Entry from EU Countries

This chapter contains information when travelling to Austria from EU countries.

However, special conditions apply to certain parts of these countries (e.g. the Faeroe Islands, Greenland, Helgoland, Büsingen, the Åland Islands, France's overseas territories and départements, the Channel Islands, the Canary Islands, Ceuta, Melilla):

  • For entries from the marked regions, the provisions regarding the entry from non-EU countries apply only in connection with other import charges (e.g. value-added tax on imports). No customs duties must be levied.
  • Entries from the other regions (not marked) are treated the same way as entries from non-EU countries.

The free movement of goods in the EU

When you have bought goods in the EU, these goods can move freely throughout the EU. Value-added tax, as well as possible other charges (e.g. excise duties on beer, alcohol, tobacco) were basically included in the purchase price and levied in the EU country where you bought the goods. When you have acquired goods in this manner, you can move them freely in the EU with your personal luggage (please pay attention to the special regulations).

This principle applies to all private movements of goods with three exceptions:

  • When buying a new motor vehicle, you must pay purchase tax (a type of VAT) and NoVA (standard consumption tax). However, you will receive the vehicle from your seller exempt from VAT.  
  • Tobacco or alcoholic beverages in your personal luggage are tax-exempt only to the extent that they are for your own personal use. When exceeding the indicative levels listed below, you must demonstrate that the goods really are for your personal use:
Cigarettes 800 items
Cigarillos 400 items
Cigars 200 items
Smoking tobacco1kg
Spirits10 litres
Other alcoholic beverages than beer, sparkling wine or wine up to 22 % volume20 litres
Wine (including a maximum of 60 litres of sparkling wine)90 litres
Beer110 litres

In deviation from these indicative quantities the following special regulation applies:  

For cigarettes that you bring into Austria in your luggage from Hungary, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania or Bulgaria, the tax-exempt quantity shall be 300 pieces as from 1 March 2014. You shall immediately declare (orally) any number of cigarettes in excess of this quantity at the customs office and pay tobacco duties.

Customs Controls

In principle, there are no customs controls when you enter Austria. When arriving by air, you can therefore use the Blue Channel (exit for EU-travellers). This does not apply, however, to journeys that you began outside the EU and where you only changed planes inside the EU. In this case, your personal luggage was only transferred to another plane without any customs check.

If there is no Blue Channel, you can use the Green Channel.

Customs officers, however, must continue to conduct certain checks in order to make sure that prohibitions and restrictions on imports, for example, are observed. These checks help, inter alia, to ensure your own safety and security, to prevent any illegal trade in prohibited goods, as well as to protect the health of persons, animals and plants, as well as the environment.

If you arrive from an EU country by way of a non-EU country or after a stop-over in a non-EU country, the customs check is carried out in accordance with the provisions for entry into Austria from a non-EU country.

Traveling within the EU via Switzerland (or via other non-EU countries)

If you travel from one EU member state to another EU member state and pass through Switzerland (or another non-EU country), you can carry with you goods to the extent that they are for your own personal use. In this case no customs procedures are necessary as long as the duty-free allowance is respected, both for entering into Switzerland and returning to the EU.

When exceeding the duty-free allowance, the goods have to be declared when entering into Switzerland. The Swiss authorities may require a guarantee which will be returned to you when leaving the country.

When returning to the EU you have to declare the goods again. No fees will be charged if you can prove that the goods are brought in from another EU country and are intended for your own personal use.