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Goods to declare or nothing to declare: Discover the differences and know which way to go
Whenever you leave or enter a country transporting goods – money, goods, electronic equipment, among others – you must take into account whether such goods must be declared at Customs. This page explains your rights and your duties, to help you choose the right corridor.
Who has to go through Customs?
Passage through Customs is mandatory for all Portuguese or foreign travellers entering or leaving the country transporting money or goods. However, up to certain limits permitted by law, citizens are not required to declare the goods they are carrying with them.
Therefore, we recommend that, before travelling, you inquire with your airline about what you may or may not carry.
Who goes through the "Nothing to Declare" corridor?
- Travelling with no baggage or transporting cash or monetary assets in an amount under 10,000 euros (or an equivalent amount in a different currency).
- Carrying goods – personal items and/or purchases – not intended for commercial purposes, in the amounts permitted by law and whose circulation is not prohibited or restricted.
Who goes through the Customs corridor and is obliged to declare their goods?
- Transporting cash or monetary assets in an amount equal to or above 10,000 euros (or other currency equivalent). For more information, see the page on Money Movement Limits.
- Whose baggage contains tradable goods in quantities greater than those permitted by law and that are not exempt from value added tax (VAT) or excise duty.
Which fees are charged at Customs?
The taxation charged by Customs corresponds to the VAT (value added tax) and excise duty applicable to all purchases exceeding the amounts permitted by law.
Must I also declare money?
Yes. If you are transporting cash or monetary assets in an amount equal to or greater than 10,000 euros, or an equivalent in a different currency, you must declare it.
For lower amounts, declaration is not mandatory. Learn more about transporting money.
I have traveled to a country outside the European Union. What do I need to do upon arrival in Portugal?
Passengers entering Portugal from countries where European regulations do not apply, may transport personal effects free of VAT up to a limit of 430 euros and of excise duty within certain limits.
I am not a resident of the European Union. What are my rights and duties?
As an non-EU national, you are, for example, entitled to a refund of the VAT paid on goods bought in Portugal. To get the refund, you must present the purchased goods together with the corresponding Tax Free form.
You may also carry some goods – alcohol and tobacco – without paying added taxes, provided the quantities are within the permitted limits. To know the limits, see the table on this page.
Why is it mandatory to declare goods?
Customs is responsible for enforcing the regulations that protect the rules of good social and business conduct in the European Union.
In this sense, the customs services are responsible for inspecting all goods entering the EU that could compromise public health, harm the environment or endanger protected species, threaten the safety (both physical and social) of citizens, undermine human rights, such as human trafficking, or contribute to illegal activities, such as smuggling or money laundering.
What are the limits permitted by law for Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs?
When transporting quantities above those listed in the relevant table, passengers are required to declare such items at Customs.
Please note that passengers under the age of 17 originating from third countries do not benefit from exemption in alcoholic beverages or tobacco.
What are the rules for transporting and purchasing technology and electronic devices?
If you have bought electronic devices outside the European Union in quantities that exceed the legal limits, you must declare them at Customs when arriving in Portugal. Therefore, you must always keep the invoice or similar documents for your purchases.
On the other hand, if you are travelling abroad transporting your own high-value equipment – cameras, computers, tablets, etc. – we recommend that you declare them before boarding. This way, when you return, the customs services will already know that the equipment is yours and you won't have to pay taxes corresponding to their entry into the country.
Do I really have to declare imported goods?
Yes. If the goods and assets you are carrying – including cash in an amount equal to or greater than 10,000 euros – are above the permitted limits, you are required by law to declare them at Customs, thus avoiding heavy fines or having your goods confiscated.