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3-Goods purchased in Italy and directly carried in the personal baggage outside the territory of the EU: What to do if the goods are too bulky or too heavy


Should the goods intended for personal or familiar use be so bulky or heavy as not to be able to be carried outside the Community Customs territory directly in the personal baggage (and also because it is too expensive), the EU non-resident traveller may have them shipped to his foreign address as not accompanied baggage, i.e. as “personal goods” which are not directly carried by the traveller but shipped to destination by airline. They can be collected at the oncoming goods section of the airport.

The facility above can be applied provided that the traveller leaves the Italian territory with a direct flight to his country of origin.

This operation is subject to a real air-freight agreement: The air carrier issues an airwaybill (AWB) and the payment of an additional sum is required for the transport of goods abroad.

In this case, the purchase of goods must be certified by an invoice other than that concerning the goods checked in or personally carried by the traveller.

The original copy of the invoice must be presented to the air carrier for the issue of the airwaybill (AWB) concerning the goods shipped as not accompanied baggage and will be endorsed by the competent Customs office. The Customs endorsement is essential for VAT refund purposes. 

In order to verify that the goods contained in the invoice issued by the Italian seller are the same as those shipped to destination by airline on behalf of the traveller, the description of the goods in the airwaybill must correspond to that of the invoice issued by the Italian seller and the name of the consignor of the goods shipped must match that of the receiver.

Besides, the personal details (reported in the passport or in any such equivalent document) of the foreign traveller in the airwaybill (AWB) must match those reported, according to the Italian law, in the invoice issued by the Italian seller.

In order to tangibly get the VAT refund, the EU non-resident traveller must return the original copy of the invoice endorsed by the Customs, according to the terms above, to the Italian seller.