Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Chicago

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Customs clearance of parcels – Customs Administration, online shopping

Department 023.1- Prague-Post Office Customs Administration Prague Ruzyně (hereinafter referred to as “Customs“) is established for custom clearance of consignments coming from countries outside the European Union (hereinafter referred to as “third country“).

After delivering the parcels at the post office, the employees ofČeská pošta, s. p. (Czech Post) sort them into parcels from third countries and parcels delivered within the Union. Parcels which contain goods delivered from third countries are then sorted into three groups by employees of Czech Post, according to the accompanying documents and X-ray results. Specifically into parcels proposed by Czech Post to exemption from custom duty and VAT, parcels proposed by Czech post as a clearance agent to be released into free circulation regime with the assessment of the customs debt and into parcels which are deposited in an interim warehouse of Czech Post. In case of doubt when sorting parcels, Czech Post has the right to request from the customs administration inspection of the parcel, where an employee of Czech Post in the presence of customs officer may determine the content of the parcel or other data or take out the documents which are necessary to release the goods.

The parcels that were proposed to be released into free circulation regime by Czech post are released according to data declared by Czech Post, which in these cases acts as clearance agent.

The parcels that were not directly proposed to be released into free circulation regime are deposited in an interim warehouse of Czech Post and at the same time a Notification of arrival of parcel from abroad is sent by the Czech Post to the addressee, in which is stipulated the information and also documents required for the customs clearance.

The goods are being deposited in a temporary warehouse of Czech Post and the addressee is asked to present additional proof of documents needed for release of the parcel into free circulation regime for the following reasons:
It is not clear whether the goods in the parcel have commercial or non-commercial character.
The value of the parcel is probably higher than the quoted value (undervalued parcel).
The parcel contains prohibited or restricted goods.
The content of the parcel exceeds the limit for goods.

Absence of authority to customs

Delivered parcels may be, according to Council Regulation (EC) No. 1186/2009 about Community system of reliefs from customs duty(hereinafter referred to as “CR 1186/2009 “),

Relieved from custom duty as “consignments of negligible value” or “consignments sent by one private individual to another”:

1. Consignments of negligible value 
Are goods dispatched directly from a third country to a consignee in the European Union, the intrinsic value of which does not exceed a total of EUR 150 per consignment. These parcels shall be admitted free of import duty; however this relief does not apply to:

  • alcoholic products,
  • perfumes and Eau de Toilette,
  • tobacco and tobacco products.

The intrinsic value is understood as customs value of goods, without shipping costs and insurance.

Tax exemption of parcels from customs duty does not automatically mean relief from VAT.
Exemption from VAT is determined by Act No. 235/2004 Sb., about VAT, as amended. The exemption of imported goods from VAT is modified in Article 71. Goods whose value does not exceed EUR 22 are not subject to VAT, except for alcoholic products, perfumes, toilet waters, tobacco or tobacco products. The situation of exemption from the VAT is processed into simplified scheme. Calculated customs debt (VAT) is to be paid by customs declarant. The amount of customs debt pays the addressee when accepting the shipment at the address of delivery to the employee of Czech Post. Should be noted that other fees can be collected by Czech post when delivering the parcel, that do not relate to the activity of customs administration (fees for provided services paid to Czech Post, etc.)

2. Shipment of goods between private individuals:
Gift shipments are sent by a private person from a third country to another private person, which is located within the European Union and must be an importation of a commercial nature. Exemption is only goods to a value of 45 Euros. Within this limit may be granted exemption from import duties on:

Tobacco = 50 cigarettes or 25 cigarillos, or 10 pieces of cigar, or 50 grams of tobacco which is used for smoking, or a proportional assortment of these products

Alcoholic beverages= liquors and spirits of an alcoholic strength exceeding 22% by volume, non-denatured alcohol containing 80% vol or more: 1 liter, or liqueurs and spirits, aperitifs based on wine or alcohol, tafia, sake or similar beverages containing strength not exceeding 22% vol, sparkling wine, fortified wine - 1 liter or a proportional assortment of these products and still wines - 2 liters

Perfumes = 50 grams, or toilet water - 0.25 liter

Exemption from VAT on goods sent in gift shipments between private parties, which satisfies the conditions of exemption under Article 25-27 Council Regulation (EC) No 1186/2009 as amended, which is the value of 45 EUR. In the case of import of coffee or tea, there is an exemption from tax on the amount to 500g of coffee or 200 grams of coffee extracts and essences and 100 grams of tea, or 40 grams tea extract and essence.

Rates applicable first business day in October with the effect from January 1 of the following calendar year, are used as the exchange rate to set limits for exemption of goods from custom duty or VAT.

Other items, those are subject to custom duty and taxes:
These are the items whose values exceed the limit for exemption from customs duties and VAT as explained above. The value of shipments is calculated from the price stated in the document that applies to imported goods. Such a document should be enclosed with the shipment.

Value of shipments= price listed on reliable proof + shipping costs recalculated according to the exchange rate into CZK.

EMS Shipments of goods of a non-commercial nature:
Customs Duty - x% of the value of goods
VAT - x% of the value of goods + shipping costs + customs duty

Packages and correspondence with the goods of a non-commercial nature:
Customs Duty - x% of the value of goods
VAT - x% of the value of goods + shipping costs + customs duty.
This calculated customs debt is then claimed from the declarant.

Goods of non-commercial nature for the private use are goods that enter the customs procedure:
occasionally – its nature, and quantity indicate that they are intended for private or personal use or for consumption of the beneficiaries or those who import them and their family members or to serve as a gift, which means, not by their nature or quantity, reflect any commercial intent.