This section explains the laws in force regarding import/export of goods and currency for EU and non-EU tourists traveling to and from the European Union.
- Travel within the European Union
No quantitative limits exist in regards to what is purchased or carried within the EU for personal use,
Excepting: Some categories that must not supercede the fixed maximum quantity. They are:
Tobacco Products: 800 cigarettes, 400 cigarillos, 200 cigars, or 1 kg smoking tobacco;
Alcohol and alcoholic beverages: 10 liters alcoholic beverages above 22% strength, 20 liters alcoholic beverages below 22% strength, 90 liters wine (only 60 liters of which can be sparkling wine) and 110 liters beer.
- Travel from/to non-EU Countries
From December 1, 2008, travelers arriving from a non-EU country can carry products and consumer goods in their personal luggage without having to fulfill customs formalities, provided that their value does not exceed €300 per traveler.
This amount is increased to €430 for air or sea travel and again, provided that no commercial use is intended.
For travelers under 15 years of age, the maximum value permitted is €150 on all transport.
For the categories listed below, the following quantities are allowed:
Tobacco products: 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos (maximum 3 g each), 50 cigars or 250 g smoking tobacco;
Alcohol and alcoholic beverages: 1 liter of alcohol or alcoholic beverages above 22% strength or of non-methylated spirits above 80% strength; or 2 liters of alcohol and alcoholic beverages below 22% strength.
No value limit exists in regards to purchases.
However, destination countries may enforce limits on import of such purchases. It is best to be informed by checking with the Embassy of the country in question before departing.
For more information on animals, protected species, arms, cultural goods and medicines, see the Traveler's Customs Charter.
- Consumer Goods Purchased in Italy by Non-EU Tourists
Travelers residing or living outside the European Union can obtain a refund on the VAT tax included in the price of goods purchased in Italy.
− the overall value of the purchased goods must exceed €154.94 (VAT included);
− the goods are intended for personal or family use and are carried in personal luggage;
− the purchase must be certified by an invoice containing the description of the goods, the personal data of the traveler, and the details of his passport or of any equivalent document;
− the goods must leave the EU territory within a three-month period, beginning from the end of the month during which the product was purchased;
− the goods and the relevant invoice must be exhibited at the customs offices of exit from the EU territory, in order to obtain the stamp proving that the goods have effectively left the EU territory;
− the invoice thus stamped must be returned to the Italian seller within four months from the end of the month during which the goods were purchased.
In order to obtain a refund or relief on VAT tax, the purchased goods must always be exhibited at the Customs Office.
- Trade of Cultural Heritage Works
Tourists who buy paintings, sculptures or antiques, etc., are entitled to receive from the seller the documentation attesting their “authenticity or at least the probable attribution and origin” (l’autenticità o almeno la probabile attribuzione e la provenienza).
Not all cultural heritage can be traded or exported.
For works that are less than 50 years old or works of living artists, the tourist must present self-certification to the Export Office that states the cultural good is less than 50 years old or made by a living artist. The certification must include two photographs of the item in question, along with a copy of the buyer’s identification document.
For works that are more than 50 years old, the buyer must present the cultural heritage work to the Export Office in order to obtain a certificate of free circulation (if the seller has not already registered it). The time required to obtain the free circulation varies from a minimum of 15 to a maximum of 40 days. It is important to be aware that the free circulation certificate is not a right, and therefore can be denied if the Export Office deems its export a damage to the Italian national cultural heritage.
To find Export Offices throughout Italy, click here.
- Currency Transfers
No declaration is necessary for personal transport of currency or negotiable instruments at a value of up to €10,000. For amounts exceeding €10,000, an appropriate customs declaration form can be found on the Italian Customs Agency’s website.
Download the declaration present it, completed, when entering or exiting Italian territory.