you’ll need, you’re not permitted to ship your vehicle until it’s been properly registered. Such registration can’t be procured, until after you receive your Residence Permit (9).

Vehicle registration does incur a cost that’s calculated based upon the classification of your particular vehicle. If your vehicle falls within Euro 3 specifications, it will be cheaper to register it for shipment. If it is classified as Euro 1 instead – the registration fee could be quite high (10). Also, be aware that you’ll only be allowed to ship a single vehicle for every driver in your household – which is important to keep in mind if you have several vehicles that you’d like to transport into the country.



Found on Atlas International “Importing Personal Property Into Romania” page





Found on Atlas International “Importing Personal Property Into Romania” page



Expect delays if you don’t have an EORI number:


Individuals importing goods from outside the EU need an EORI number:


Found on Atlas International “Importing Personal Property Into Romania” page



Found on Atlas International “Importing Personal Property Into Romania” page






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