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Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy passport
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Letter of employment (must include dates of employment)
  • Resident visa / work visa
  • Import permit obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Detailed inventory
  • Diplomatic franchise (diplomats)
  • Receipts of purchase (if new items are included in the shipment)


Specific Information

  • All shipments are subject to inspection, except diplomatic shipments.
  • Owners of the goods must be present during Customs clearance.
  • Returning citizens are exempt from taxes subject to completion and availability of the required documents for entry (passport, OBL / AWB, letter of employment, IKEC, and BSTEC).
  • Diplomats, personnel of the United Nations and its agencies, personnel of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and embassy employees with non-diplomatic status may import used household goods duty free.
  • The IDEC and BSTEC are issued by the Department of Revenue and Customs in Thimphu upon request and submission of the documents required for entry and import.
  • An import license is required for shipment through the Kolkata Port per treaty between India and Bhutan.
  • Household goods and personal effects may be imported in small quantities only.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original certificate of title / registration
  • OBL
  • Original purchase invoice
  • Proof of insurance


Specific Information

  • Only privileged personnel of foreign diplomatic organizations and international agencies may import or acquire new, used, and second-hand vehicles within 12 months of arrival in Bhutan duty free.
  • Contact the destination agent for additional information.


Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health certificate


Specific Information

  • Check with the destination agent for regulations and requirements regarding the importation of pets as transportation options are limited.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Alcohol (2 L; 200% taxes and duties; however, alcohol is available in duty-free shops)
  • Cigarettes (20 packs)
  • Firearms (permission is required from the Royal Bhutan Army prior to import)
  • Second-hand vehicles (only privileged organizations and Embassies may import)
  • Drugs (drugs by medical prescription are permitted)
  • Electronic goods (photographic equipment, video cameras, etc. are exempt from Customs duties but must be declared upon arrival)

Prohibited Items

  • Explosives
  • Military equipment
  • Pornographic and subversive materials
  • Antiques
  • All narcotics and drugs (medically-prescribed drugs pare permitted)
  • All wildlife products, including those from endangered species

Consignment Instructions

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

Helpful Website(s):



Note:  Bhutan is a land-locked country with no U.S. Embassy.  Consular issues, including assistance to U.S. citizens are handled by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India.

Movguru note: These policies can change as per customs regulations at any time without notice. Treat this document as informative guide. Movguru has published this document as guide only for information purpose on its sole discretion and holds no depiction of expressing or inferred to the precision or applicability of its content.
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