What other requirements must be met in order to be exempt from paying taxes and duties?
- You transfer your normal place of residence to an EU member state.
- The personal property belongs to you.
- You have used the personal property at your former normal place of residence for a minimum of six months before the date on which you cease to have your normal place of residence in the third country of departure.
- You are using the personal property for the same purpose at your new normal place of residence.
- You had your normal place of residence outside the customs territory of the European Community for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
- Relief shall be granted only in respect of personal property entered for free circulation within 12 months from the date of establishment, by the person concerned, of his normal place of residence in the customs territory of the Community.
- Until twelve months have elapsed from the date on which its entry for free circulation was accepted, personal property which has been admitted duty-free may not be lent, given as security, hired or transferred, whether for a consideration or free of charge, without prior notification of the competent customs office.
Overview of the time limits to be observed
Normal place of residence
Your normal place of residence is the domicile where you live for a minimum of 185 days in a calendar year, on account of your personal relations. It must be possible to conclude that you have close contacts to the location, on account of your personal relations (e.g. your family lives there). If your occupational relations are at a different domicile, and if you stay alternately at various places within and outside of the European Communities, then the domicile with personal relations is regarded as your normal place of residence, if you return there on a regular basis. If you do not return on a regular basis, the domicile at your occupational relations is regarded as your normal place of residence. However, if your stay on account of occupational relations is due to the performance of an assignment of limited duration, then the domicile with personal relations is always regarded as normal place of residence.
Transferring your normal place of residence to an EU member state means that you give up your previous normal place of residence abroad and establish a new normal place of residence in the EU. Studying at a university or attending a school does not constitute a transfer of your normal place of residence. You can keep your prior domicile abroad as a subsidiary domicile.
Special case: A transfer of one`s normal place of residence also occurs when a person returns to Austria from a stay in a non-EU country (without transferring the normal place of residence to that place at the same time) that was due to occupational reasons, if a time limit for that stay was given in advance, and if the stay continued for a minimum of twelve consecutive months. However, in this case you must have paid the taxes and/or duties that are generally due on personal property in that non-EU country. Nor must the goods have been exempt from value-added tax when being exported.
To possess does not only refer to ownership but also to cases in which the proprietor can dispose of goods on economic terms as though he/she were the owner. For example, he/she may rent out the good. Goods therefore also belong to persons when they buy them on credit or are lessees (in the case of a financing lease with a purchase option).
In this context, the goods may not be new items. This restriction does not apply whenever the goods are intended for consumption (e.g. foodstuffs).
An example: You must not use your car, which previously served for your personal use, to run a taxi business at your new domicile.
Twelve months abroad
This period is calculated as of the date on which you abandon your normal place of residence. The customs authorities may also grant exemption from taxes and duties if it was your intention to stay abroad for a continuous period of at least 12 months but had to return earlier because, for example, your employer terminated your contract earlier.
You must relocate within twelve months from the date of establishment of your normal place of residence in the Community. It is also possible to import partial shipments during that period.
Ban on disposal
If, for example, you should wish to loan, give as security, hire out, or transfer your personal property before 12 months have elapsed from the date on which entry of the personal property for free circulation was accepted, you should definitely inform the customs authorities in advance. In this case you will have to pay import taxes and duties on the goods in question, at the valuation rates applicable at the time of disposal, before you can transfer the goods to a third party.