In certain cases import duties do not have to be paid of gifts sent to Iceland.

Gifts sent for special occasions

Gifts that persons living abroad bring or send to Iceland for special occasions, but never for commercial purposes, are exempted from import duties if the following conditions are met:

  1. The value of the gift is not more than 13,500 kr. (February 2013). If an invoice is missing the customs authorities estimate the value based on the likely retail price at the place of purchase. If the value of a gift is more than 13,500 kr. duties are calculated from the amount that exceeds 13,500 kr. Wedding gifts are exempt from import duties even if they are over 13,500 kr. in value, provided that the Directorate of Customs assesses the gift to be a normal and appropriate wedding gift and it is imported no later than 6 months after the wedding took place.
  2. That the recipient proves that the gift is for a special occasion. Anniversaries, weddings, Christmas, confirmations are among other considered special occasions in this regard.
  3. The shipment is sent as a gift from a sender who lives abroad and there is a relationship between the sender and receiver of the gift.
  4. If it is clear from the documentation or the content of the package that the gift is meant for more than one person and the gifts have been packaged together for economical reasons, the customs value will be individually evaluated for each gift.

Exemption from import duties under based on the conditions above does not apply to alcohol or tobacco.

Gifts for humanitarian and relief organisations

Tools, equipment and other investment products that humanitarian and relief organisations receive as a gift are exempt from import duties, if the product is directly used for the activities of the organisation.

Gifts that are sent here from abroad and charity organisations or other such parties distribute to people in need are exempt from import duties.

The following parties can take advantage of the above exemption:

  1. The Icelandic Red Cross and its departments, search and rescue organisations.
  2. Health, care and treatment institutions, residential homes, cohabiting homes for the disabled, diagnostic and counselling centers, residential care homes for the elderly and other institutions engaging in similar activities.

The exemption includes the following tools and equipment:

  1. Devices and equipment used for medical purposes and diagnosis.
  2. Devices used for rehabilitation from illness and injury.
  3. Other equipment used at the institutions listed above, for rehabilitation or for the benefit of patients and residents.

In order to receive an exemption based on the conditions above the following criteria must be met:

  1. A written statement from the giver/donor regarding the gift and its purpose must be submitted at customs clearance as well as confirmation by the recipient that the gift will be used for the activities concerned.
  2. There may not exist a financial relationship between the giver/donor and the beneficiary.

Gifts from abroad on the basis of cultural or friendship links with foreign countries

Gifts received from abroad by the state, municipality or a local government institution as a token of friendship or on the basis of cultural relations with foreign countries are exempted from import duties.

A precondition for the exemption from import duties is that accompanying documents or other data clearly show that the shipment contains a gift and that a representative of the beneficiary confirms the receipt of the gift.