Goods used by monarchs or heads of state (diplomatic privilege)

Certain goods may be imported without payment of Customs Duty and Value-Added Tax (VAT) to be used by:

  • monarchs, heads of state
  • or
  • individuals with diplomatic status (diplomatic privilege).

What goods qualify for relief?

The following goods are included:

  • gifts to reigning monarchs and heads of state
  • goods to be used, or consumed, by reigning monarchs, heads of state of non-European Union (EU) countries (or persons officially representing them), during their official stay in the European Union (EU) (this is only allowed where the relief is reciprocal)
  • and
  • goods to be used, or consumed, by diplomats during their official stay in the EU.

The Protocol Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will confirm an individual's diplomatic status.


Irish Diplomats working abroad lose their diplomatic status when they return to Ireland. Therefore, they must apply for relief under Transfer of Residence.

Further information

If you require further information, please contact the Authorisations and Reliefs Unit.