Country Guide: Iceland

Due to the current coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and restrictions in various countries, the below information may not be accurate. This pandemic is a fluid situation. Check with authorities for local laws and restrictions concerning movements.

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Updated: May 17, 2017

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Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport
  • Detailed inventory, dated, and signed by owner of the goods
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Duty exemption registration (if applicable)


Specific Information

  • Used household goods may be imported duty free if owned for longer than 12 months abroad, the owner of the goods is moving their principal residence to Iceland, and items arrive within 6 months from the owner of the goods’ arrival date.
  • The shipment must be imported within 12 months of the date of a transfer of residence.
  • If a second shipment is anticipated, it must be stated at the time of the first importation.
  • A delivery address must be known at the time of Customs clearance.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport
  • Original certificate of title showing owner of the goods’ name and vehicle serial number
  • Original registration card of origin country
  • Original purchase invoice / bill of sale
  • Insurance certificate
  • Inventory
  • Letter of employment


Specific Information

  • Owners of the goods entering Iceland intending to live in the country for a year or less for employment, study, or travel may import a vehicle registered abroad without paying duty or import charges, provided that the following conditions are met:
    • The owner of the goods is or has been domiciled abroad.
    • The vehicle is intended for personal use of the owner of the goods and his family members and others traveling with him and are domiciled abroad.
    • The vehicle is imported or purchased new and unregistered within 1 month from the arrival of the owner of the goods to the country for a temporary stay.
    • The vehicle will not be used for any kind of transportation of people or goods in return for payment.
    • The vehicle is exported when the owner of the goods leaves the country within 12 months from his arrival here.
  • Customs may request the letter of employment or other documentation proving that the owner of the goods is intending to stay is Iceland temporarily.
  • Vehicles other than automobiles may also be imported such as motorcycles, caravans, campers, and trailers.
  • If the owner of the goods takes up permanent residence or residence longer than a period of 12 months, the conditions for temporary duty-free import no longer apply; the owner of the goods may be required to pay duties or taxes or the vehicle be exported out of the country.


Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health certificate
  • Pet passport


Specific Information

  • All pets are subject to examination upon arrival and a quarantine period of 4 weeks.
  • The importation of dogs and cats is prohibited unless a special import permit is obtained by the Ministry of Agriculture, which is valid for 12 months.
  • Pets must be microchipped with a 15-digit ISO pet microchip and vaccinated at least 30 days but not more than 12 months prior to entry.
  • The veterinary health certificate must be issued within 10 days of travel.
  • Dogs are required to be tested for tapeworm within 10 days of arrival.
  • Some breeds of dogs are prohibited from import; contact the destination agent for specific information. 
  • There are certain exemptions regarding vaccination requirements for cats and dogs; contact the destination agent for specific information.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Restricted:
    • Alcohol / wine (must be inventoried separately with brand name, type, amount, number of bottles, and value); a person importing wine or alcohol in a shipment of household goods must pay duties and taxes.
    • Tobacco (is subject to duty and tax)
    • Narcotics
    • New items (items less than 12 months old)
    • Telephones and communications equipment
    • Angling gear (clothing used abroad must be disinfected prior to importation)
    • Riding gear (leather items are prohibited, including saddles, bridles, muzzles, reins, etc.)
    • Weapons, ammunition, and explosives (contact the destination agent for exceptions)
    • Live animals (permit required from The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority)
    • Meat products (must be boiled or canned)
    • Foodstuffs
    • Flowers and other plants
    • Medicines
      • The owner of the goods may bring into the country medicine for their own use in a quantity that corresponds to usage for 100 days max.
      • Male hormonal medicine classified as anabolic steroids and comparable substances, as well as peptides and comparable substances may only be imported in a quantity that corresponds to 30 days of use maximum
      • Customs officers have the authority to request proof of prescription or medication to these drugs in the prescribed quantity.
      • Please note that the import of drugs by mail for personal use from countries outside the EEA is prohibited.
      • See the Icelandic Medicines Agency website for more details.
    • Knives (cannot have blades exceeding 12 cm)
    • Toxic and hazardous substances
  • Dutiable:
    • Objects and equipment for commercial use
    • Vehicles that are subject to registration, motorized vehicles, and other vehicles for sailing or flight
    • Objects usually fixed to the walls or floor of the owner of the goods’ residence (i.e. fixtures, wood flooring, etc.)
    • Food and beverages, including alcohol and tobacco

Prohibited Items

  • Paints, polishes, and cleaning solvents
  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Natural plants
  • Food items
  • Chewing tobacco and finely powdered snuff
  • Explosives

Consignment Instructions

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.



Cultural and Other Information

CIA World Factbook

Wikipedia Entry for Iceland

IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.