With lively nightlife in the big cities, affordable housing and a slower pace of life in general – you may have decided to make the move to Poland.

If so, you’ll join other expats who’ve already taken the plunge!

Yet, you may be concerned about all the details you’ll need to handle, in order to get your belongings from your current country all the way over to Poland.

This is no small feat, as an international move means dealing with customs, reams of paperwork, a potentially long list of regulations and import duties.

All of this can be an intimidating prospect, but the best course of action is to educate yourself about the process.

This will ensure that you have the best experience possible – though it’s still highly recommended that you partner with a qualified international moving company, which can make the transition as easy as possible.

1 – Packing Fragile Items

move to poland

Polana Chochołowska, Kiry, Poland

Before delving into the duties and paperwork involved in your move to Poland, you may be wondering about packing certain belongings.

Specifically, you may be concerned that your fragile items will be damaged during the move.

There are a few measures which you can take, to avoid this kind of problem and ensure that your valuables are well protected.

2 – Cushioning Is Key

Packing paper and bubble wrap should be used generously when packing fragile belongings.

For glass items (like glassware or vases), it’s important that you fill any void with packing paper, and this should be pressed tightly into space. They should also be carefully placed in a cell box, and additional packing paper, small linens or packing peanuts should be placed underneath each one.

If any space remains in the cell, fill this with additional padding until the item cannot shift or move. Finally, you should cushion the entire box, by wrapping it in a towel or more layers of packing paper.

3 – Test Your Handiwork

When finished, you should be able to gently shake the cell box and not hear any items moving inside. If you do, you must open it back up and add more packing material. This ensures that your glassware or other fragile items aren’t shifting during transit.

4 – Mark Them Fragile

An obvious step (but one that’s sometimes overlooked), you should clearly mark in large letters each box as “fragile.” You can also purchase pre-made stickers for this purpose. Be sure that this fragile label is on at least two opposite sides, so it can be seen from different angles.

5 – Purchase Insurance

The final step when moving your fragile belongings to Poland is to speak with your international moving company about additional insurance. They may be able to offer you extra coverage for these special goods. If not, you could purchase insurance coverage from an independent third-party.

6 – Duties Of Your Household Belongings

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Wilanów Palace, Warszawa, Poland

Having seen how to protect your fragile items, it’s now time to cover the paperwork you’ll need to clear all of your belongings through Polish customs. Customs will designate your normal personal effects and the items within your home, as your household goods.

This includes your furniture, appliances, electronics, media items, clothing, household supplies (like cleaning products), non-perishable foodstuffs, decorations and furnishings.

If you’ve been concerned that you’ll have to leave these items behind, due to exorbitant import duties – you’ll be pleased to learn that you can be exempted from these fees.

7 – Requirements For Duty Exemption

You won’t be charged any import duties on your household belongings, as long as you meet a few simple benchmarks. First, your household goods must be more than six months old.

Second, you cannot sell any of these items for the first 12 months after bringing them into the country. Third, you must be planning to reside in Poland for a minimum of six months. If you’re moving to Poland, plan to do so for at least 6 months!

The ability to be exempted from the usual import duty is excellent news – though you should be aware that you’re required to take these belongings back out of Poland when you leave the country (or when your Work Contract expires).

You also must provide a Bank Guarantee, which is a refundable deposit for the full amount of the duties that would have been charged, had you not been exempt.

8 – Value-Added Tax

It isn’t clear whether an exemption applies to the typical value-added tax (VAT) of 22% usually imposed on imports. Separate and distinct from import duty, it’s likely that you’ll have to pay VAT on your shipment.

If that’s the case, it will be calculated based on the combined amount of the value of your goods, the cost of freight to ship them and the insurance for the shipment (referred to as the CIF value).

9 – Paperwork For Your Household Belongings

life in warsaw

Hala Koszyki, Warszawa, Poland

You’ll have to submit a variety of documentation when bringing your shipment of household goods into Poland. Customs will need to see your passport (which should not expire until 3 months after the date when you plan to leave Poland) and visa, along with either your Original Bill of Lading or Air Waybill.

You may need a Work Permit as well, though this may vary depending upon your country of citizenship.

If required, your Work Permit must be good for a minimum of 12 months after your shipment enters the country.

A Work Certificate is also a necessary document, and it should be written in Polish. Issued by the company you’ll be working for within Poland, this should specify your position and the dates which your contract runs. You must also provide a notarized copy of your employer’s registration paperwork.

10 – Valued Inventory vs. Comprehensive Inventory

Here sources disagree, with some stating that a valued inventory must only be submitted (by fax before your shipment arrives) if your items have been insured during shipment – and that a comprehensive inventory is the only mandatory documentation.

This same source goes on to enumerate that your comprehensive inventory must be submitted to customs in triplicate and that a detailed list per carton of goods (or perhaps box) is required.

Other sources hold that a valued inventory is always necessary in all cases and that a separate packing list must also be given to customs.

Either way, your inventory should include the monetary values of your items – with the comprehensive inventory stating the make and serial number for all electronic goods and appliances.

Keep in mind that general terms such as “miscellaneous items” or “packed by owner” are not permissible, when writing out your inventories.

11 – Bank Guarantee

As mentioned above, customs will likely require a Bank Guarantee – and accompanying paperwork proving that these funds have been deposited.

The amount will be the import duty and VAT which would have been required, had your shipment not been exempted. This implies that exemption of the value-added tax (VAT) is possible.

To learn whether VAT relief will be granted on your particular shipment, it’s best to contact Polish customs directly.

You can expect the funds you’ve deposited to be refunded in full when you export your goods out of the country upon leaving Poland. This is provided you’ve followed the applicable regulations, such as not selling your goods within 12 months of importing them.

12 – Power of Attorney

When working with an international shipping company or another third-party agent, you’ll need to give them permission to act on your behalf. This allows them to carry out the actions required to move your goods through customs.

This Power of Attorney is to be written in Polish and signed by you, and it’s also required to be notarized within Poland if your shipment is travelling over land.

13 – EORI Number

A fairly new regulation, you’re required by law to apply for and be issued an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number for your shipment. This number is mandatory in all EU countries, and your shipment will not be granted entry into Poland without it.

14 – Certificate of Residence

Polish customs will need to see your Certificate of Residence (Zameldowanie), as part of the paperwork you must submit to clear your shipment. A Customer Statement is also required, and this should be part of your inventory.

This statement should list the value of your goods, say that they belong to you and will be personally used by you while in the country. It should also bear your signature.

It may also need to include an attestation that your shipment doesn’t include any drugs or firearms – though a separate written statement may be necessary for this purpose.

15 – Letter From your Previous Employer

Customs officials will want documentation concerning your employment, and this takes the form of a letter. You should provide one from the company you previously worked for outside of Poland, and this must list the precise dates of employment (which can’t be less than one year).

It should also say that you’ve discontinued your permanent residency in your origin country and are now planning to move to Poland instead.

You’re required to give customs a copy of the letter written in Polish (a translation by a sworn translator is sufficient), along with the original written in the official language of your country of origin.

16 – Letter From Employer in Poland

An additional letter from your new employer within the country is also necessary. This letter should say that your employment is within Poland and list the expected length of employment and the specific dates you’ll be working there.

Keep in mind that an employment duration of at least one year is required and that this letter should be on official company letterhead. It also must be signed and stamped by the appropriate company officer, as stated in the company’s documents on file with Poland.

17 – Duties For Your Vehicle

living in warsaw

Warsaw Old Town, Warsaw, Poland

Are you planning on bringing your personal vehicle with you when you move to Poland?

If so, you’re likely wondering how costly it will be. Luckily, Polish customs is quite lenient when it comes to levying import duties and taxes on your vehicle. It seems that you’re permitted to import your used vehicle without paying duty, as long as it’s more than six months old.

It also must be registered in your name in your country of origin, and you must have lived outside of Poland for at least the last six months (12 months if you’re a returning Polish citizen). Finally, customs requires that you not sell the vehicle for the first year after bringing it into the country.

If you meet all of these guidelines, then you will be exempted from the usual import duty.

It also appears that the typical value-added tax (VAT) of 22% charged on imported vehicles, along with an excise tax, will be waived as well. You’d do well to contact Polish customs to confirm this information, as these fees can be quite significant.

18 – Varying Information

You should also be aware, that other reputable sources list additional requirements for duty exemption. Specifically, they state that if the vehicle is being imported from outside the EU – then no exemption is offered.

Also not exempt are company cars which belong to their fleet or any utility vehicles.

Additional regulations which may only apply to return Polish citizens (this is not clear), are an import limit of one per vehicle, motorcycle or trailer type.

Other listed requirements include having lived in a country that’s not part of the EU for at least a year – and that you use the vehicle for the same purpose as in the origin country (personal use rather than commercial).

Again, it’s best to speak with Polish customs, to learn what regulations will apply to your specific shipment.

19 – Paperwork For Your Vehicle

living in poland

Turbacz, Poland

Just as with your household belongings, importing a vehicle while moving to Poland requires some specific paperwork. It can take time to pull all of the necessary documents together.

This is why trusted international vehicle transport company A1 Auto Transport, Inc, recommends that you begin preparing at least 3 months before your expected move date.

The list of documentation required by Polish customs includes a Certificate of Origin for your vehicle. This verifies the country of origin for the vehicle in question.

A purchase invoice (original) must be submitted if you’re importing a new vehicle. If your vehicle is used (which is recommended to avoid import duties), then a signed declaration of its value must be provided by you.

20 – Title, Registration and More

Both the vehicle’s title and registration from your origin country are mandatory, and these must be in your name – and they should be the originals (though a copy of your registration appears to be permitted).

You’ll also need to show customs your driver’s license and an international insurance policy that’s valid within Poland.

21 – Additional Documentation

Also, if you’re bringing a vehicle into the country, then its chassis number, make, model and year of registration must be included on your inventory (which you provided for your household goods).

Finally, original documentation pertaining to the vehicle may be required to demonstrate your ownership – though the paperwork already listed may be sufficient for this purpose.


So there you have 21 tips to help get you and your stuff moved and settled in Poland.

How was your experience of moving to Poland? What are your biggest concerns about moving here? Let us know in the comments!