Departure to Tel Aviv

Customs and import to Tel Aviv

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If you’re entering or leaving Israel with 90,000 Shekels or more this must be reported to customs officers.

If you’re actually immigrating to Israel this amount rises to 1,125,000 Shekels or more.

When entering Israel on a B/2 visa (visitor), an A/2 visa (student), a B/1 visa (foreign worker) or on an B/4 visa (volunteer) use the Green Channel at customs if you’re bringing clothing, footwear, and personal toiletries of the type and in quantities that would usually be brought in a person's hand luggage, up to one litre of alcohol/spirits, and 2 litres of wine person, up to one litre of perfume and 250 grams of tobacco products per person. The total value of such items may not exceed US$200 per traveller. If the value of a single imported item exceeds US$200 you will be charged taxes on the full value of the item. Electronic goods and other equipment that are for your own personal use can also be brought with you through the green channel e.g. Camera, Movie camera, Video camera, Laptop computer, Radio, Binoculars, Jewellery for personal use, Musical instruments, Stroller/baby carriage, Tent (only one allowed), Camping equipment, Sporting Equipment, Bicycle (only one allowed, and non-motorized).

The red channel at customs ,is to be used if you have any doubts as to which channel to pass through, if you are bringing in items that are not specified above, if you have new electronic items, work tools or diving equipment. The Israel Tax Authority assesses the value of imported items based on their own price lists.

As a tourist to Israel you are entitled to a tax refund of purchases provided that the purchases have been made at a shop authorized by the Israel Tax Authority and the Ministry of Tourism to participate in the refunding arrangement (you will need a special VAT invoice or "Refund Invoice" from them), the price of the purchase including VAT (per tax invoice) exceeds US$100 and the goods will be taken out of the country. The goods purchased must be intended for your personal use only and are in non-commercial quantities. The goods purchased may not include food, drink, or tobacco products. Your goods will be sealed in a bag at the shop together with the VAT invoice and mustn’t be opened before arriving at the VAT refund counter of Change Place Ltd., which can be found at the following border crossings:

  • Ben Gurion Airport
  • Eilat Airport
  • Ovda Airport
  • Ashdod Seaport
  • Eilat Seaport
  • Haifa Seaport
  • Nahar-HaYarden (Houssein) Bridge
  • Alenbi Bridge
  • Rafiah Border Crossing
  • Taba Border Crossing
  • Aravah Terminal

According to the VAT Law as a tourist to Israel you should not be charged tax on the following services:

  • Rental of a vehicle for personal use;
  • Sightseeing transportation, either in a private motor vehicle or bus (only if licensed for such purpose);
  • Meals supplied by a bus/cruise company;
  • Water cruise - from one place to another within Israel;
  • Fights - from one place to another in Israel;
  • Hospitalization (only at hospitals registered in accordance with the 1940 National Health Ordinance);
  • Selling a tourist the right to participate in an international conference in which there are a minimum of 50 tourist participants;

You may import or purchase a vehicle in Israel without taxes if you plan to stay for 6 months or less, but you will have to deposit a bank guarantee equal to the taxes that would be due on the vehicle. Near the end of the exemption period approved to you for the vehicle, or at the end of your stay, you should store the vehicle at the port of exportation, otherwise the Customs Authorities may seize the vehicle. You may not transfer a vehicle from one passport to another (from tourist to tourist).

Note that if you bring items that are not exempted from taxes and you do not pass through the Red Channel you may be requested to pay double-rate taxation.

The exportation of goods such as food and antiques may be subject to legal restrictions.

The following items may not legally be brought into Israel:

  • Offensive or indecent goods.
  • Forged and counterfeit currency & documents.
  • Tickets and advertising materials for lotteries and gambling for which no permit was given
  • Forged or counterfeit invoices or certificates of origin.
  • Sacks that were used for packing plant material.
  • Knives of any kind.
  • Laser speedometer disruptor.
  • Any kind of gun or shooting device.
  • Tear gas.
  • Prohibited games.
  • Explosives and flammable materials, live creatures such as poisonous snakes, and other such dangerous goods.
  • Used equipment for bee keepers.
  • Goods which are used in the preparation or use of dangerous drugs.
  • Material that incites violence, terrorism or racism.
  • Material which relates to a terrorist group or shows sympathy towards one.

Due to domestic and international tensions and the risk of terrorist attacks security is always very tight when travelling to Israel. Don't consider making flippant remarks on the subject, you may get into trouble.

The importation of animals accompanied by owners such as dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and rodents which are not considered wildlife, up to two of each type, are exempt from a Veterinary Import Permit provided that a Veterinary Health Certificate, issued by a government veterinary officer in your home country of origin within 7 days prior to export is attached, stating that the animals were examined, found healthy, free from infectious and contagious diseases, and that a declaration has been received from the owner stating that the animals have been in his/her possession for at least the last 90 days. You will also need an international certificate of vaccination stating that the dogs or cats have been vaccinated against rabies, not more than a year and not less than a month prior to shipment to Israel. Dogs and cats, younger than 3 months will not be admitted.

The following details of every animal import must be notified to the The Director of Veterinary Services / Import-Export Officer P. O. Box 12, Beit Dagan 50250, ISRAEL or Ramla Quarantine Station, P.O. Box 63, Ramla, Israel Fax 972-8-9229906 or Fax 972-3-9605194. at least 48 hours prior to arrival to Israel: owner, animal species, age, flight No. and approximate time of arrival. Animals arriving in good health and properly certified will generally not be quarantined.

Dogs, cats, birds, rabbits and rodents of more than two in number, or such animals arriving unaccompanied by their owners and other animal species arriving with or without their owners, require a Veterinary Import Permit, issued by the Director of Veterinary Services:

The Director of Veterinary Services / Import-Export Officer P. O. Box 12, Beit Dagan 50250, ISRAEL or Ramla Quarantine Station, P.O. Box 63, Ramla, Israel Fax 972-8-9229906 or Fax 972-3-9605194.

The introduction of wild animals or animals whose usual habitat is not amongst human beings requires written permission in advance from the Nature Reserves Authority, 78, Yirmiahu Str. Jerusalem. Tel. 02-5005444 Fax. 02-5383405.

The importation of monkeys to Israel is generally prohibited.

An application for the importation of horses must be made not less than 60 days before their planned departure.

Unaccompanied animals, or those which require an import permit, shall be quarantined in an official quarantine station for a period of 8 days or as decided upon by the Director.

Animals arriving in Israel without the above mentioned documents will be returned to the countries of origin at the owner's expense or destroyed.

For more information about Israeli customs:

Update 9/03/2018


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