Olim and Toshavim Chozrim are entitled to import equipment for opening a business, for a period of three years after their Aliyah.
Machinery, appliances, and tools intended for the Oleh to establish a business in an approved industry are exempt from taxes.
The exemption is subject to the following terms:
The total value of all the goods may not exceed $36,000. This amount includes portable tools, whose value may not exceed $1,650.
The equipment will be used for the Oleh’s business (workshop, farm, business) and will be stored on the business premises.
The Oleh must prove, to the satisfaction of the Customs collector that he/she personally works at said enterprise. If the enterprise is a partnership which the Oleh has joined as a partner or a company in which he is a shareholder, the Oleh must present a contract with the partnership or company, stipulating that he/she is leasing the imported goods to the enterprise.
The contract must state that the equipment will be used by the enterprise or the partnership as long as the Oleh is an owner, partner or shareholder and as long as he/she personally works in the enterprise. The contract must also state that in the event of the dissolution of the enterprise, partnership or company, for whatever reason, the Oleh remains the sole owner of the equipment.
The Oleh undertakes not to transfer the equipment to the ownership, possession or use of another person, without the prior approval of Reshut Hamisim (Israel Tax Authority). This obligation is in effect for a period of five years from the date the goods were cleared from Meches (the Customs Authority).
Examples of recognized businesses: printing company, carpentry, metal-works, bakery, medical clinic, garage, hair salon, coffee house, etc.
To ensure compliance with the above conditions, the Oleh will be required to provide bank guarantees.
This exemption does not apply to: motor vehicles, parts, raw materials, perishables or any goods intended for lease or for use in a business in which the entitled person is not the owner.
The Oleh will need to provide the following documents for approval at the time of import (through a customs agent):
- Letter of approval for opening a file with Reshut Hamisim
- Letter of approval for opening a file with Meches
- Rental contract for the place of business
- Detailed list of the equipment being imported
- Purchase invoice of the equipment
- Letter explaining the nature of the business
- Photocopy of the owner’s Teudat Zehut
- Approval from any other relevant government office, as necessary – for example, if you are opening a business in agriculture, you will require approval from Misrad Hachaklaut (Ministry of Agriculture).
Once the application is authorized by Meches, the Oleh will need to deposit a bank guarantee based on the current tax rate. The guarantee must be valid for at least one year.
As for the value of the equipment, the Oleh will need to present documents that will allow Meches to determine their value for tax purposes.
** A Toshav Chozer who lived outside of Israel for over 6 years will need to present passport stamps for this period.
Please note: The above is a summary of the guidelines for commercial imports as listed on the Meches website. This information is subject to change. Please consult with your local Meches office before beginning the import process. You may contact Meches directly at [email protected].
Last Updated: May 26, 2019!