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Guide to Customs Charges and Exemptions for Foreigners Entering Israel

For the benefit of visitors to the site, we prepared a detailed and clear guide concerning the subject of Customs fees and exemptions for a foreign citizen entering Israel. This guide relates only to Customs fees and exemptions for goods that a person brings with him when he enters Israel.
This guide applies to a person who enters Israel on a tourist visa (B / 2), a student visa (A / 1) or a companion visa (A / 4) as well as B / 1, / A / 3, and B / 4 visas. The requirement to pay tax also applies to them.

Important! This guide only discusses items that a person brings with him when he enters Israel. For packages sent by mail to Israel, see The Guide to Customs Fees and Exemptions when Receiving (Importing) a Package in Israel.

What are the various kinds of taxes?

VAT - Value added tax, is a uniform 17% (as of today) added to the cost when one purchases consumer goods in Israel.
Purchase tax - is a tax imposed mainly on consumer goods which varies depending on the type of goods purchased. It applies only to certain products as stipulated by the Minister of Finance, and may be in addition to other taxes imposed on them.
Customs duty - is a tax imposed on the import or export of merchandise. Its main purpose is to protect domestic production from foreign competition. The customs charge is not uniform and is calculated according to the type of product as stipulated in law.

Customs lanes when you arrive in Israel:
When you arrive in Israel after claiming your luggage, you exit the Arrival Hall through one of the following two lanes:
The Green Lane:

You can go through the green lane and not have to pay tax only when you are carrying permitted personal effects of the kinds and quantities listed below. Your entering the green lane is a statement that you have only the permitted types and quantities of items prescribed by law.
Which items are exempt from tax in the Green Lane:

                        Personal belongings - such as clothing, footwear, and personal toiletries, of the types and quantities that any person might bring.
 Wines and beverages - up to 1 liter of an alcoholic beverage and 2 liters of wine for a person aged 18 and over.
 Alcoholic perfumes - up to ¼ liter per person.
•  Tobacco of any kind - whose weight does not exceed 250 g, up to 200 cigarettes in one packet for persons 18 years and older.
• New items for personal use or as a gift for another person, whose worth does not exceed $200 (US) - for each person entering, age two and older.
The exemption is individual for each person, and one can not combine the amounts of those entering Israel together to get a tax exemption for an object worth more than $200.
The tax duty on an object whose value is more than $200, is for the full value of the object instead of the amount over $200.
  Used objects for personal use that belong to the passengers, such as a camera, camcorder, laptop, TV, personal jewelry, musical instruments, baby stroller, sports equipment, non-motor bike, etc.
 Food - up to three types of food, as long as they don’t exceed 1 kg of each type.
Note : The tax exemption for the personal effects mentioned above which allow you to pass through the green lane is only if you brought the items with you when you arrived in Israel. In other cases, you must go through the red lane
The Red Lane:

If you have items which you have to declare and pay taxes for, you have to go through the Red Lane. If you aren’t sure which lane to go to, go to the Red Lane!

Paying taxes - If you are liable to pay the full amount of taxes for example on new items that are not exempt from taxes (a new personal computer, a video camera) or similar non-exempt items, you will be charged the applicable taxes before customs clearance.
Remember! The Israel Tax Authority determines the tax based on an item’s value as it appears in its price lists, which serve as their reference. If the person entering shows a purchase receipt whose value is less than 20% of the value as it appears in the Customs price list, the value of the object will be calculated according to the Customs price list and not as it appears in the item’s purchase invoice.
Deposit Guarantee - If you are interested in taking the item out of Israel when you leave, you can pay a cash or credit card guarantee in lieu of the customs fee. The guarantee is a deposit, and will be refunded when the items are removed from Israel on time. The guarantee will be forfeited and you will be charged only if you do not remove the items at the set time.
Remember! Importing objects and / or amounts against the law, is a criminal offense for which you will pay an administrative penalty or face prosecution, and / or confiscation of goods.
Items forbidden to import:
Objects absolutely forbidden to import to Israel include:
                 •  A knife, except for a pocket knife, a knife designated for use with your profession, or for household purposes, or any other legitimate purpose.
  A laser speedometer jammer.
•  Firearms that appear like a pen or starting pistol, or that operate on gas, etc.
•  A tear gas canister that looks like a firearm.
•  Prohibited gambling / lottery games. 
•  Explosives and flammable substances, and similar dangerous objects. 
•  Live creatures such as poisonous snakes.
•  Tools used in the preparation or consumption of a dangerous substance.
•  Break-in or indecent items. 
•  Forged and counterfeit coins and documents. 
•  Dangerous toys.
•  Objects that may incite violence, terrorism or racism.
•  Objects that show identification or sympathy with terrorist groups.
Objects whom an authorized authority must approve for import:
There are objects that must meet the criteria set by an authorized authority to be imported, such as:
                Gas grill (barbecue) - if certified by the Standards Institute.
•  Mobile phone - with the approval of the Ministry of Communications.
•  Motorized scooter - if certified by the Ministry of Transport.
•  Meat, milk, and fresh fish - with the approval of the Ministry of Health.
•  Fruits, vegetables, and plants -  if certified by the Ministry of Agriculture.
•  Drugs - with the approval of the Ministry of Health.
  Raw materials - with the approval of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
 To clarify the criteria, you should check with the relevant authorized authority.
The products   The competent authority Address  Telephone  Fax 
 Communications products,
baby monitors, smart phones
(when importing four or more devices),
remote controls, etc.

 Ministry of Communications

 Migdal Shalom, 9th Floor, 9 Ahad Ha'am St., Tel Aviv

 03-5198282 03-5198113

 Fruits, vegetables, plants and seeds, etc.  Ministry of Agriculture, Plant Protection Services  Beit Dagan, Office reception hours: Wednesday 08:30-15:00  03-9681587  03-9681599
 Motorized scooter and vehicle spare parts  Ministry of Transport  5 Bank of Israel St., Generi Building, POB 867, Jerusalem 91008  03-5657117  03-5618260
 Food products, medications and nutrition supplements  Ministry of Health, Food Service  12 Ha'arba'a Street, Tel Aviv 64739  08-6241010  02-5655972
A gas-powered grill Standards Institute  42 Hayim Levanon Street, Tel-Aviv 69987  03-6465164  

Conditions for bringing or sending money in and out of the country:
According to the Law of Return, when an immigrant enters Israel the first time, he has to report if he has 50,000 NIS or more.
He must fill in a "Money entry and exit report" form (Customs Form 84). You can get a sample form at our office or download it here.
You can also receive the form at any one of the customs branches and customs units at border crossings.
When you remove the money from Israel, you must submit the form prior to taking the money out of Israel. When you bring the money to Israel, you must submit the form within 72 hours from receipt of the money.
Note : The Anti-Money Laundering Act stipulates that any large sum of money beyond what is permitted by law that enters the territory of Israel must be reported to the Anti-Money Laundering Authority. Although the entry of large amounts of cash is not a criminal offense, bringing in capital without reporting it is a criminal offense.
The obligation to report applies to both bringing money in and taking money out of Israel. Anyone who violates the reporting requirement is liable to six months imprisonment or a fine.
Contact information:
Below is a list of Customs branches :
Jerusalem Customs branch — 66 Kanfei Nesharim, Jerusalem. 02-6545555.
Center Customs branch — 3A Israel Galili, Rishon Lezion. 03-9421666.
Haifa Customs branch — Port Gate 3, Haifa. 04-8354811.
Ashdod Customs branch — 2 HaBanaim St., Forum Building, Ashdod. 08-8510610.
Ben Gurion Airport Customs branch — Ben Gurion Airport, Lod. 03-9751111.
Eilat Customs branch — Eilat port, Eilat. 08-6383888.​
Questions and Answers:
I have a tourist visa. Do I have to pay customs duties
I have an item that is worth over two hundred dollars. What tax rate do I have to pay
An item worth more than two hundred dollars will be charged the full tax value.
How do they determine the value of an object for tax payment
According to the Customs value price list.
I left a guarantee for the items that I brought with me from abroad. When will I get my guarantee back
When you leave Israel, your guarantee will be returned to you after you show the items to the customs officer.
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