Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but was conquered by Italy in 1939 and occupied by Germany in 1943. Communist partisans took over the country in 1944. Albania allied itself first with the USSR (until 1960), and then with China (to 1978). In the early 1990s, Albania ended 46 years of isolated communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven challenging as successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, widespread corruption, dilapidated infrastructure, powerful organized crime networks, and combative political opponents.
Albania has made progress in its democratic development since it first held multiparty elections in 1991, but deficiencies remain. Most of Albania’s post-communist elections were marred by claims of electoral fraud; however, international observers judged elections to be largely free and fair since the restoration of political stability following the collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997. Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and in June 2014 became an EU candidate. Albania in April 2017 received a European Commission recommendation to open EU accession negotiations following the passage of historic EU-mandated justice reforms in 2016. Although Albania’s economy continues to grow, it has slowed, and the country is still one of the poorest in Europe. A large informal economy and a weak energy and transportation infrastructure remain obstacles.
THINKING OF MOVING TO ALBANIA?
Following is some information which you may find helpful if you are planning to ship household goods and cars to Albania:
- Copy of passport
- Detailed inventory list in Albanian, valued, dated, and signed by the owner of the goods
- Work certificate from owner of the goods’ employer
- Copy of the owner of the goods’ employer identification number of taxable person (NIPT)
- Work permit
- Residence permit
- Authorization provided by the owner of the goods from the General Directory of Customs (non-diplomats)
- Original bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB)
- Copy of diplomatic passport (diplomats)
- Copy of diplomatic ID (diplomats)
- Items on the detailed inventory should be listed per categories such furniture, clothes, books, etc.
- For electrical appliances, include make, model, and serial number.
- Authorization from the General Directory of Customs applies to non-diplomats who apply for duty free Customs of personal effects.
- Documents must be received by agent prior to import.
- Original vehicle documents (title, invoices, registration, etc.)
- Copy of driver’s license
- Vehicle must meet the European technical standard requirements
- Rabies vaccination certificate
- Veterinary health certificate (from origin country)
- Pet passport
- Vaccination history
- Copy of owner of the goods’ passport
- Microchip/tattoo number
- Letter of employment by Albanian employing company
- The import of animals into Albania requires permission from the Albanian authorities
- Contact destination agent for additional information.
- Import of pets is permitted into Albania and there are no restrictions on what types of pets can be brought into the country.
- All pets must be checked at the airport upon arrival by the Customs veterinarian.
- Duty/fee of the health check is roughly 50 EUR per pet.
- It takes approximately 24 hours to clear a pet arriving in Albania.
- The importation of such items into Albania does not require registration upon arrival.
- It is however recommended to bring certificates of origin for items.
- When exporting artwork and antiques from Albania the original paperwork showing that antiques were originally brought into the country is needed to facilitate the process.
- Guns ammunition and explosives (police permit is required)
- The following household goods may be imported duty free by persons 18 years or older within the limits indicated:
- Cigarettes (200), cigarillos (100), cigars (50), tobacco (250 g)
- Alcohol (12 bottles)
- Perfume (50 g)
- For amounts exceeding the permitted limit duties and taxes are to be paid, the amount is always determined by Customs authorities after checking the shipment.
- Illegal drugs
- Radioactive items
- Weapons, explosives, and ammunition
- Meat products
- Knives and deadly weapons
- Plant and plant material
- Animals (permission from Albanian authorities required)
- Counterfeit money and products
- Pornographic material
- Subversive materials
- Toxic material