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Hi folks,

I am moving personal items from our holiday home in the USA to Portugal ( I am a resident Brit legally). Having heard horrible stories about car matriculation costs can anyone advise if there are similar problems with personal items, small furniture, or are the authorities okay about bringing such (used) items to Portugal???

I understand we have to provide details in English and Portugese but are there any other real problems we can anticipate???

Thanks is advance. Tony K.
 

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Hi Tony,

I moved from Chicago but am an originally Irish. You must be living in Portugal and have the fiscal # ect. in order to get your shipment through Lisbon Port.

Hi folks,

I am moving personal items from our holiday home in the USA to Portugal ( I am a resident Brit legally). Having heard horrible stories about car matriculation costs can anyone advise if there are similar problems with personal items, small furniture, or are the authorities okay about bringing such (used) items to Portugal???

I understand we have to provide details in English and Portugese but are there any other real problems we can anticipate???

Thanks is advance. Tony K.
 

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I have just moved from South Africa to Pt. Go to your nearest consulate and ask them for an example of a "certificado de bagagem"- Luggage certificate. You make a list of all the personal household items that you want to bring to Portugal, both in english and portuguese triplicate certified copies, you take all that to the consulate and they give you a letter so you don't have to pay duty on any item. Then again I have a Portuguese passport, it might be different for non Portuguese people. Good luck.
 

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Matriculating your car in Portugal

I write this both as a warning to people looking to matriculation their car in Portugal and to ask if anyone has any advice.

My husband and I have one car each which we brought over from the UK. We took up residency, applied for the process within six months of doing so, and had owned both cars for more than a year in the Uk. All the relevant boxes ticked for matriculation. We employed a well known local agent (who was highly recommended) and off we went. A long and laborious, paper intensive, process for sure, but we knew what to expect.
We were told by Customs in Faro a couple of weeks ago that our cars would be matriculated the following Friday and this is where it all started going wrong.
We were then asked to go to Faro to prove that my husband and I were married (they had already seen and ‘stamped’ our marriage certificate as ‘ok’). We duly went and proved that I (as the wife) existed. All seemed fine. We got a call in the afternoon asking us to prove what type of marriage we had (in Portugal there are four or five types relating to asset distribution but obviously only one ‘kind’ of marriage in the UK). We duly got our lawyer in the UK to write a letter to the Customs Office stating that in the UK there was only one kind of marriage, that of sharing of assets. This was presented. All seemed ok.

We were then told that because both the VC5s were in my husband’s name (he had to register my car after I had bought it whilst I was abroad working) that only one car could be imported as both were legally owned by him. We have since pointed out to them that the VC5 is actually not an ownership document but a keeper’s document, and provided numerous references to the DVLA website and documentation proving this. We have also provided the receipt for when I (as the wife) bought the car to prove ownership.

As far as the DVLA documentation is concerned, they refuse to accept that this is not an ownership document (which is stated to the contrary numerous times in the official DVLA documentation) and have provided us with the taxation charges if we decide to import either car without matriculation. The sums are (wait for it) 19,000 euros for a four year old landrover (worth about £6K in the UK) and 29,000 euros for a three year old Navarra (worth about £10-£12000 in the Uk).
With the receipt that I have and have provided to them, I am still awaiting their response (the car was bought from a guy on autotrader and you can no doubt guess that the receipt is not on official company paper as it was a private sale).

So, if you are thinking of matriculating your car, beware. The EU as a market of free movement is a nonsense as far as car imports across member countries is concerned. Strange that you can import almost any other type of good across Europe but not a car! The taxation level has no relation to the value of the car. And even if you have all the documents to prove ownership, they will not accept that there is only one kind of marriage in the UK where assets are shared and they will not accept the DVLA’s own description of what their documentation is or isn’t.

If anyone out there has had any similar experiences or overcome these issues, please get in touch.

PS this isn’t a pop at the Portuguese authorities. We love living here, I have built up a great business here, we pay our taxes etc and all officials we have met at the local council and other authorities have been brilliant and my understanding by blog reading is that Spain and France are even worse than Portugal.
 

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Welcome to Portugal Caroline

Friends have had a similiar experience and are currently in the UK having driven their old Clio back to the UK to dispose of it.

They were stopped in the Tavira area and told get it legal or face the consequences.

At present in the Algarve their is a drive on co-ordinated by the GNR and Brigada Fiscal directed directly at foreign owned cars.

This is not unique to Portugal.
When Intel opened their large factory in Ireland the Irish Customs and Garda had a raid on the premises after about 3 years.... all still registered British cars were impounded, the owners fined, and then either re-registered them on Irish plates or take them back to the UK.
 

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I write this both as a warning to people looking to matriculation their car in Portugal and to ask if anyone has any advice.

My husband and I have one car each which we brought over from the UK. We took up residency, applied for the process within six months of doing so, and had owned both cars for more than a year in the Uk. All the relevant boxes ticked for matriculation. We employed a well known local agent (who was highly recommended) and off we went. A long and laborious, paper intensive, process for sure, but we knew what to expect.
We were told by Customs in Faro a couple of weeks ago that our cars would be matriculated the following Friday and this is where it all started going wrong.
We were then asked to go to Faro to prove that my husband and I were married (they had already seen and ‘stamped’ our marriage certificate as ‘ok’). We duly went and proved that I (as the wife) existed. All seemed fine. We got a call in the afternoon asking us to prove what type of marriage we had (in Portugal there are four or five types relating to asset distribution but obviously only one ‘kind’ of marriage in the UK). We duly got our lawyer in the UK to write a letter to the Customs Office stating that in the UK there was only one kind of marriage, that of sharing of assets. This was presented. All seemed ok.

We were then told that because both the VC5s were in my husband’s name (he had to register my car after I had bought it whilst I was abroad working) that only one car could be imported as both were legally owned by him. We have since pointed out to them that the VC5 is actually not an ownership document but a keeper’s document, and provided numerous references to the DVLA website and documentation proving this. We have also provided the receipt for when I (as the wife) bought the car to prove ownership.

As far as the DVLA documentation is concerned, they refuse to accept that this is not an ownership document (which is stated to the contrary numerous times in the official DVLA documentation) and have provided us with the taxation charges if we decide to import either car without matriculation. The sums are (wait for it) 19,000 euros for a four year old landrover (worth about £6K in the UK) and 29,000 euros for a three year old Navarra (worth about £10-£12000 in the Uk).
With the receipt that I have and have provided to them, I am still awaiting their response (the car was bought from a guy on autotrader and you can no doubt guess that the receipt is not on official company paper as it was a private sale).

So, if you are thinking of matriculating your car, beware. The EU as a market of free movement is a nonsense as far as car imports across member countries is concerned. Strange that you can import almost any other type of good across Europe but not a car! The taxation level has no relation to the value of the car. And even if you have all the documents to prove ownership, they will not accept that there is only one kind of marriage in the UK where assets are shared and they will not accept the DVLA’s own description of what their documentation is or isn’t.

If anyone out there has had any similar experiences or overcome these issues, please get in touch.

PS this isn’t a pop at the Portuguese authorities. We love living here, I have built up a great business here, we pay our taxes etc and all officials we have met at the local council and other authorities have been brilliant and my understanding by blog reading is that Spain and France are even worse than Portugal.
Hi,
I do sympathise as I had a similar experience with the VC5.
All my docs were in place and everything ticked until they noticed that the VC5 was in my company name as the keeper.
I tried to convince them that this was the keeper not the owner (I showed original invoice, receipt and even got a letter from a helpful chap at DVLA stating the difference between keeper and owner). I also produced my company registration documents from Companies House in the UK which proved I was the sole owner of the company, but no go I'm afraid.
Like you I'm not having a go at the authorities but I do wish the Alfandega and the DVLA or UK Customs would consult on this.
 

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i think the reason that they only use the v5 document to identify the owner, is that if the v5 was in one name, then anyone could say oh yes thats may car i have owned it for years, now can i have my free import?
so to avoid thousands of brits just buying cars and getting round the one year rule, they need documented evidence of the owner, not just the say so of the person importing the vehicle. so they decided the v5 was it and regard the mamed person as the owner, which is not the same as in the uk as you can own the car and register it in someone elses name,
 

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i think the reason that they only use the v5 document to identify the owner, is that if the v5 was in one name, then anyone could say oh yes thats may car i have owned it for years, now can i have my free import?
so to avoid thousands of brits just buying cars and getting round the one year rule, they need documented evidence of the owner, not just the say so of the person importing the vehicle. so they decided the v5 was it and regard the mamed person as the owner, which is not the same as in the uk as you can own the car and register it in someone elses name,
It's just the inconsistency which can be a little irritating.
I have a friend who deals in antiques and she has to produce receipts as proof of ownership but show the Alfandega a receipt for a car and they are not interested. All the VC5 does as I can see it is gives the DVLA someone who is going to be responsible for paying the road fund licence.
 

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not sure.
perhaps like a lot of things in the uk, the process, system, law came in to deal with a specific problem, then just never got changed again...

look at income tax, brought in as a short term thing and well its still there....

another was pub opening times, brought in before the war i guess as a control and well its only 60 years later that its getting reformed!

the owner/keeper thing may have been the same.
 
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