Moving and Shipping to Portugal


Moving to Portugal

Registration / Residence Permits

Nationals of a European Economic Area Member State and Families

For a period of residence of up to three months there are no conditions and formalities other than the need to hold a valid identity card or passport. Direct family members of a national of an EEA Member State who hold one of these documents enjoy the same rights.

Nationals of EEA Member States who intend to move to Portugal for over three months must register within 30 days of the end of their first three months in the country at the Town Council (Municipality) in which they live. When they register they are issued with a registration certificate which is valid for five years or for the period of residence, if less than five years.


The issuing of a certificate of registration requires a valid identity card or passport and a sworn declaration that the applicant.

1. Is working under a contract of employment

2. Self-employed in Portugal

3. Have sufficient resources for himself and for his family

4. Is registered in a public or private education establishment and has sufficient resources to maintain themselves and their family


Moving to Portugal


Nationals of an EEA Member State who move to Portugal must ask the Town Council (Municipality) where they live for a registration certificate. Before these can be issued, a valid identity card or passport, a document proving the family relationship and the registration certificate of the national of the EEA Member State they are accompanying or going to join must be presented.

Family members of nationals of an EEA Member State who are nationals of a third country must apply for a residence card from the Direcção (Central Office) or Delegação Regional [Regional Office] of the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras [Immigration Service] in the area where they live within 30 days of the end of their first three months in Portugal.

Before the residence card can be issued, a valid passport, a document confirming the family relationship and the registration certificate of the national of the EEA Member State who they are accompanying or going to join must be presented.

August 2010 © European Communities 1995-2010 Reproduction Authorised


Making your Home in Portugal

Making your New Home in Portugal


What an Exciting time

Closing your real estate transaction and holding the key to your new home in Portugal is a fantastic feeling, however a wonderful part of this procedure can be found when it comes to moving into your new home.

Drawing from personal experience, I know there are lots of ways to help make your household move easier and smoother.


Make a list

Before you pack even one box, set up a simple record keeping system.  Then place a number on each and every box you pack and include its contents on your list beside the appropriate number.

Make sure to be specific when describing the boxes contents. “X-Z files” is better than “files”, and “Plastic ware” is better than “misc. kitchen” Packing time can be a great incentive to cut down on your belongings.

Separate items you aren’t sure about into three groups; throw away, keep, give to charity (or sell, if you’re into garage sales).


Organisation helps you plan for a peaceful and exciting move

Obtain plenty of supplies. When you think you have enough, get more, as you will need more supplies and boxes than you think you, and you can always return unused supplies once the truck is loaded up.

Don’t forget the plastic packing tape and either newsprint, packing paper or bubble wrap. Use wardrobe boxes. Not only are these boxes great for clothes that need to remain hanging, but they are ideal for bulky, lightweight items (comforters, pillows, blankets, etc.).  Just remember to keep these boxes light enough to carry.


More moving strategies

Colour Coordinate. Designate a colour for each room in the new home.  Then put coloured stickers on the box that belongs in the appropriately coloured room.  Don’t forget to put a matching sticker on the door of each room as well.

Pack ahead

Pack up anything you don’t need for the last few days/weeks you are in your house.  Pare everything down to “must-haves”.  This will save you valuable time on moving day.

Use your luggage

Clothing, sheets, towels and paper goods are just the thing to pack into your duffle bags and luggage.

Don’t forget

Keep the items you will need for your first day/night once you have moved.  Include bedding, shower curtain and other things you will need before you can get unpacked. Moving is certainly not the most fun you can have, but good planning definitely helps make the process bearable.



Shipping Information

Shipping to Portugal


Make your Move to Portugal Easier

Portugal is the perfect destination, offering history, culture, affordability, long sunny days and sunsets to remember and some of the finest fish and shellfish you will ever taste. Therefore, if you are moving to this beautiful country it is important to know how to ship your household goods, vehicles, the regulations and tips for a better shipping process.

The name Portugal comes from the ancient name of Oporto, from Latin "Portus-Galliae" Port of Gallia, due to the ships that frequently used this port. It is the country of ports. The port of Lisbon is the main maritime terminal of Portugal on the Atlantic ocean whilst 32,000 hectares of basin makes it perfect for any size of ocean bound transportation.


Shipping Personal Goods or Cars:

You will require the following documentation:

  • Commercial invoice
  • Bill of lading
  • Certificate of origin


For personal goods under 1000 kg or up to EUR 1000, you will need a verbal declaration and invoice presented to customs. For higher value items, you will need the following:

  • A declaration of the goods
  • A common law declaration (SAD, single administrative document), as well as the accompanying documents to allow their clearance. The SAD form can be obtained from Chambers of Commerce or an approved printer. A computerised Customs clearance platform (SOFI: International freight computer system) can be accessed in Customs offices or in some Chambers of Commerce.


Duties on imports from non-EU countries, including the United States, are taxed on an ad valorem basis. Most raw materials enter duty-free or at low rates, most manufactured goods are subject to rates between 3.5 and 18%. The minimum tariff schedule is applied to goods originating in countries entitled to the benefits of most-favored nation treatment (members of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and countries with which the EU has signed trade agreements). Special tariffs exist for tobacco, alcoholic beverages, petroleum and automotive vehicles.

 Also, note that importers in Europe must pay the value-added tax (VAT) in full at the time of importation from a non-EU country, in Portugal VAT/IVA is currently 23%. Imports from EU countries only pay the IVA when a product is sold.


Bringing a car into the country

  • A certificate of compliance or Form 1402 issued by the Direcção-Geral de Viação (Portuguese DVLA) confirming that the vehicle has undergone an inspection.
  • Your driver's licence.
  • Evidence that you have applied for a residence permit.
  • Your taxpayer's identification card, together with 3-years' original tax returns or a declaration from the tax office in your area of residence attesting to the amount of income earned in Portugal over the previous three years
  • A certificate of cancellation of residence issued by the competent authority in your former country of residence. (If, as in Britain, there is no such authority, the Consulate will issue a certificate on production of evidence that an application has been made for a residence permit).


The authorities may ask for further documentation, as necessary, so it is advisable to contact them in the first instance for an application form, a list of the supporting documents required and the applicable fees.

Once your application has been formally submitted, the customs authorities may issue a limited-validity authorisation (guia de circulação) which will enable you to use your vehicle while the application is under consideration.

A motor vehicle that has been imported in this way may not be sold, loaned, pledged or hired for a period of 12 months following importation. In addition, it may only be driven by its registered owners or keepers and their immediate family. Only one vehicle may be imported tax-free per person once every five years.


For Residence in Portugal, tax free

  • The vehicle is for private use only
  • The registered owner of the vehicle is transferring his residence from another EU member state where he has been resident for at least 185 days
  • The vehicle was purchased fully tax-paid in its registered owner's former country of residence
  • The vehicle has been used by its registered owner in his former country of residence for at least six months


Cost of Shipment

The costs will vary depending on which country you are shipping from. For example, if you are shipping from the USA, A-1 Auto Transport states that the costs will range from $2500 to $4200.


Importation Procedure

In order to import a vehicle, you should submit an application within a maximum of 12 months of arrival, to the customs office with jurisdiction over your area of residence. You will need the follow:


MOT Testing and Certificates

As in Britain, MOT testing is obligatory in Portugal for all vehicles over four years old. Cars aged 4-7 years must be tested every two years and thereafter every year. The test (Inspecção Periódica Obrigatória - IPO) must be carried out at an approved garage. The garage is required to request the vehicle's ownership document (Titulo de Registo de Propriedade), its logbook (Livrete) and the owner's taxpayer's identification card before carrying out the test.

A stamp confirming that the vehicle has endured (and passed) the test will subsequently be issued. This should be displayed below the insurance stamp, in the upper right-hand corner of the vehicle's windscreen.

Make sure you choose a company that is reliable, choose a transport system that works better for you, when choosing from maritime, air transport or land. Keep in mind all the countries regulation so that you have no delays. Finally, don´t forget to ship your sunglasses!

This guest article was written by Melissa Villalobos.