General about sending or receiving a gift
If you are receiving a gift sent from another country, various rules apply depending on where the gift is coming from, its value and its contents. If you are sending a gift, it may be helpful to be aware of: the rules that apply in the country you are sending to; and, the information provided by the freight company.
A gift is something that: is sent between two private individuals; is for private use; and, is sent on a single occasion.
If you are going to send a gift to another country, bear in mind that different countries have different national rules. You should find out what rules apply to the intended gift item/goods in the recipient country. For more information, you can contact the recipient country’s customs authority or embassy.
Remember also to check what information is available on the freight company’s website. This is where you will find freight and other documents you may need to complete before sending your gift.
A gift on the internet is not counted as a gift for the purposes of customs
When you buy online and the goods are sent from a country outside the EU direct to the final recipient, this is never regarded as a gift. This is because the consignor is a business. A gift can only be sent from one private individual to another private individual. If you buy online and send the gift directly to the consignee, the gift is regarded as goods.
Kalle in Jönköping wants to order a vase from China. It is to be sent direct to his auntie in Borås for her birthday. Even though the vase is a gift from Kalle to his aunt, it is not counted as a gift for the purposes of customs. Because the consignor is a company sending the vase direct to the auntie, this is a standard clearance (i.e. with charges) through customs.
Receiving a gift from another EU country
You do not have to pay any charges to receive a gift from another EU country.
Receiving a gift from a country outside the EU
In certain cases, you can receive a gift from a country outside the EU and not have to pay customs duty, VAT and any other taxes. It is often the company (e.g. Postnord or a forwarding agent) carrying your goods that makes the customs declaration. It does this using the invoices and other documents accompanying your parcel.
This applies if:
- gifts are sent on isolated occasions (not regularly);
- the gift is sent from one private individual to another private individual (not from a company to a private individual);
- the gift is for private use;
- the gift is sent without any payment whatsoever by the consignee.
A gift worth SEK 1,700 or less
If the value of your gift parcel is SEK 1,700 or less, you can apply for relief from customs duty and tax in accordance with the provisions on low-value consignments. You apply by entering procedure code C07 in the second part of box 37.
However, remember that other rules apply if your parcel contains: alcoholic products; tobacco and/or tobacco products; or, perfume and/or toilet water. You can only get relief from customs for a certain quantity of these goods and only up to a value limit of SEK 500. See article 27 below for goods and quantities to which this applies. Remember that the SEK 500 value limit includes any other gifts in the parcel.
Article 27 of Council Regulation (EC) no. 1186/2009
Alcoholic products and tobacco goods are never tax free. However, tax relief is granted for other goods in the parcel for which duty relief applies.
Parcels with gifts to a value over SEK 1,700
If you receive a parcel that has a value over SEK 1,700 and contains several separate gifts for you, you do not have to pay any customs duty or tax for articles with a combined value of SEK 500 or less if you apply for duty and tax relief in accordance with the provisions on consignments of gifts. You apply by entering procedure code C08 in the second part of box 37.
Berit lives in the USA. She sends a parcel to her sister, Barbro, in Sweden. The parcel contains several gifts for her sister. Berit has specified the values of the gifts:
- jeans = SEK 400;
- blouse = SEK 550;
- glass vase = SEK 800.
The jeans for Barbro are exempt from charges because they are below the SEK 500 value limit. However duty and tax must be paid on the blouse and the glass vase. These have a combined value of SEK 1,350.
- On the SEK 1,350, we levy flat rate duty of 2.5 per cent. This equates to SEK 33.
- VAT at 25 per cent is calculated on SEK 1,350 plus SEK 33. This equates to SEK 345.
- Thus, the total sum to pay is SEK 378 (SEK 33 plus SEK 345).
Greta lives in Norway. She sends a parcel to her daughter, Matilda, in Sweden. The parcel contains several gifts for her daughter. Greta has specified the values of the gifts:
traditional Norwegian cardigan = SEK 1,300;
pair of knitted gloves = SEK 250;
wool hat = SEK 200.
The gloves and wool hat for the daughter are free of charge because their combined value is under the SEK 500 value limit.
However duty and tax must be paid on the traditional Norwegian cardigan as follows:
On the SEK 1,300, we levy flat rate duty of 2.5 per cent. This equates to SEK 32.
VAT at 25 per cent is calculated on SEK 1,300 plus SEK 32. This equates to SEK 333.
Thus, the total sum to pay is SEK 365 (SEK 32 plus SEK 333).
Gifts to a value of more than SEK 1,700, but no more than SEK 7,600
If the value of your gift is more than SEK 1,700, but no more than SEK 7,600, the company carrying the gift uses a flat rate to calculate customs duty. The flat rate duty is 2.5 per cent of the gift’s value. You also have to pay VAT.
Gift value over SEK 7,600
If the value of the gift is over SEK 7,600, you have to pay customs duty on the gift. Depending on what the gift is, the rate of duty can be between 0 and 20 per cent of the gift’s value.
- Freight is included in the sum on which duty and VAT are calculated.
- Customs duty is included in the sum on which VAT is calculated.
You pay customs duty and VAT to the company carrying your gift.
There may be other, additional charges
Depending on which company is carrying your goods, you may also have to pay an administration fee or a customs declaration fee.
Have you paid too much or too little?
If you consider that the customs duty or VAT you have paid is too high or too low, you can have the decision on customs duty and other charges modified. Swedish Customs can modify the decision if you apply for modification within three years from the day when you learnt how much you were to pay.
You apply by sending Swedish Customs a letter or email explaining what you consider is wrong. It has to include the following details:
- customs ID (the combination of two or three letters and seven or eight digits that you can find on the invoice from the transport company that carried your goods);
- your bank details (name of account holder, bank name, clearing number and account number).
Also attach an account extract (from your bank account or, for example, PayPal) showing how much you paid for the goods.
Send the letter or email to:
Email address: email@example.com
Box 12 854
SE-112 98 Stockholm
Goods subject to special rules
Remember that special rules apply to gifts containing: alcohol; tobacco; perfume; weapons and/or dangerous objects; medicines; certain foodstuffs; or, animals. If you are receiving these goods, you may need authorisation from another authority.
Are you sending a parcel that contains foodstuffs?
Authorisation from the Swedish Board of Agriculture may be required for certain foodstuffs sent to Sweden.
Has your parcel failed to arrive?
If your parcel has not arrived, get in touch with the company that carried your goods. This may be Postnord or a forwarding agent.
Last updated: 2020-09-17
What is updated: Quality assured