Import Duties & Rights for Shipping to Israel
As a rule, all imports to Israel are subject to import duties. There are some notable exceptions. Please see this article for more information
Commercial entities who are shipping to Israel should have all required "approvals", suitable labeling, and a pre-ruling from the Tax Authority - Meches, before the shipment leaves.
Shipping to Israel - Israeli Port Concerns
When shipping to Israel, there are several concerns regarding Israeli ports, as reviewed below:
Israeli Ports and Facilities charge fees for the work they do. These fees are not all regulated, so get them in writing before shipping to Israel.
All shipments must clear customs and be removed from the port within a certain period of time or you will have to pay storage fees. When shipping
- Air Shipments - Storage fees start the day the shipment arrives.
- Full Container Sea Shipments - Storage starts 4 days after the shipment arrives.
- Consolidated Sea Shipments (LCL) - Storage starts 30 days after shipment arrives.
Air shipments are billed for storage according to weight and volume, as well as time in storage. Get an estimate of storage fees at Ben Gurion Airport. These charges can add up quickly, so time your shipment accordingly to avoid extended religious and other holidays.
Full Container Sea Shipments are billed on a daily basis, after 4 free days. Each week (from 2-5) shows an increase in the Daily Storage charge. There is also a separate charge for container rental (demurrage) which varies depending on the shipping lines used. As a result of these two charges, the cost of keeping a container in storage for (about) 2 weeks exceeds the cost of unloading the container and re-loading the goods onto a truck. If you are not ready to accept delivery on a full container load as soon as it clears customs, or if you are unable to supply the required documentation before the container arrives in Israel, please advise your agent BEFORE deciding on a full container versus a consolidated shipment.
Consolidated Sea Shipments (LCL) - Israeli Port Facilities allow 30 days of free storage on LCL loads. After 30 days, you are charged $2.00 plus VAT (15.5%) per metric ton per day. While the bonded port warehouses are suitable for short-term storage (30-60 days) they are not designed for long term storage. Verify warehousing options with your agent.
Port Strikes & Slowdowns
Since privatization of the Israeli Ports, long-term strikes are less common, however short (2-3 day) strikes and "Slowdowns" are more common. This doesn't seem to have settled any labor-management disagreements, but it has caused some additional fees, such as unplanned storage charges (see above) and "Congestion" charges. Some agents may include this and others may not.
Customs & Security Inspections
If a customs/ security inspection was carried out, it will be charged to you separately. It is not included in your estimate. If your shipper tells you there was a customs inspection, you can verify with the customs authority.
To reduce the possibility of a customs/security inspection, here are some top tips
- Do not self-load the container for personal imports to Israel.
- Limit the number of owner packed boxes.
- Fill out the customs declaration accurately and honestly.
- Do not import goods for other people in your own name.
What not to ship to Israel
- Guns or firearms
- Explosives or flammables
- Gas appliances with a pilot light
- Corrosive chemicals
Also, verify the limitations on the following items:
- Motor vehicles
- Food products
- More than 4 of any type, or new item, for a personal import
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