The aftermath of Brexit has introduced complexities for British citizens considering a move to countries in the European Union, especially concerning the relocation of belongings, including furniture. Understanding the intricacies of post-Brexit regulations is crucial to ensure a smooth transition, although with different rules and regulations in place depending on where you’re moving to can make things complicated.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the essential steps and considerations for moving furniture to Spain after Brexit, addressing common concerns and providing valuable insights for a successful relocation. As expert international movers, at Weston and Edwards we pride ourselves on our commitment to ensuring smooth and simple relocation to and from Europe for all.

Can British People Still Move to Spain Post-Brexit?

Can British People Still Move to Spain Post-Brexit?

Brexit changed many things for British people living within other EU countries as well as EU citizens living in the UK, with one of the biggest impacts being seen in the rights citizens hold in living and working abroad.

Since Brexit, British nationals must now have residency in a European country if they intend to stay there for more than 90 days within a 180-day period. So if you have a holiday home in Spain, you cannot live there from December to May without having Spanish residency, and you cannot live there from December to February and return before May, for example.

For individuals who owned property in Spain before Brexit and secured residency, the process of relocating furniture is relatively straightforward. However, for those contemplating a move to Spain post-Brexit, establishing residency becomes a critical first step. You must obtain a NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero), register with the Padron (the local authority where you give your personal details including your address) and apply for permanent residency, paying the relevant fee and submitting supporting documents.

Obtaining permanent residency can be hard without a job or significant savings, so you should investigate the conditions of residency in Spain for buying a property or attempting to move permanently.

If you owned property in Spain before Brexit, you may have a better chance of obtaining residency than those without, as it removes rent as a significant living cost and shows your intent to live permanently in the country. However, buying a property is slightly more difficult now.

Can You Still Buy Properties in Spain?

While buying property doesn’t guarantee you residency in Spain as it may do in other EU countries such as Portugal, it is still possible without residency, albeit slightly more complicated. To buy a property in Spain, you need to have a Spanish bank account. Opening a Spanish bank account will usually require the NIE, which you must apply to the government for, however, some banks allow British citizens to open accounts without temporary residency.

Once you have an identity number and a bank account, you are free to buy a property in Spain and use it as a holiday home for up to 180 days a year, though not in one go, or apply for permanent residency if you have a job in Spain or significant savings, or income through other means.

Moving Furniture to Spain After Brexit

Moving Furniture to Spain After Brexit

In the wake of Brexit, British citizens face new challenges when relocating to Spain. While freedom of movement within the EU has been restricted, the process of moving furniture to Spain remains feasible, although slightly marred with additional regulations.

To move furniture to a property in Spain, you will need to fill out two forms, one for exporting goods from the UK and one for importing goods into Spain. Both forms must have a detailed inventory of items, including how much they are worth. When working out the value of items, you should estimate their second-hand value rather than writing their original cost to you.

There are some restrictions in place on the value of items you can move over the border as well as what items you can take, so make sure you’re well aware of the regulations specific to Spain rather than the EU as a whole, as there are different rules in place for moving to Ireland as there are to Spain, for example.

To make things easier, it’s highly recommended to find and employ the services of experienced international movers, like Weston and Edwards. With their expertise and experience moving items from the UK to European countries, other countries across the world and vice versa, they know exactly what forms to fill out for easy relocation as well as how to pack your items for safe transportation.

Customs Declarations and Duties

Customs Declarations and Duties

Complying with customs regulations is paramount when relocating furniture to Spain. A detailed inventory of belongings is essential for customs clearance.

Your customs declaration must include:

  • Name of each item
  • A brief description
  • The weight and dimension of each item
  • Estimated second-hand retail value
  • Length of time in your possession
  • The address of where the things are moving from and to
  • Proof of ownership

While personal items are typically exempt from customs duties, adherence to regulations regarding ownership and usage duration is imperative to avoid complications at the border. However, it would be unreasonable to request decades-old receipts for your bed frame or coffee table if you’ve had them for generations, so border control does exercise rationality when assessing your customs declaration and movement of goods.

To transport items without paying duty fees, the items need to be owned by you for at least 6 months. The idea is to prevent items being bought and sold across borders while not paying relevant local taxes, so unless you’re clearly moving brand-new or vintage items to be sold, authorities are highly unlikely to ask you for proof that you have owned the item for more than 6 months.

Some items may have specific regulations on them like vehicles, or simply be prohibited from being transported altogether.

Is There Anything You Can’t Take to Spain?

Your international removal company will be able to inform you of what items you cannot take into Spain when you hand them your inventory of your belongings, however, it’s best to have an idea before you start packing up your house to ensure you can deal with the items appropriately.

There are some restrictions on certain items that cannot be imported at all, including:

  • Alcohol or cigarettes over a certain quantity
  • Prohibited items, including drugs, counterfeit goods, or offensive materials
  • Restricted items, including firearms, specific medicines, plants, and cultural or historical items

Offensive materials sounds vague but refers to anything relating to hate speech, discrimination, obscene imagery, illegal drug paraphernalia or things that can be considered a threat to public health or safety.

Certain medicines are restricted within EU countries so you should check what’s allowed before you try to move and ensure you have your prescription and a letter from your doctor to prove the necessity of the items in your possession. Since Brexit has removed many British rights in the EU, your EHIC is no longer valid, so healthcare needs should be taken care of in the UK where possible to minimise expenses.

Further Considerations

Further Considerations

Before relocating your belongings to your property in Spain, it’s crucial to consider several important factors. Firstly, decide on the transportation method that best suits your needs: the length of time to take items and what items are permitted may change depending on transporting your items by sea, air or land.

How will you pack and move your belongings and what happens if you cannot access your property when you need to? Experienced and reputable international movers can help with each of these factors, ensuring your items are packed securely, customs forms are filled correctly, and allow for storage when necessary.

When researching a moving company, consider your budget as well as your timeline for moving and the reputation of the company, as you want to rest assured your belongings are in safe hands, without worrying that you don’t have the money for the service. Movers like Weston and Edwards even allow you to pay for space in a lorry to move partial loads if you plan to take some things with you when you go. So consider all your options before your move to Spain.

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