I have a thing for Japanese sunscreen. I am obsessed with sun protection and I have found the absolute best sunscreen in Japan. It’s SPF 50, doesn’t leave a white film, and has a PA++++ (that means that it is tops when protecting my skin from UVA rays). I can get it from Amazon es, de, and uk, but they take forever and a day…and I found out that having it shipped directly from Japan is just quicker. The only issue is that when I placed an order, it arrived super quick, but I got a note that it was stuck at the CTT for customs clearance and that I needed to pay taxes on it. This is where the story begins.
In order to get my items from Japan, the paper said I could go online to the CTT website, or I could visit the CTT store in Cabo Ruivo to pick up. Being a pretty web-savvy person and since I have been taking European Portuguese classes in Lisbon for 2 years, I felt prepared to handle this without going to the CTT, waiting on lines, and then having to go back over and over.
I submitted all the information as thoroughly as possible to the website, but alas, after a week, I had heard nothing, so I decided it was time to brave the lines.
How to get an international package that is stuck at the CTT?
I.Go to the CTT Internacional Cabo Ruivo
It is located at Av. Mar. Gomes da Costa 13A in the Chelas-Cabo Ruivo neighborhood.
You can take the Red Line, get off at Chelas and do a 10-minute walk (pretty easy IMHO), or you can Uber it there (it cost me 7.85€ from Avenidas Novas).
What to Bring to Pick Up An International Package Held at CTT Due to Taxes?
- The Aviso de Desalfandegamento: The letter you received with the notice that you need to pay taxes on those items.
- Your carta de cidadao or Titulo de Residencia.
- Your NIF (should be on one of the above documents.
- The bill from where you ordered showing that the items were paid for.
- A print screen of the online store where you purchased the items.
What to Do When You Arrive
- As soon as you come in, take a ticket.
- Grab a seat and wait (can be long, I only waited for about an hour which is pretty decent here).
- When your number comes up on the screen, go to the assigned window, hand over the documents, and wait.
From here a couple of things can happen.
Picking Up For Someone Else
I’ll start with my situation since I was picking up for Antonio:
Since I was the one running the errand and it was Antonio whose name was on the items, they would not allow me to pay or take the items (even though I had both our titulos de residencia with our address and his NIF, I was told it could be shipped to our home. I did not have to pay at that moment but was told that I would have to pay when the items arrived. If I was home I’d need to have €18.15 per package (not per item – we had 2 packages), and a 23% tax on the total value of the items. That ain’t cheap.
How long does it take? I’m not 100% sure. I did this on July 10, so I will update with the rest of the arrival process when I finally get my sunscreen 🙂
UPDATE: The package arrived on 7-15-19, so that was a total of 5 days which included 2 weekend days (3 business days in total). The fee was painful €18.15 for a €60 purchase because the contact lenses were restricted (even though they were a fashion item – they see them as a medicine item).
If you are picking up for yourself:
Others who were picking up for themselves, simply handed in their paperwork and documents, and to be called to the cashier and they paid right then and there and took their items.
Overall, the experience of picking up internationally shipped items that were being held at the CTT because of taxes was not too hard. That being said, I won’t be ordering any more items that are subject to these extra taxes because time is expensive.
II. If you want to brave the customs process online
Go to http://www.ctt.pt/home/index.html >> Processo Aduaneiro & follow the prompts. You will have to create a login at one point, but it was not so hard.
What Else Do I Need to Know About Getting An Item Stuck for Customs Clearance at the CTT?
How to Contact the CTT for customs clearance
If you have other questions I did not answer, leave them in the comments and I will see if I have the answer. If you want to go directly to the source and contact CTT International directly, you can send an email to [email protected] or call 707 26 26 26.
How Much Time Do I have to Pick up my Items held for Custom Clearance at the CTT?
You have 30 days from the date the letter was sent to you to take care of customs clearance.
What Happens If I Don’t Pick Up?
On the 31st day, there will be a daily fee for storage for up to 30 days.
What Happens If I Really Don’t Pick Up?
If you don’t pick up after the 60 days, your package will be considered “unclaimed” and it will be returned to sender.
What Items Are Subject to Extra Taxes?
I’m working on getting a list from the Portuguese Government so I know what not to order. In this case, it was the KitKats and the contact lenses. Everything else was a-ok.