Good to Know

Transport in hand luggage

Items transported in hand luggage are not subject to the import duties (customs duties and tax) provided that their value and quantity are below certain limits. It is therefore necessary to guard the quantity and value limits on the goods.

For transport of a computer, expensive camera or other equipment we recommend using the ATA Carnet (see ATA Carnet). Another option is to have a certificate of origin issued by the customs administration to avoid the necessity of customs clearance upon your return. The origin of goods can also be proved by a document of their purchase (e.g. a receipt or an invoice), but a form issued by the customs administration or an ATA Carnet are a more certain solution.

Renting a vehicle abroad

Vehicle rental companies have their own rules, which can sometimes be surprising. For example, some large rental companies prohibit entry into some countries. In any case, the intention to cross the border in a rental vehicle should be agreed upon with the rental company in advance, since it will also influence the price of the vehicle insurance policy.

You can also rent a vehicle for a certain time via the Internet. Some Czech companies offer this possibility as well.

It is also good to know that vehicle rental companies often make the rental conditional on the age and experience of the driver. They will not lend the vehicle, for example, to a driver under 25 years of age, or they may charge an extra fee.

When picking up the rental vehicle, inform the company of any damage (including a paint scratch) you discover and insist that it be recorded in a report. The best way is to take a picture of the vehicle from all sides at the rental company premises.

Check that you have a full tank and return the car with a full tank as well.

Traffic rules in Europe and fees

Traffic rules in the EU are not governed by Community law, but each Member State applies its own rules. We recommend that you inquire, for example, about speed limits in the particular country. Detailed information

Motorway fees and tolls differ as well

An overview can be found on the website of ÚAMK (Central Automoto Club)

Traffic restrictions for lorries

Restrictions apply to vehicles weighing more than 7.5 tonnes and to all vehicles with trailers (in the Czech Republic and Germany), which are banned from driving at certain times. A table with the exact times of bans on lorries in individual countries is available, for example, here.

These times include night hours, Sundays and public holidays.

Environmental restrictions

Some European countries are introducing environmental restrictions on traffic, i.e. green or low-emission zones, which may be entered with a green sticker only. Such countries include, for example, France, Germany, Denmark, and Austria. An overview of information on how to obtain the green sticker can be found here or on individual portals of the countries concerned.

Picking-up a consignment at the customs office

It depends on the country from which the consignment was sent.

  1. Consignments from the European Union Member States are not subject to the customs clearance procedure, so they are not handled by customs officers but are sent, after sorting, directly to the addressee.
  2. Consignments from other countries are subject to the customs clearance procedure. After takeover by the Post Office of Exchange at Prague 120, Plzeňská 139/200, Prague 5-Košíře, they are submitted to the Customs Office, which proceeds as follows:
  • A consignment which meets the limits and conditions for exemption from customs duties and VAT (up to EUR 22) is handed over to the Customs Office, which decides on its release for delivery.
  • Consignments that may meet the limits and conditions for the exemption from customs duties and VAT are handed over to the Customs Office and, based on its decision to check or request additional documents, they are deposited in the Czech Post’s temporary warehouse and the addressee will receive a Notice of the Arrival of a Consignment from Abroad with a request to submit the required documents for the customs clearance procedure,
  • Consignment that do not meet the limits and conditions for exemption from customs duties and VAT and for which a customs declaration is required are deposited in the Czech Post’s temporary warehouse and the addressee receives a Notice of the Arrival of a Consignment from Abroad with a request to submit the required documents for the customs clearance procedure,

(source: Czech Post)

Detailed information on specific situations can be found on the website of the Customs Administration of the Czech Republic.

Dealing with authorities and the Customs Administration

It is clear from what was said above that handling the customs clearance and taxes is connected with complex red tape and a great deal of formalities. Neither the customs officers nor the Czech Chamber of Commerce treat works of art and other items that artists need for their work differently from other goods. The legislation itself uses simply the term “goods”. This has to be reckoned with. You should also reckon with the fact that formal procedures will always be observed, so it would be useless to show displeasure.

It is an unpleasant reality that customs checks are often connected with considerable delays, so it is necessary to factor in some more time in advance.

When issuing an ATA Carnet, which must be filled in English, the Chamber of Commerce checks it item after item. It makes sure that the carnet does not include items that cannot return. For example, if you use make-up for your artistic activities in countries in which you need an ATA Carnet, the make-up set cannot be entered in the carnet because it cannot return in the same quantity. You can solve this, for example, by distributing the individual parts of the make-up set among individual participants to carry them in their personal luggage.