When moving between countries, a common misconception people have is that their personal effects are all somehow immune from the complex procedures of duties, taxes and other forms of red tape. But in reality, you will need more than just your passport to ship your belongings.
The same still applies when shipping personal effects between Australia and Ireland. You will still have to undergo a process if you want these items to remain exempt from any taxation.
This process involves acquiring documents that are meant to serve as proof of your residence and citizenship while also confirming that you have already paid other necessary dues for some of these personal effects (especially vehicles). Some of these documents include:
This can be either one you currently have as an Irish citizen or the one you had when you previously resided in the country.
Proof of Residency
This includes one set for your residency in Ireland and another set for the one in Australia. Both of these can use similar documents that are meant to prove that you have lived on day-to-day expenses in the respective country (such as recent bank statements, utility bills, social welfare documents etc).
Complete Inventory List with Declared Value and Proof of Ownership
All items must be checked and accounted for with declared value even if you are apprehensive about incurring possible duties. Furthermore, items that required registration (such as vehicles) will also need their respective proof of ownership provided (with the registration being valid for more than six months).
Applying for Tax Relief
With all that said, the required documents are just the first half of what you need to keep your personal effects from being subjected to taxes.
Duties and taxes for these goods must have been while in the country of purchase. They must also have been in your possession and seen considerable use for a minimum of six months.
You must also have had your place of normal residence outside the EU for a continuous period of at least twelve months prior to your transfer. However, relief may also be granted if it can be established that you had clear intentions to reside outside the EU for a continuous period of at least 12 months. (In this case, the importation of your personal effects must take place within six months before or twelve months after the date of the transfer.)
Should the importation takes place before the transfer of residence, then you must certainly exercise all efforts to actually take up residence in the State within six months of the importation. Until then, your items may not be hired out, lent, sold or otherwise disposed of for twelve months after unless you decide to pay the import charges.
Granted, this can still be relatively simpler to execute compared to processes for professional importers and logistics firms. However, that doesn’t justify complacency. It is still highly recommended that you partner up with a reliable moving service to ensure the proper shipping of your personal effects.