From Iceland — Customs Charges On Birthday Food Parcel Cancelled

Customs Charges On Birthday Food Parcel Cancelled

Published January 28, 2021

John Pearson
Photo by
Alex Guillaume on Unsplash

A Spanish resident of Iceland has enforced her right to avoid import duties on a package of food sent as a gift.

The woman received the parcel of smoked meat, cheese and olives last June from her mother as a birthday present, according to RÚV. However, she was unable to tuck into these traditional Spanish gifts without first paying Icelandic customs charges of 4,000 ISK.

Since packages containing gifts for special occasions are supposed to be exempt from import duties, the woman complained to the director of customs. However, he ruled that this package could not be delivered duty-free, on the basis that these particular foodstuffs could be bought in Iceland.

The woman escalated her complaint to the internal revenue authorities. They disagreed with the assessment by customs, observing that the contents of this package could only be interpreted as a gift. The revenue authorities therefore ruled that customs charges should not be applied in this case.

It is unclear whether this ruling sets any precedent for future customs operations.

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