Temporary importation

Temporary importation

However, there are also many situations where you can bring a horse in from abroad without having to buy the horse.  Think of horses of a foreign rider who comes to train with you or participate in equestrian events in your neighborhood and in the meantime comes to stay at your stable. Or also the mare that is housed with you for breeding purposes. The intention is that the horse (or horses) will leave the territory again, and preferably within a reasonable period of time.  In this case, we are talking about 'temporary importation'.  This can also be covered by an ATA Carnet. Again, we have to make a distinction between the horses' countries of origin: do they come from another EU member state or do they come from third countries?

FROM EU COUNTRY  Temporary imports from another EU member state:

FROM EU COUNTRY - TRACES This is in fact quite simple, since there is no trade transaction.  The horse can come to your stable, if accompanied by a valid passport and a TRACES health certificate (intra-EU certificate).  Remember to do the identification and registration in a timely manner according to the rules that apply in your country!

FROM NON-EU COUNTRY  Temporary imports from a third country (non-EU member state)

FROM EU COUNTRY - GUARANTEE and valid for 1 year As with a final import (see above) taxes are also due here, in principle immediately upon arrival at the EU's first external border.  We are going to charge import duties and VAT again... but they are now given a different name and are referred to as 'customs deposit' or 'guarantor'. However, the amount of this guarantee corresponds to the sum of the import duties and vat, plus a possible administrative fine. As with normal imports, the value of the horse will be taken as a basis for the calculation, plus customs and transport costs from the country of origin. This guarantee is a guarantee to the customs services, a kind of 'commission' – it goes without saying that if this system were not worked on, there would be a lot of (rogue) importers never to introduce a horse 'definitively'.  You can normally keep a horse for one (1) year under the regime of 'temporary' import.  The horse must leave the EU territory (to a third country) within this period.  Once the horse has been exported in the correct way, customs will proceed to the refund of the integral deposit, minus the cost of regularisation (approx. €300 currently). Let's say that as an owner you have travelled to Europe with a bunch of horses - which you have temporarily imported and that you have sold one or more horses here during your stay in Europe.  You know, 'an offer I can't refuse!'.  Then there is still the possibility to regularize this: i.e. you will have to have the horse offered at customs (in the country of entry) and one will convert the temporary importation into a permanent import.  On the basis of the sales invoice, the horse will be imported under the name of the new owner, and VAT and Import duties are due (unless you can rely on one of the exemptions listed under 'Final Import'), the deposit will be refunded on the other hand. Please know that a temporary importation is normally only valid for a maximum of 1 year, in some cases and countries it can be extended for a second year.  In any case, before the expiry of the permitted period, the horse will either have to leave the EU or be declared for permanent importation... if not the owner or representative is in violation and there will be fines of at least €500. Finally, the value of a horse on temporary importation has already been discussed several times, there have even been a lot of lawsuits.  The legislation requires you to indicate fair value, whatever it may be.... However, we advise our customers to indicate at least a "reasonable value": for example, the value for which you have insured the horse (you can prove this) or the price you paid yourself at the time of purchase (for example, the value for which you have insured the horse ( you can prove this) or the price you paid yourself at the time of purchase (submit a invoice if possible). Do you have expensive horses where the deposit could be (very) high?  Or do your horses travel to and from European Member States several times a year? Then we recommend the use of an ATA Carnet. This is basically a tax passport for your horses (not to mention the equipment!).  In the country of origin, you will register the horses once, usually in your Chamber of Commerce (or equivalent).  You will be able to receive an ATA Carnet there for a fee in which you can best mention all your possible goods (horses, equipment, dog, ...) that you think you can transport.  Some agencies are going to ask you for a one-time deposit, others will not, this depends on country to country. The ATA Carnet, which you must have validated once by customs in the country of origin after receipt, allows you to cross multiple borders with a minimum of customs formalities.  You will not have to pay a deposit or other taxes. You can normally use such a carnet for one full calendar year, then you will have to register it again or you can request a new ATA Carnet. However, there is one major disadvantage: not all countries participate in this international treaty.  In Mexico, for example, this system is not possible.  However, all european countries, the United States of America and Canada, to name but a few, have endorsed the treaty. 

Legal provisions

  • The above text is a free interpretation of the legislation and practices as known and in force at the time of publication.  This text is purely informative and does not replace the laws or regulations in force and should not be regarded as such.
  • Changes can be made without correspondence in advance.
  • EHS bvba can never be held responsible if problems arise with the declaration and/or control of the Customs and/or Tax Administrations.  The owner of the goods (horses, equipment, accessories, ....) is at all times responsible for indicating the correct values. Any additional taxes, costs, interest, fines and the like (non-exhaustive list) resulting from tax and customs technical checks and/or investigations will always be borne by the owner or his representative.