Since 1 July 2021, the exemption from value added tax (VAT) on small consignments ordered from outside of the European Union (i.e. third countries) was abolished. Therefore, all consignments from third countries need to be declared and they are subject to VAT.
Declaring parcels in the e-service environment e-MTA
The easiest way to declare consignments is in the e-service environment e-MTA.
You will need the following to fill in the declaration:
- two reference numbers – number of previous document (MRN number) and number of transit document, which you can find from the parcel arrival notification sent to you by courier company or Omniva, and
- a document proving the value of goods, which indicates the name or description of the goods, price of the goods and shipping costs. It can be an invoice, a payment order, a printout of order confirmation, screenshot etc. In the case of a gift, you can use the accompanying documents (parcel card) or ask the sender of the package for this information.
The system automatically calculates tax amounts, which you can pay by using a bank link or at the expense of the balance of your prepayment account.
If you wish to declare:
- goods with reduced VAT rate (except books) or
- goods subject to prohibitions and restrictions or
- goods with value exceeding 1000 euros,
then the declaration must be submitted electronically in the e-MTA in the import customs declaration processing system Impulss. Instruction "Submitting customs declarations in Impulss" (PDF)
You may choose to let your customs declaration be submitted on your behalf by the postal or courier service provider indicated on the parcel arrival notification or any other customs agency of your choice. In this case, you must pay service charges to the customs clearance service provider and import duties before receiving your consignment.
It is possible to download the declaration lodged in the postal parcels application and then whether to print out or forward to the postal service operator or express mail operator for the receipt of the consignment.
The declaration can be downloaded from the list of declarations by using the downloading button (in the red ring on the image) following the buttons showing the declaration state.
In order to see the downloading button shown in the list of declarations in mobile viewing, it may be necessary, in some cases, to turn the view to the landscape mode.
In the second step of the declaration application of postal items, the box ‘Goods have arrived’ is, by fault, filled in by the system.
If you desire to declare the consignment before it has reached Estonia, you can do it if you know the tracking number under which the consignment reaches Estonia. In this case, the mark in the box ‘Goods have arrived’ shall be removed. The declaration lodged like this remains waiting for the goods in the system.
If the goods have arrived and in the case that the tracking number could have been indicated in the documents lodged by the couriers about the arrival of the goods into Estonia, the system will place the declaration into the following states until the goods are released.
If you have received a notice about the arrival of the goods from a courier company, but you have lodged the declaration before the arrival of the goods and have not received an e-mail about the release of the declaration from the declaration application of postal consignments, please forward the relevant information (the notice from the courier and the declaration number) to the customs information at the e-mail address email@example.com.
All goods must be declared even if you have won those goods or you did not have to pay for the goods for any reason. Such goods cannot be considered to have been sent free of charge by a private individual in a third country (such goods are only gifts from a relative or friend).
The goods must be declared at their actual value. To do so, the sender must forward to you/customs a document containing the value of the goods if you had paid for it. You have to pay import taxes on the actual value of the goods.
Customs authorities verify the value of the goods declared. Where the declared value is not acceptable to customs authorities, the customs authorities determine the value themselves. The value is calculated according to trade mark.
Ukrainian war refugees can declare postal parcels orally upon arrival if:
- the parcel has been sent from Ukraine,
- the sender of the parcel is a private individual and
- the parcel recipient has a temporary residence permit on the basis of temporary protection.
The parcel must be dispatched after 24 February 2022 and contain the personal belongings of the recipient.
If all these conditions are met, the parcel can be declared orally regardless of its value.
In order to be declared orally, the recipient of the parcel must contact the postal or courier company immediately upon receipt of the notification of arrival of the parcel. In order to make the process easier, please give the personal identification code issued to the war refugee.
The parcel can also be declared orally if the parcel has been sent in the name of an Estonian person, but the person can prove that the actual recipient of the package is a Ukrainian war refugee.
Even if all the necessary conditions for an oral declaration are not met, please contact the postal or courier company to clarify any exceptions.
NB! Parcels containing goods ordered or purchased online cannot be declared orally.
Payment of taxes
On parcels arrived from outside of the European Union import duties must be paid: VAT, customs duty and excise duty. The size of import duties depend on the commodity code and the country of origin of the goods.
If the value of goods received from outside of the European Union ranges from 0-150 euros, the goods will be taxed with VAT.
As an exception, parcels with value up to 45 euros sent from one private person to another as gifts are exempt from VAT.
VAT rate is 20% in general but, for example, books are taxed with 9% rate.
VAT is calculated on the cost of the goods and shipping costs.
For example, if you order goods from AliExpress for 4 euros (+ shipping cost 1euro), then VAT (20%) must be paid on the total amount of 5 euros (4 euros +1 euro).
In order to simplify VAT payment on consignments of low value the IOSS (Import One Stop Shop) special scheme on goods imported from outside of the European Union has been established. More information on the IOSS special scheme.
If the online store or sales platform is using the IOSS special scheme, the buyer (customer ordering the goods, consignee) can pay VAT conveniently at the moment of purchase. It means that VAT is added to the price of the goods at purchase and when the goods reach Estonia, VAT does not have to be paid additionally.
In this case, the consignment still has to be declared, but it can be done by a postal or courier company instead of the consignee. Please follow the instructions of the postal or courier company. Guidelines of Omniva can be read at the website of Omniva (in Estonian).
Whether the seller is using the IOSS scheme, can be specified by the seller, who has to present the payable VAT amount at the end of the ordering process at the latest.
Good to know
If you ordered goods from an online store, which is using the IOSS scheme and you paid VAT to the seller at the moment of order, but still received a notice for declaration, please ask for the IOSS number from the seller.
In order to receive the tax exemption, add the IOSS number received from the seller to the customs declaration.
If you order goods from an online store in a country outside the EU and pay VAT at the time of purchase, you must indicate the IOSS number provided by the seller on the declaration.
Later addition of the IOSS number to the declaration and application for a refund of VAT from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board are not permitted.
If you forget to indicate the IOSS number, you must contact the seller of the goods in order to recover the double paid VAT.
If the value of a consignment does not exceed 150 euros, customs duty does not have to be paid; except when the consignment contains alcohol, tobacco products, perfume or toilet water.
Consignments with value exceeding 150 euros are taxed with customs duty in addition to VAT.
The size of customs duty depends on the type of goods and usually ranges between 0-17%. For example, customs duty for clothes is 12% and for books and mobile phones 0%. The basis for taxation with customs duty is customs value, i.e. expenses made for importing goods are added to the actually paid price.
You can find the customs duty rate according to the commodity code from the Estonian Tariff System.
It is possible to use the uniform customs duty rate of 2.5% on consignments of gifts of natural persons. If the value of a natural person’s parcel free of charge is above 700 euros, it is necessary to find the customs duty rate from the Estonian Tariff System according to the commodity code for each item.
The basis for taxation with customs duty is the customs value of goods. Customs value consists of the actual price paid or payable by the buyer to the seller and the expenses (e.g. shipping costs) made when importing the goods.
The additional customs duty of 25 per cent shall apply to the import of certain products originating in the US.
Commission Implementing Regulation 2018/886 laid down since 22 July 2018 an application of additional duties on the importation of the products listed in Annex I and originating in the US (for example, jeans, T-shirts, cosmetics, tobacco products, sports footwear, motorcycles, boats, etc.). Trade names, rates of customs duties and other requirements can be found in the Estonian Customs Tariff (ETT), by opening there “For the commodity code to be declared” under “Measures” and entering the CN code and the country of origin.
The goods with a value of less than 150 euros are exempt from additional customs duty.
Excise goods are exempt from excise duty only if they are gifts that meet the conditions for tax exemption.
Alcohol and tobacco products which do not meet the conditions for exemption from excise duty are subject to excise duty in the (indicative) quantities specified in § 471 and § 571 of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act.
Excise duty rates:
Receipt of consignments
You receive your postal item from a provider of postal services or express mail services. Please specify the possibilities of receiving postal items on the website of providers of postal services or express mail services, or contact the following contact points.
Last updated: 21.04.2022