Understanding Your Customs Benefits

The Customs Role in the Aliyah Process

The Customs Authority provides discounts or exemption of taxes on shipping household, vehicle purchase and import of business equipment. The Customs regulations are subject to the law; therefore there is less flexibility in special cases. Nevertheless, one can always appeal a decision made by the customs.

Who is Eligible?

  • Oleh Chadash – Eligible by the Law of Return
  • Ezrach Oleh (Born Abroad to an Israeli parent)
  • Katin Chozer (Returning Minor)
  • Returning Resident (limited Customs benefits only)

Spouses of Different Status (Katin Chozer and Ezrach Oleh)

  • If a person of one status (for example, an Oleh Chadash) marries a person of another status (for example, a Toshav Chozer), the family can only open one file with Customs. It is best to open the file under the name of the person with more benefits (in this case the Oleh Chadash). If one member of the family has used his or her benefits, check with Customs to determine what rights are still available to the family.
  • In the event that spouses have different benefits, you are required to go to Customs in person.
  • A Katin Chozer and Ezrach Oleh have the same rights as an Oleh Chadash.

What are your Benefits?

Benefit Time Frame
No customs on import of household items 3 shipments within 3 years
Reduced tax when purchasing or importing a vehicle
For information see:
Purchasing a Car in Israel
Importing a Car
3 years
No customs on commercial imports
For information see:
Commercial Imports
3 years

Benefits on Importing Household Items

The benefits apply to any type of import – via sea, air or postal packages. We recommend Olim open a file with us (send an email to customsfile@nbn.org.il with a request and a copy of your Teudat Oleh) in order to save any trouble.  This can ONLY be done post Aliyah as in order to open a file the Oleh must have an Aliyah visa and an Israeli ID number.  See below for detailed instructions about opening a file.

Via sea:

If you are shipping via sea, and the shipment is larger than a full container, it will count as two shipments, unless both shipments come on the same ship and are cleared through Customs at the same time. Your shipments can come from any country, not only from the country from which you are making Aliyah.

Via air:

If you are importing via air, you will need to declare your goods at the Customs line at the airport.

For Olim who have not yet opened a file and who are bringing items with them on a flight (Aliyah or other), it is possible to open at file at Ben Gurion Airport.  When you arrive you need to go through the red line and declare that you wish to release your goods as an Oleh.  You will leave a deposit, go to the customs office (located opposite terminal 1), open a file and then return to claim your goods with the Oleh benefit.

Please note that the customs office will only open a file for goods that are waiting to be released at Ben Gurion.

In addition, the sum of cash allowed on an Aliyah flight is up to 1,250,000 NIS without declaring at Customs.

Via postal packages – see: Importing goods by postal packages
Please note: If you send via registered mail services (such as UPS, FEDEX, DHL etc.) please be in touch with the service you are using prior to shipping your package to ensure that you can go through customs on your own using your Aliyah benefit. You may be required to go in person to Ben Gurion Airport. In most cases, if the courier service pays the customs fee on your behalf you will NOT be able to get a refund. 

Tax free items that may be imported include:

  • Books, clothing, linens, kitchen utensils, pictures, decorations, media, and general, personal effects
  • Furniture for household use
  • One of each type of appliance or electronic equipment, for household use only, i.e., not office or manufacturing equipment
  • Two computers per family
  • Two televisions per family
  • Carpeting for up to 25% of the area of the Oleh’s home in Israel
  • Air conditioners, fans and heaters relative to the number of rooms in the family’s new home in Israel

Items that require the approval of the certified authority

The import of many types of goods is conditioned on meeting the criteria set from time to time by the certified authorities. For example: if you import more than 3 mobile phones you will need approval by the Ministry of Communications or if you import a Motorized Scooter you will need approval by the Ministry of Transportation.  In some cases, an approval will be sufficient in other cases an individual license will be required.

The requirements for an authorization to import should be checked before importing with the relevant certified authority, and the need for approval / import license.

*As of January 1, 2013 Misrad Hakalkala (Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor) have decided that import of gas grills and gas stoves will need a Teken (standard) given by the Machon Hatkanim (Standards Institute of Israel). Please be in touch with your shipper if you would like to import a gas grill.

Extension of Benefits:

Below are the cases where an Oleh may receive an extension on the period of the Customs benefits:

Case Extension
Army Service
Service during period of benefits
Benefit freezes during period of army service
Students
• Began studies within 18 months of the Aliyah date at a recognized institution of higher learning
• Length of the academic program does not exceed 5 years (exceptions can be made for law and medical students)
The period of rights will be extended for one year from the end of your academic studies.
This period does not freeze and is not carried over, even if the student traveled abroad immediately following his/her studies.
Traveling Abroad
Traveling abroad for 6 consecutive months
(does not apply to a returning minor)
Benefits extended for remaining time once the Oleh returns

Opening a file

In order to release your import by using your Customs benefits you will need to open a file at a Customs office. You will need the following documents:

  1. Teudat Oleh or Teudat Zakaut (if you are an Ezrach Oleh or Katin Chozer)
  2. Foreign passport including your Aliyah visa.
  3. Proof of residence in Israel – lease or purchase contract.
  4. Drivers’ licenses – both from country of origin and your Israeli drivers’ license (if you are purchasing or importing a car)

Note: NBN can assist you with this process, please contact customsfile@nbn.org.il with a request and a copy of your Teudat Oleh.

*If you were a former A-1 temporary resident, you will need to turn, in person, to one of the customs offices listed at the bottom of the page and present these additional documents:

  • Teudat Zehut (Israeli ID card)
  • Old and New Teudat Oleh
  • Current passports
  • All original documents provided to your Shaliach (Old Teudat Oleh and all passports since you left Israel as a temporary resident)
  • “Tamzit Rishum Murchevet” from Misrad Hapnim
  • Transcript from Misrad Hapnim with your entries and exits
  • Signed declaration from the Beit Mishpat HaShalom that you did not use car benefits in the past
  • Your spouse’s passport and Teudat Zehut

Nefesh B’Nefesh advisors are not able to assist former A-1 temporary residents. They must be helped directly by the Customs office.

There are other cases you will need to go a Customs office for:

  1. To extend eligibility period for using your benefits.
  2. For issues related to the vehicle benefits:
  • Passport to Passport – see Purchasing a Car in Israel
  • Tax Payments – if applicable
  • Removing car restriction – once the 4 year restriction is over, if you would like to sell your car or would like other people to drive it, you will need to release the Customs restriction on your car. To do this you will need your car license and Teudat Oleh. In order to release the restriction, fill out the Custom Removal of Oleh Benefit Restriction form and fax it to Customs authority (number appears at the top of the form).

For more information:

Customs office locations:

City Address Phone Number Fax
Jerusalem 66 Kanfei Nesharim St.(Kanfei Haela Building) 02-654-5607 02-654-5616
Rishon Le’Zion – Center 3A Yisrael Galili St. 03-942-1666 03-518-1577
Haifa 3 Sha’ar Ha’Namal St. 04-835-4861 04-862-8469
Ashdod 2 Habana’im St. (Forum Building) 08-851-0610 08-852-8856
Be’er Sheva 31 Shazar St. (Oshira Building) 08-629-3348 08-623-0115
Lod Ben Gurion Airport (Maman Building) 03-975-1111 03-975-1114
Eilat Eilat Port 08-638-3888 08-637-4146