Moving to Israel


Capital: Jerusalem
Population: 7.908 million (2012)
Area: 8,019 sq miles
Top 5 Largest Cities: 1. Jerusalem 2. Tel Aviv 3. Haifa 4. Rishon LeZion 5. Ashdod
Lanuage: Hebrew & Arabic
Climate: Mountainous

Interested in moving to Israel by professionals? Allow Nationwide Van Lines to handle your household goods voyage properly. We will provide everything necessary to move your furniture into Israel and to your doorstep successfully. Our Certified Packers and Loaders are highly trained by the American Moving and Storage Association to help satisfy your moving needs. Below, you will find very useful information to keep you educated in the task of moving to Israel.

Required Documents for Import

There are certain rules and limitations to follow when it comes to importing household goods into Israel. You can import an unlimited amount of goods duty-free as long as it’s classified as household furnishing. You must have had owned your goods for at least a year. If you are returning to Israel as a citizen, you must have spent at least two years abroad in a foreign country. You are given three times to import household goods into Israel for up to three years. Once your household goods arrive to Israel, you have to be present to clear Customs. You can only import one of each electrical appliance, one refrigerator or one freezer, two fans, two heaters and two air conditioners duty-free.

Import Declaration – A document stating the household goods being shipped.

Certificate of Origin – Must be filled out in English in all caps

Customs Value Declaration – A document used to calculate duties and taxes that states the value of the entire household shipment.

The following personal documents are required by Customs:

  • Visa
  • Your valid Passport with Photo Page, Entry Stamp and spouse Passport (if applies) for Israeli citizens
  • Residence Visa
  • A Diplomatic Passport if a Diplomat
  • Tax Exemption Franchise if a Diplomat
  • A Diplomatic ID Card if a Diplomat
  • Israeli Identity Card if a single person
  • Divorce Papers if divorced
  • Death Certificate if a widow or a widower
  • Your proof of residence in Israel
  • Original Bill of Lading
  • Insurance certificate
  • An A-3 Status Stamp in your passport if a religious individual such as a minister, theological student, priest, etc.
  • Bank deposit or Bank Guarantee
  • Your Customs Declaration
  • An invoice for any new items
  • Inventory list of items (in Hebrew) showing manufacturer name, make, serial number, new or used, sizes for any fabric and values
  • Certificate of residence
  • EUR-1 (Certificate of Origin) for any HHGS less than 1 year old for Israeli citizens living abroad for no less than 2 years
  • Customs bond
  • Rental Contract or Lease Agreement showing 1 year minimum of residency
  • Packing list (in English), not including values
  • Valued Inventory (in Hebrew)
  • Authorization letter
  • New Immigrant Brooklet (Teudat Oleh) for foreigners
  • Power of Attorney
  • Letter from employer or proof of contract of work

Additional detailed document requirements

All HHGS and personal effects will be duty-free. If an Israeli citizen living abroad for less than 2 years, you do not qualify for a duty-free import.

    • You are considered a returning Israeli citizen if you’ve lived abroad for 2 or more years.
    • Only one of each type of electronic appliance can be imported.
    • If you are a returning Israeli living abroad for 2 or more years, your HHGS and personal effects can be imported tax-free once your Passport has been stamped “Returning Israeli”. Your items will also be taxed by Israeli Customs according to your Customs tariff.
    • You are limited to only 3 duty-free shipments. Auto and professional tools import is not considered in any of the 3 duty-free shipments.
    • Items must be for personal us to be imported.
    • You must have your HHGS arrive to the port of entry no more than 3 years of your arrival.
    • If you are a visitor of pleasure (B-2), your HHGS are not duty-free.
    • If you are a consignee’s employer, you have to raise the amount of the Bank Guarantee to clear the HHGS without incurring taxes. You have to renew this guarantee every year until the HHGS are exported. This applies to foreign workers and visitors for business (B-1).
    • For foreign workers and those who are a visitor of business (B-1), the Bank Guarantee only applies to Israeli Customs and taxes only.
    • Your date of arrival is considered your date of first entry which will be marked in the Tuedat Oleh booklet.
    • Religious individuals and A-3 Visa holders must pay a Bank Deposit or Bank Guarantee to be paid back once the individual leaves Israel and export their HHGS.
    • Carpets, rugs, sporting goods, outdoor furniture and communication may have partial or full duties applied.
    • You must have an original Customs stamp for Israeli citizens.
    • If a new immigrant, you can import HHGS and personal effects tax-free with the presentation of your Tuedat Oleh booklet.
    • If a Diplomat, your Diplomatic ID Card can be received at the Diplomatic Department at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. Next, your Tax Exemption Franchise can be obtained from Customs using your Original Bill of Lading, Packing List and all Customs forms. After all prior is received, your HHGS will be cleared as tax-free.
    • The Tax Exemption Franchise only covers your duties and taxes.
    • If a Diplomat, your HHGS will be tax-free once you’ve obtained a Tax Exemption Franchise by your organization.
    • If a new immigrant, you must surrender your original passport and your New Immigration Booklet to the Israeli Customs while your HHGS and personal effects are being cleared.
    • If you used a Freight Forwarder of a certified International Mover for an export out of Israel, your original export list must match your import list and you must live abroad for less than 2 years to receive a duty-free import of your HHGS.
    • Your Rental Agreement or Lease Contract must indicated no less than 1 year. If your residence is furnished and you are leaving items behind, you must identify them because Customs will not allow identical items to be imported duty-free.

The Examination of Household Goods and Entry Documents

Once your household goods have arrived in Israel along with your documents, both are subjected to examination by Customs. A CBP officer will examine your household goods to determine the value, correct markings, proper invoicing, existence of prohibited items, damages, deterioration and illegal narcotics. It’s important to assure all items are properly described and accounted for to avoid any delays or seizure of items. Once your items are approved for release, they are safeguarded by the proper officers.

Duty and Taxes

Once your household goods have arrived to Israel, there are duties and various taxes you are responsible for. Imported household goods that has a Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value equal to or less than USD $1,000 and equal or less than 66.13 lbs. are not charged duty. Duties can range from 0.8% up to 80% if applicable. If your household goods are coming from a non-European United (EU), a Value Added Tax (VAT) of 18% will be applied. The Purchase Tax range from 5% to a hefty 90% on various items. The port will also charge a small fee of 1.1% of the CIF value of your household goods for Port Tax.

US Certificate of Origin for Exporting to Israel – A necessary form that requires standard information in regards of your household goods shipment.

Customs Declaration Form – A form to fill out after all proper documents prior to Customs clearance has been approved.

Duty-free Items

When importing into Israel, there are restrictions of what amount of items are deemed duty-free. Below you will find those items and their restrictions:

  • Non-residence can import gifts valuing up to $125 USD
  • 250 grams of tobacco products
  • 250 cigarettes
  • 25% discount on sales tax of appliances
  • 250 ml of perfume
  • 1 liter of spirits
  • 2 liters of wine
  • Inheritance papers issued by the Israeli Court

Labeling and Marking Requirements

To keep Customs flowing easily, the proper markings and labeling is highly required. Each label must show the country of origin, the contents inside, the weight and volume (metric units), the name and address of the Israeli importer and the name and address of the manufacturer if necessary. All labels must be written in the Hebrew language.

Prohibited Items

Please be aware that not every household good is accepted by Customs in France. To avoid any delays and extra charges, please refer to the list of restricted items below.

  • Explosives
  • Ammunition
  • Weapons
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Tear gas
  • Knives
  • Dangerous Chemicals
  • Pen or any gun-like shooting devices
  • Obscene articles, publications, videos and/or software’s
  • Controlled drugs and narcotics
  • Counterfeit items
  • Used beekeeper equipment
  • Gas operated BBQ
  • Live plants, saplings and seeds
  • Used sacks for the packing of plant materials
  • Gambling games
  • Gambling machines
  • Sporting equipment
  • Electric bicycles / scooters
  • Laser speedometer disrupter
  • Material used to promote racism, terrorism or violence
  • Military Equipment
  • Products made in Iran

Restricted Items

Some household items are permitted, but still requires either special authorization and/or duties to be paid. Here is a list below of Restricted Items.

  • Musical instruments
  • Infant seats
  • Sporting equipment
  • Cordless phones and fax machines
  • Electric lawn mowers
  • Inheritance
  • Outdoor furniture
  • New items
  • Blue Prints worth over USD $35.00 is in need of a Certificate of Origin
  • CD players, Diskettes, Films, Headphones, Remotes and Stereos requires a Certificate of Origin
  • Beer requires authorization from the Ministry of Commerce and Trade
  • Medicines
  • Envelopes and Forms must be blank and require a Certificate of Origin
  • Electrical appliances (1 of each type)
  • Foodstuffs
  • Machine parts are in need of a Certificate of Origin
  • Firearms
  • Calendars are in need of a Certificate of Origin
  • Computers, Laptops and parts of each are in need of approval by the Institute of Standards
  • Cellular phones requires clearance from the Ministry of Communications
  • Antennas requires a Certificate of Origin
  • Coffee
  • Car radios
  • Batteries requires a Certificate of Origin
  • Tobacco
  • Answering machines
  • Turntables
  • Alcohol
  • Electronic cigarettes requires an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract
  • Watches
  • Air Conditioners for automobiles require a Certificate of Origin
  • Automotive parts and accessories under tariff code 8708 10, 8708 30, 9809 70, 8708 80 and 8708 94 are subject to approval for transport by the Israeli ministry of Transportation

Receiving your Household Goods

The liability for duties are paid once Customs has cleared your shipment for release. There are no options of prepaid duties or taxes prior to exportation from a foreign country. Once your shipment is filed with CBP, the party and only the party listed as the receiver can pick up the shipment. If household goods are warehoused, the party of liability can be changed to another party, most whom purchased the goods. The Customs broker cannot pay duties, but can accept a check written out to the Customs and Border Protection to forward. Once items are received, all articles are deemed owned by the receiver and no longer in ownership of the CBP.

For more information regarding moving to Israel, please visit:

All information featured above is for viewing purposes only. To obtain up-to-date information about overseas shipment, please notify your nearest Consulate.

Founder And PresidentTali Maskalik

No matter if you’re relocating within the same neighborhood or overseas, moving can be pretty stressing. In fact, moving is repeatedly ranked as the third most stressful life event and sometimes seems to be completely overwhelming. On top of moving, you often have to deal with realtors, mortgage financing and even finding a great school for your kids. To keep all the moving components tracked and timely, organization is a big must. Utilizing a filing system is a great way to keep...

Tali Maskalik
Tali Maskalik
Founder And PresidentTali Maskalik

No matter if you’re relocating within the same neighborhood or overseas, moving can be pretty stressing. In fact, moving is repeatedly ranked as the third most stressful life event and sometimes seems to be completely overwhelming. On top of moving, you often have to deal with realtors, mortgage financing and even finding a great school for your kids. To keep all the moving components tracked and timely, organization is a big must. Utilizing a filing system is a great way to keep...