Denmark's Customs Regulations for Gift Givers

View of Strøget street during Christmas, Copenhagen, Denmark
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When the holiday season is in full swing, with it comes sending and receiving gifts. With international travel commonplace and family members living abroad, gift giving has gone global and things arrive by mail or in person daily. However, sending gifts from one country to another is a little more complicated than mailing it to the other side of town. International gift-giving involves duty and sometimes VAT rates.

If planning to mail gifts to or from Denmark, senders should be familiar with Denmark's customs regulations.

Things to Know Before Mailing Gifts to or From Denmark

Make sure to purchase a basic postal tracking service or some sort of additional protection. Any local post office receives countless reports of theft, especially for packages without tracking numbers. Also, the Danish postal service occasionally loses small packages, and again a tracking number will help ensure your package reaches the intended person. The postal service recommends using a big box for any gift item weighing 1 kilogram (2 pounds) or more. If the declared value of the gift exceeds US$ 100, a customs officer will likely check the contents of the package.

VAT Rate on Gifts in Denmark

Unsolicited gifts sent from one person to another person are free of VAT and duty charges as long as the value is less than DKK 344 or $62.62 USD. Several gifts can be sent in a single shipment. Each gift must be wrapped separately and tagged with the recipient's name. The limit is DKK 344 or US$ 62.62 per person, not for the entire group of recipients (e.g. a small group of family members in Denmark).

Who pays duty and VAT rates in Denmark? Because international shipping taxes are complex, taking the time before going to the post office will save time and potential delivery mistakes. Larger gift companies typically ensure that the recipient will not be responsible for paying taxes on the gifts received. Using companies based in the region of the recipient is an easy way to sometimes avoid VAT and duty rates. The sender is responsible for paying the VAT and duty taxes.

Weight and Value Limits for Gifts in Denmark

  • The total weight must not exceed 70 pounds
  • The total value must not exceed $2,499 USD
  • The maximum size must be smaller than 46 inches long, 35 inches wide, and 46 inches high

Restricted or Forbidden Items to Send or Bring

  • All plant and animal species listed by CITES (Washington Convention) and things made containing them. Examples include ivory, tortoiseshell, corals, reptile skins, and wood from Amazonian forests.
  • All perishable foods
  • Weaponry and ammunition
  • Knives and similar dangerous items
  • Illegal Drugs
  • Culturally valuable antiques
  • Alcohol
  • Any item containing L-tryptophan as an ingredient
  • Thunnus Thynnus or Atlantic redfish originating from Honduras, Belize, and Panama
  • Lottery tickets and gambling devices
  • All obscene material and pornographic materials
  • Medical thermometers containing mercury intended for human use
  • Certain U.S. Beef hormones
  • Toys and games containing copper sulfate
  • Biocide dimethyl fumarate and all products containing it

Customs Declaration Form and Instructions

Along with the gifts, include a customs declaration form for the Danish authorities at the port of entry (e.g. the airport where your package arrives). Be sure to fill it out carefully. The wrapped gift must be weighed in pounds and ounces. The total value of the gifts must be indicated on the form as well. Use the drop-down menu and select (or fill in) Denmark, or the country where the recipient of the gift resides.