When sending postal or express mail consignments from a non-European Union country (or a third country) (for example, goods ordered from an e-shop or a gift from a private person), you have to consider the completion of customs formalities.
Quantitative limitations free of duty have been set for alcohol, tobacco products, perfume, eau de cologne, coffee and tea.
Special requirements have been established for sending of certain goods (food products, medicinal products and so on) and sending of certain goods are prohibited.
It is prohibited to bring tobacco products or related products to Estonia through cross-border distance selling (Tobacco Act § 312). In the case of violation of this prohibition the Estonian Tax and Customs Board may commence a misdemeanour procedure.
Cross-border distance selling of tobacco products or related products is the trade in these products to consumers where, at the time the consumer orders the product from a retailer, the consumer is located in Estonia and the retailer is established in another EU Member State or a third country.
Postal items arrived in Estonia by means of distance selling are neither delivered to customers nor returned to consignors.
It is necessary to declare the consignment before it is received. Whether import duties (customs duties, VAT, excise duty) are due for the consignment depends on the value, quantity and sender of the consignment.
If you want to use a customs clearance service for declaration in writing, then the customs clearance costs shall be covered as well. Providers of postal or express mail services themselves provide customs clearance services or customs agencies.
- Declaration of goods »
- The additional duty of 25% has been imposed on the import of certain goods originating from the United States »
- Redispatch of goods or sending goods for work under guarantee »
- The instructions for accepting corrections in the declaration in Complex (635.15 KB, PDF)
- Instructions for ticking the box "Goods arrived" in the declaration of a postal consignment »
No import duties have to be paid or declared in writing if a private person of a third country has sent a consignment free of charge (for example, gift items from a relative or a friend) and the value of goods in the consignment remains under 45 euros and containing alcohol, tobacco products, perfume*, eau de cologne**, coffee or tea does not exceed the following quantitative limitations:
tobacco products: up to 50 cigarettes or 25 cigarillos or 10 cigars or 120 grams of solid tobacco substitute or 20 grams of other alternative tobacco products or 50 grams of smoking tobacco
alcohol: 6 litres of beer and 2 litres of fermented beverages, and additionally either 1 litre of alcohol (regardless of ethanol content) or 2 litres of wine
500 grams of coffee or 200 grams of coffee extract or coffee essence
100 grams of tea or 40 grams of tea extract or tea essence
The abovementioned information in the form of a table:
|The way how the consignment was received||Cost limit||Restrictions on goods items||Legal basis|
|Received by a private person of the EU free of charge from a private person of a third state (for example, gift items from a relative or a friend) for personal use||Does not exceed 45 euros||
If following goods items exceed:
|Articles 25 to 27 of the Council Regulation 1186/2009, subsection 17 (2) and clause 17 (1) 10) of the Value-Added Tax Act, §§ 48 and 58 of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act|
* Perfumes and fragrances (eau de perfume) usually contain essential oils, including concretes, absolutes or mixtures of synthetic odoriferous substances dissolved in alcohol of high concentration. Besides, they usually contain additives with faint odour, fixatives and stabilizers.
** Toilet waters (eau de toilette, eau de cologne) – for example, lavender water, eau de cologne (not to be confused with aqueous distillates and aqueous solutions of essential oils under heading 3301 of the Combined Nomenclature) – contain essential oils and so on to a lesser extent, and alcohol the concentration of which is generally lower than in the perfumes described above.
- if the consignment is purchased (received for a charge) from an economic operator of a third state (for example, an e-shop) or from a private person
- if a private person of a third country has sent a consignment free of charge (for example, gift items from a relative or a friend), but:
- the value of goods for customs purposes in the consignment (amendment since 01.05.2016) exceeds 45 euros or
the abovementioned goods have exceeded the quantitative limit
If the customs value of the consignment sent by a private person free of charge exceeds 45 euros, but contains various items, duty exemption may be applied, by the person’s own choice, to this item only the customs value whereof remains under 45 euros (for example, if there are three items in the consignment with the customs value of 40, 50 and 35 euros, the duty exemption may be chosen for one item – the customs value whereof shall be 40 or 35 euros only).
If the goods sent by a private person free of charge are subject to quantitative limits (1 piece) and the value of the goods exceeds 45 euros, the import duties shall be imposed on the goods in full.
Several online stores grant various benefits when purchasing goods, these are named differently, for example:
trial price – if the goods item is purchased for the first time;
- loyalty credit – in general, a certain percentage of the goods price ordered, and usually it may be found also in the list of use conditions of the online store;
rewards – bonus points created by sales volume/ advertising work of the buyer (the buyer shares the information with his/her friends on the Internet, the friends purchase the same items from the same online store).
On importation of goods and paying import duties, it is important to make a distinction which benefits may be deducted from the customs value of the goods (taxable goods value) and which not.
The customs value of goods may not be confused with the price of goods!
As concerns the customs value, it is important that the discount is related to the goods to be imported. Besides this, discounts can be considered only when the application and amounts thereof are prescribed by the sales contract.
If a loyalty credit or a trial price may be considered in some respects to be related to a particular item imported, then the so-called "reward" or a compensation/premium is not.
To sum up, if an online store provides benefits to you, then you may deduct such amounts from the customs value of goods only when you can produce evidence that a beneficial price applied to the particular goods to be imported (a discount) is in question. As evidence the customs authorities accept a service contract wherewith you complied on entering the customer programme of the online store and where there is definitely provided the amount of discount distributed to you. Besides this, the amount of discount must be fixed on the invoice. The points received from distributing the information are not considered as a discount related to the goods imported. See order example (397.51 KB, PDF).
In order to send or order certain goods into Estonia, quantitative limitations or requirement for the special permit has been established for bringing these in.
Please be sure to examine the special requirements before sending or ordering goods!
- Medicinal products and food supplements
- Food products
- Product conformity check
- Hemp seeds, mycelia and spores
It is not allowed to send in a postal or an express mail consignment the following:
- smokeless tobacco products
A smokeless tobacco product means a tobacco product not involving a combustion process. Smokeless tobacco products are chewing tobacco, nasal tobacco (snuff) and tobacco for oral use.
- narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
- medicinal products containing narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances
- full blood and blood components
- anabolic steroids
- cells and tissues for medicinal use
- advanced therapy medicinal products
- weapons and their parts
- ammunition and its parts
- tear gas and nerve gas cylinders
- inert explosives and munition and their replicas, including for example, inert grenades and shells (missiles) and their replicas
- radioactive substances
- toxic substances
The following is also prohibited:
- mail order sale of medicinal products, except from registered online pharmacies
deliveries of medicinal products in postal or express mail consignments ordered on the Internet, except from the registered online pharmacies
- Consignments to a natural person containing goods subject to excise duty »
- Postal consignments under special conditions
- The exchange rates between euro and foreign currencies »
 Paragraph 130 (1) of the Commission Implementing regulation (EU) 2015/2447