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The Icelandic Directorate of Customs

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Tollstjóri - Duty free

Duty free imports

Travel gear and other luggage

Travelers who are residing abroad may import free of duty clothing and other travel gear which they bring into Iceland for their personal use, provided that these articles may be deemed to be suitable and normal relative to the purpose of the journey, the length of stay and circumstances in general.

Food

Travelers may import duty-free up to 3 kg of food, including candy, not exceeding the value of ISK 25.000.

Meat products may be imported if they have been boiled or canned. Smoking, salting or drying without boiling is unsatisfactory. It's for example, not permitted to import bacon, sausages (salami and any kind of smoked uncooked sausages), saddles or pork, poultry, uncooked milk and uncooked eggs.

It is important for packaging to show ingredients.

Alcoholic beverages and tobaccos

In addition to goods referred to above, travelers can import duty-free alcoholic beverages and tobacco products as follows:

  • 1 liter spirits and 1 liter wine and 6 liters beer or
  • 3 liters wine and 6 liters beer or
  • 1 liter spirits and 9 liters beer or
  • 1,5 liters wine and 9 liters beer or
  • 12 liters beer

Spirits comprise alcoholic beverages containing more than 21% alcohol; wines comprise alcoholic beverages, other than beer, containing 21% alcohol or less.

  • 200 cigarettes or 250 g of other tobacco products

The minimum age for bringing alcoholic beverages into Iceland is 20 years and 18 years for tobaccos.

Icelandic residents

Travellers who live in Iceland may bring duty free the luggage they brought with them abroad furthermore they can bring one or more items of duty free goods worth in total up to 88,000 ISK according to the purchase price at the place of purchase, children younger than 12 years may carry duty free goods for half that amount.

Import restrictions and prohibitions

The provisions of the regulations regarding duty-free imports by travelers do not give exemptions from import restrictions nor import prohibitions on various types of articles in accordance with law, regulations or other administrative instructions.

Restricted articles

Among goods which are subject to import restrictions are the following types of products:

  • Telephones and other communications equipment
    The importation of various types of telephonic and communications equipment is subject to a permit from the Post and Telecom Administration. Equipment requiring such permit includes cordless phones, remote control devices for toys and radio transmitters and receivers not intended for regular broadcasting reception. However, a permit is not required if a traveler imports one GSM mobile phone.
  • Angling gear and riding clothing
    Angling gear and riding clothing which has been used outside Iceland, including gloves, boots and waders, may be brought into the country if it has been disinfected according to valid regulations. A certificate of disinfection, issued by an authorized veterinary officer, will be acceptable, if presented to customs. If such a certificate is not presented, the gear has to be disinfected at the possessors' own cost on arrival.
  • Used riding gear
     It is prohibited to import to the country used riding gear, including saddles, bridles, halters and whips of leather.
  • Firearms and Ammunition
    For firearms and ammunition, which a traveler brings in for own use, a permit is required from the police authorities.
    For person holding a European firearms permit who intends to engage in hunting or to practice sports shooting in Iceland may, however, import to the country the firearms specified in such a permit without a special permit from the Chief of Police, if his stay does not exceed three months and provided such firearms are permitted in this country. He is also authorized to import suitable quantity of ammunition for the firearms he brings with him.
  • Live Animals
    Live animals may be imported only with a permit from the Ministry of Agriculture.
  • Medicines
    Travelers may import conventional medicines suitable for personal needs during their stay in Iceland. There is a criterion: the medicines may not exceed 100 days consumption. Customs officers can request a doctor´s certificate if appropriate.
  • Flowers and other plants
    A phytosanitary certificate issued by the relevant authorities in the country of cultivation, endorsed by the Icelandic Agricultural Research Institute, is generally required. Without a certificate a traveler may bring along a bunch of flowers (up to 25 plants), bulbs, tubers and tuberous roots from Europe in unbroken packaging (up to 2 kg) and pot-plants from Europe (up to 3 pcs).

Prohibited articles

Among articles which are prohibited from importation are the following types of products:

  • Narcotics and dangerous drugs
  • Uncooked meat and various meat products e.g. dried meat, uncooked smoked ham, bacon, saddle of pork, smoked uncooked sausages (e.g. salami), uncooked poultry etc.
    Meat and meat products have to be fully cooked in order to be allowed into the country.
  • Uncooked milk and uncooked eggs.
  • Various weapons, e.g. daggers with blades exceeding 12 cm, switchblade knives and flick stilettos, knuckles and various truncheons, crossbows and handcuffs.
  • Finely powdered snuff.
  • Moist snuff to be used orally, also available in bags.

If a traveler suspects that the importation of any item, which he is bringing to Iceland, might be restricted or prohibited, he should declare and produce it at customs at his own initiative.

General conditions of duty-free admission

Customs exemptions apply to goods which the traveler concerned has in his possession upon arrival to Iceland and is able to produce to customs for examination.

Duty-free importation may also be permitted for unaccompanied baggage if the traveler is able to prove that the baggage would have qualified for duty-free admission if he had brought it with him.

The goods must solely be intended for the personal use of the person concerned, his family or as gifts.

Goods intended for sale or other commercial purposes may not be imported free of duty.

On leaving Iceland travelers must take along the articles they imported duty-free in so far as they have not been expended in the country.

Customs clearance

A traveler arriving in Iceland from abroad shall voluntarily declare to a customs officer and produce to him all goods in his possession which he cannot import duty free or are subject to import restrictions or import prohibitions.

If there are red and green channels where the customs clearance of travelers takes place, they are expected to choose channels and by doing so indicate whether they are carrying goods which can be freely imported or not.

The red channel is for those who have in their possession:

  • dutiable goods or
  • goods which are subject to import restrictions.

The green channel is for those who have nothing to declare.

If in doubt as to the rules of customs privileges for travelers, import restrictions etc., it is advisable to choose the red channel.

Customs officers can always request to examine those going through the green channel; the same applies in general at customs examination places that do not have separate customs clearance facilities. These persons must render all relevant assistance, e.g. by opening suitcases and containers, empty their content and to give such information about the luggage as may be requested. If such an inspection reveals goods which have not been declared in accordance with above instructions, the person in question may be liable to legal proceedings.

Vehicles

Special regulations apply concerning the temporary duty-free importation of motor vehicles cf. a special section for further information.

Currency

Travelers arriving to the country or departing from the country for abroad shall voluntary declare amounts of cash which they have in their possession exceeding an amount equal to EUR 10.000 based on the official adjustment rate of exchange as it is registered at any given time.

Natural Objects

The Nature Conservation Act is intended to ensure the protection of the diversity of habitats and landscapes, flora and fauna. In the Icelandic flora there are now 31 protected species of higher plants and it is forbidden to collect specimens of these species or damage them in any way.

According to a legislation concerning bird-hunting and bird protection in Iceland the export of birds, birds' eggs, eggshells and nests is strictly prohibited. Law protects all stalactites and stalagmites in caves throughout the country and it is forbidden to break or damage these in any way.

Objects of historical or archaeological interest may not be taken out of the country without special permission from the Icelandic Museum of Natural History.

Customs authorities encourage visitors to Iceland to respect and understand that nature is an important, but delicate, resource of permanent value.

Updated march 2013

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