Customs regulations for your trip to Poland

Last modified: July 25, 2023
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Customs regulations

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Bill of lading (telex preferred) / CMR / AWB
  • Packing list
  • Work permit (if required depends on nationality)
  • Residence permit
  • Confirmation of staying abroad at least 12 months
  • Copy of passport (ID page and visa stamp)
  • Letter of Employment (from future and previous employer)
  • Copy of Polish ID (returning citizens)
  • Confirmation of Polish address (returning citizens)
  • Written Statement (returning citizens)
  • Copy of diplomatic passport (diplomats)
  • Detailed inventory in Polish and signed by the owner of the goods
  • Certificate from the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (diplomats)

Specific Information

  • Documents confirming that the owner of the goods spent more than 12 months abroad.
  • The letter of employment must state the person is employed in Poland, the duration of employment and the specific start and end dates.
    • The employment period cannot be shorter than 12 months.
    • The document must be prepared on company letterhead, signed, and stamped by the person identified in the company’s officially registered documents.
  • The Letter of Employment from the owner of the goods’ previous employer must state the exact employment dates (minimum 12 months), that the owner of the goods has terminated his permanent stay in country of origin, and is now changing his permanent place of residence to Poland.
    • The document must be written in the official language of the origin country and a copy provided in Polish or translated into Polish by a sworn translator.
  • The copy of Polish ID must include the page with the photograph, number, and address.
  • The written statement must affirm that the owner of the goods is not importing guns or narcotics.
  • The certificate from the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs must confirm the list of goods being imported into Poland (diplomats).
  • Citizens coming from non-European Union countries can import goods duty-free if they have been abroad for a 12 month period prior to re-entry and must present documents proving residence abroad for the entire 12 months.

Poland as one of the 27 member states of the European Union is a member of the Customs Union.

The EU Customs Union means there are common customs duties on imports from outside the EU, common rules of origin for products from outside the EU, and no customs duties at internal borders between the EU Member States.

Customs Information Service

Poland as a member of the European Union is also a member of the EU Customs Union.  The basic rules of the EU Customs Union include: no customs duties at internal borders between the EU Member States; common customs duties on imports from outside the EU; common rules for origin of products from outside the EU; and common definition of a customs value.  Poland has adopted the Common Customs Tariff (CCT) of the EU that applies to goods imported from outside Europe, while transactions carried out between Poland and the European Economic Area (EEA) countries are free of duty.  In general, EU external import duties are relatively low, especially for industrial goods (4.2% on average).  Applicable customs duty for a specific product imported from a selected country of origin, can be found on the TARIC website.  The combined Nomenclature of the European Community (EC) integrates the HS nomenclature and has supplementary eight figure subdivisions and its own legal notes created for community purposes.  For goods from outside Europe, customs duties are calculated ad valorem on the CIF value, in accordance with the Common Customs Tariff (CCT) for all the countries of the Union.  Customs authorities are primarily responsible for the supervision of the Community’s international trade.

Polish police take a strict approach to public drunkenness. You are not allowed to consume alcohol in public places or you may be fined. If you are found drunk in a public place you may be taken to a drying out clinic where a doctor or nurse will medically assess you. You will not be released until you have sobered up and you may need to stay overnight. You will have to pay for the cost of the stay.

The drink-drive limit in Poland is 20 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood – which is lower than the UK. If you are caught driving a car over the alcohol limit or after taking drugs you can be punished by up to 2 years in prison. You might also be prosecuted for cycling on public roads under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

You should only cross the road at signposted crossing points like zebra crossings. If you do not cross the road at a signposted point and you are caught by the police you will be fined.

Many Poles are traditional about social issues, but people in larger towns and cities are generally more open-minded about LGBT issues. There is an active gay scene in Warsaw with a number of gay clubs and bars. Homosexuality is legal and same sex partners may live together but marriage or civil partnership is not allowed for same sex couples. The age of consent is the same for all people (15). See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

The the Integrated Tariff of the European Community (TARIC) database is available to help determine if a license is required for a product.  Moreover, the European Commission maintains a trade helpdesk with information on import restrictions of various products.

Many EU member states maintain their own list of goods that are subject to import licensing.

Poland’s “Import List” includes goods for which licenses are required, their code numbers, any applicable restrictions, and the agency that will issue the relevant license.  The Import List also indicates whether the license is required under Polish or EU law

Although there are no limits on the amount of alcohol and tobacco one can bring in from EU countries, customs officials are more likely to ask you questions if you have more than:

Tobacco products:

– 800 cigarettes;
– 400 cigarillos (max. 3g each);
– 200 cigars;
– 1kg smoking tobacco;

Alcoholic beverages:

– 10 litres of spirits over 22%;
– 20 litres of alcoholic beverages less than 22%;
– 90 litres of wine (though no more than 60 litres of sparkling wine);
– 110 litres of beer.
These quantities can be seized if customs are satisfied that they are of a commercial nature.

Free Import quantities when travelling from outside EU

Alcohol and alcoholic beverages
Over 17 years olds can bring (in personal luggage) the following quantities:
• 1 litre of alcohol that does not exceed 22% volume of alcohol, or un-denatured ethyl alcohol 80% volume and over
• 2 litres of alcohol that does not exceeds 22% volume of alcohol
• 4 litres of still wine
• 16 litres of beer.
The passengers can combine the first two types of alcohol as long the alcohol volume does not exceed 100%.
Over 17 years old that belong to the following categories:
• persons residing in the frontier zone (region beyond the expanding borders of the European Union including: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro)
• frontier-zone workers,
• the crews of means of transport used between third countries and the Community,
may bring (in your personal luggage) alcohol in the following quantities:
• 0,5 litre of alcohol exceeding 22% volume, or un-denatured ethyl alcohol of 80% volume and over
• a total of 0,5 litre of alcohol and alcoholic beverages of an alcoholic strength not exceeding 22% volume
• 0,5 litre of still wine
• 2 litres of beer.
The passengers can combine the first two types of alcohol as long the alcohol volume does not exceed 100%.
Note that the consideration of what constitutes frontier countries lies entirely with EU and the list outlined above may change.

Tobacco products

When travelling by air or sea , over 17 years old can bring tobacco products for personal use only the following:
• 200 cigarettes or
• 100 cigarillos or
• 50 cigars or
• 250 g of smoking tobacco.
Each amount specified in above points will amount to 100% of the total allowance for tobacco products.
When travelling by land, over 17 years old can bring tobacco products for personal use only the following:
• 40 cigarettes or
• 20 cigarillos or
• 10 cigars or
• 50 grams of smoking tobacco.
Each amount specified in all the points will amount to 100% of the total allowance for tobacco products.

Other goods

• Medication – for personal use only
• Personal items of non-commercial nature worth up to 430 euro when travelling by air or sea
• Personal items of non-commercial nature worth up to 300 euro when travelling by land
• Personal items of non-commercial nature worth up to 150 euro for travellers under 15 years of age.
Non-commercial item are of an occasional nature and consist exclusively of goods for the personal or family use of the traveller, or of goods intended as presents. The nature and quantity of the goods must not be such as to indicate that they are being imported for commercial reasons.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Medications that are for personal use only
  • Plants:
    • Plants may be imported only if they are intended to be used in the shipper’s home in Poland.
    • Plants may only be imported from European Union countries
    • A phytosanitary certificate is not required.
  • Alcohol and Tobacco:
    • The allowance limit for the import of wine and spirits for personal consumption is indicated as follows:
  • Importing from Non-EU Country:
    • Alcohol not exceeding 22% alcohol (wine, beer, etc.) 2 liters
    • Spirits 1 liter
    • Tobacco 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250 g tobacco
  • Importing from EU Country:
    • Wine 90 liters (but no more than 60 liters of sparkling wine)
    • Beer 110 liters
    • Other alcohol 10 liters
    • Tobacco 800 cigarettes, 200 cigars, or 1 kg tobacco

IAM Note:  Excess amounts brought into Poland are not recommended as the cost is greater than the retail price.  It is also very difficult to obtain a license to import alcohol or tobacco. There are extremely high taxes, excise and duties that apply to any amount brought into Poland over the limit.

Prohibited Items

The import of certain commodities into Poland is prohibited, usually as the result of international sanctions. A variety of goods and commodities are subject to import (and export) restrictions to protect the safety and lives of humans, animals and plants, safeguard national security, or to protect artistic, cultural or intellectual property. Examples are restrictions and controls on the import of certain food products, drugs, pharmaceuticals, environmentally hazardous products, seeds, weapons, explosives, and antiques.

As an EU member, Poland adheres to EU-wide business directives and requires local market compliance.

There is an online customs tariff database, called TARIC, which is designed to show various rules applying to specific products being imported into the customs territory of the EU or, in some cases, when exported from it. To determine if a product is prohibited or subject to restriction, check the TARIC for that product for the following codes:

  • CITES Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species
  • PROHI Import Suspension
  • RSTR Import Restriction

For information on how to access the TARIC, see the Import Requirements and Documentation Section.

  • Food, fluids, alcohol
  • Chemicals
  • Inflammable materials
  • Weapons of all kinds
  • Pornography
  • Narcotics
  • Plants
  • Medications that are for personal use only
  • Toxic and radioactive materials
  • Protected animal species
  • Meat and milk and any items thereof from non-EU countries with the exception of limited amounts from Andorra, Croatia, the Faeroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and small amounts of specific products from other countries
  • Protected species and products thereof as listed by the CITES (Washington Convention) for example ivory, tortoise shell, coral, reptile skin, wood from Amazonian forests.

Miscellaneous (Pets, Motors, and others.)

Arms and Ammunition regulations:

Prohibited: It is not allowed to import arms and ammunition from Russian Fed. and Syria.

Currency

Currency Import regulations:

Same regulations as for Export apply (see: Export).

Currency Export regulations:

Local currency (Polish Zloty-PLN) and foreign currencies: no restrictions if arriving from or traveling to another EU Member State . If arriving directly from or traveling to a country outside the EU: amounts exceeding EUR 10,000.- or more or the equivalent in another currency (incl. banker’s draft and cheques of any kind) must be declared.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Invoice / bill of sale
  • Proof of insurance
  • Original registration, or copy if original is not available
  • Signed valuation submitted by owner of the goods
  • Original vehicle documents proving ownership

Specific Information

  • The vehicle must be registered in the name of the current owner of the goods.
  • An owner of the goods may import only one of each type of a vehicle, trailer, or motorcycle.
  • The owner of the goods must have lived out of the European Union legally and continuously for at least 12 months.
  • The vehicle must have been used in the place of origin for at least 6 months.
  • After importation, the vehicle must continue to be used in the same manner.
  • In order to import duty and tax free, a person returning to Poland should submit proof to the Customs Office that they have both owned and operated the given vehicle they are importing for a minimum of 6 months.
  • Additionally, a vehicle imported into Poland cannot be sold, lent, rented, or used by another person (either free of charge or charged) for a period of 12 months following importation.
    • Infringement of this rule evokes a Customs charge on the vehicle in an amount based on the condition of the car, its value, and duties and tariff rates in force on the day the car was transferred.
  • Utility vehicles and company cars are not covered under the exemption.
  • If the car is imported from outside the European Union all duties and taxes must be paid.
  • Prior to import, it is advised to check with the local agent in Poland to obtain an estimate regarding possible duties and taxes.
  • A certificate of origin is needed in order to receive preferential treatment when Customs assessed duties.

Pets

Documents Required

  • Pet passport issued by a veterinarian
  • Copy of owner of the goods’ passport
  • Anti-rabies vaccination
  • Declaration of pet’s value
  • Copy of owner of the goods’ ticket as proof of residence
  • International health certificate

Specific Information

  • Pet must be chipped or tattooed if arriving from a non-EU country.
  • The vaccination record must be issued at least 30 days prior to arrival and cannot be more than 9 months old.
  • Protected species cannot be imported.
  • The anti-rabies vaccination record must be issued at least 30 days prior to arrival, but no more than 9 months old if the pet is arriving from a non-EU country.
  • Declaration of pet’s value if the pet is arriving from a non-EU country.
  • The international health certificate must not be issued more than 10 days prior to arrival, in compliance with European Union standards if the pet is arriving from a non-EU country.

Antiques, Artifacts, Carpets, Paintings

Documents Required

  • Detailed inventory
  • Certificate of antiquity
  • Two photographs for each item

Specific Information

  • The certificate of antiquity must be from a recognized authority for items older than 100 years.
  • The two photographs for each item made prior to 1945.
  • Detailed inventory with a full description and quantity of each item.
  • When importing jewelry, paintings, antiques and carpets two photos of each item of value are required.
    • These pieces must be registered upon arrival in Poland.
  • Items over 100 years old may be exempt from duties and taxes if the proper documentation is produced.
  • Items that originate prior to 1945 should be clearly marked on the packing list upon import.
    • The items should also be packed so that it is readily available when the shipment proceeds through Customs.
  • All forms and documentation acquired during the import process may be required for future export.
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