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VACCINATION

Reader question: Can I use a foreign vaccination certificate to access Italy’s ‘green pass’?

With Italy now rolling out its health pass, those who get vaccinated here will be able to download a digital health certificate - but what if you were vaccinated in another country?

Reader question: Can I use a foreign vaccination certificate to access Italy's 'green pass'?
Photo: Koen van Weel / ANP / AFP

Question: I’m an American and I’m not registered with the Italian national health service. Can I use my CDC vaccination card to obtain the Italian ‘green pass’ for travel?

Italy has now started issuing its certificato verde or ‘green pass’ – which will be valid for travel all over the European Union from July 1st.

The health passport is also required to attend larger events in Italy like wedding receptions, now that these are allowed to go ahead again.

EXPLAINED: What is Italy’s digital ‘green pass’ used for and how do you get it?

After using paper certificates since May, Italy is now making the pass available in digital (and printable) form, both online and via the government’s Immuni contact tracing app as well as its IO admin app.

You’re automatically entitled to the ‘green pass’ document if you have either been vaccinated, have recently tested negative, or can prove you’ve recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months.

But what happens if you were vaccinated outside Italy and therefore don’t have an Italian certificate to download?

For now, this will depend on where you were vaccinated.

Photo: Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

EU

If you were vaccinated in an EU/Schengen zone country, things should be relatively straightforward.

Every EU country is rolling out its own version of the ‘digital green pass’, and these can all be used to produce a QR code that can be scanned at any border within the Bloc.

Each country’s app should accept either a vaccination certificate or a recent negative test, or proof of having recently recovered from Covid-19.

If you were vaccinated in Italy, you should be automatically sent a code which you can use to access your certificato verde – whether or not you are enrolled in the national health service and have a tessera sanitaria (health card).

While Italy has not made provisions for people to register on the Italian app or website using non-Italian certificates, if you’re in the EU you can register using the equivalent version of the app in your country. The pass you get will be recognised when travelling to Italy and in all other EU member states.

The EU-wide travel pass scheme will be in operation from July 1st.

Outside the EU

Europe has not officially recognised health certificates from non-EU countries as equivalent under its ‘green pass’ scheme. However individual member states can choose to do so.

As of June 21st, Italy is now allowing fully-vaccinated travellers from certain countries with high vaccination rates to skip quarantine on arrival.

READ ALSO: What kind of coronavirus test do I need to take for travel to Italy?

Italy has so far allowed entry from the United States, Canada and Japan under the same terms as the EU’s ‘green pass’ scheme.

That means the ten-day quarantine rule will not apply to passengers from those countries who can provide proof of being fully vaccinated or having recovered from Covid-19, or can show a negative result from a test taken within the 48 hours before arrival in Italy.

What about other countries?

It’s not known yet when Italy may reach agreements with other individual non-EU countries.

This will depend on each country’s vaccination and infection rates, as well as logistical aspects.

The first issue is that the EU pass will only accept vaccine certificates from people who have received a dose of a vaccine licensed for use within the EU. At present these are Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech (also called Comirnaty), AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen).

The second is that the EU and the non-EU country need to agree to recognise each other’s vaccination/test certificates.

Then there’s also the technical aspect – making sure all certificates can be scanned and the various apps ‘talk’ to each other correctly.

For the latest on travel rules in and out of Italy, see The Local’s travel section.

Member comments

  1. I would like to know if my friends in Belarus who have both had Covid and recovered from it would be able to travel to Italy this Summer. They tell can’t get a vaccine other than Sputnik and that Belarussian doctors wont vaccinate them till 3 months after recovery. Would a certificate showing antibodies after recovery suffice? All help greatly appreciated.

      1. Thank you. I thought that was probably the case but I am exploring all avenues. It seems it is much easier to get into Italy illegally than via the correct methods!

  2. I am a dual US / Italian citizen living in the USA. I obtained a Green Pass when in Italy last fall. I recently emailed documentation of my two booster immunizations to the Ministero della Salute, and I have now received a link and an authorization code to download my updated Green Pass.

    However, one piece of information the site requires is the type of ID shown at the time I received my two additional shots AND the number on the document. Example: my State of Maine driver’s license and number. But the website tells me the number is incorrect. It isn’t, but of course there is no US database the Ministero della Salute has access to in order to verify this. Whatever answer I enter in this block, it will be interpreted as incorrect.

    In the US, the number on the identification document you show when you receive your injection in not recorded anywhere. Has anyone else had a similar problem? If so, were you able to get it fixed?

    molte grazie!

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For members

MOVING TO ITALY

Reader question: What are the rules on moving household goods to Italy?

If you plan to bring furniture and other household items with you when moving to Italy, here's a look at how import tax applies and the other rules in place.

Reader question: What are the rules on moving household goods to Italy?

Question: My husband and I are buying a second home in Italy and would like to ship household items over from the US. Will we need to pay import duty? Does one of us need to be a resident? And are there any other rules we need to be aware of?

According to EU rules, goods transported into the bloc that have a value of more than €150 are subject to customs duties and sometimes excise tax as well, depending on the item.

Since July 2021, a customs declaration form has been required for all goods imported from outside the EU, and Italian VAT must be paid on items with any monetary value – unless the package sent between private individuals and the value of its contents is below €45.

However, there is an exception for people relocating to Italy.

The Italian customs agency says that you are “generally entitled to VAT and customs duty relief” if you are moving to Italy and bringing household goods which you have owned for more than six months.

To qualify, you also need to be able to show that you have been living in a non-EU country for at least the preceding 12 months.

READ ALSO: Visas and residency permits: How to move to Italy (and stay here)

The exemption only applies if you have Italian residency: you’ll need to show the customs office both your permesso di soggiorno stay permit, obtained from the questura police headquarters, and your residency certificate, issued by the comune town hall where you’re resident.

Note that buying a second home does not automatically entitle you to a stay permit or give you any residency rights; non-EU nationals require a visa in order to stay in Italy for more than 90 days in a 180-day period.

To claim the import duty relief, you’ll need to file a request with your local customs office once your household goods have arrived in Italy.

You’ll also need to be able to show the customs office your passport and your Italian tax code.

According to the A1 Auto Transport international moving company, you’ll need to prepare a significant amount of paperwork, including filling out a customs declaration form and making a detailed inventory of all items that is signed and stamped by the Italian consulate of your departure country.

While the Italian customs website does not provide any details on timelines, A1 says you should transport your items within six months of moving to Italy in order to be eligible for import duty relief.

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about having a second home in Italy

If you’re using a shipping company, they should be familiar with the process and able to advise you on the documentation required and the most up-to-date procedures.

If you don’t qualify for import tax relief, you’ll be liable to pay both customs duty and VAT. The Italian customs agency website says that customs duty varies according to the type of good being transported, while VAT is 20 percent.

Online calculators like those provided by Simply Duty or Easyship can help you determine how much import tax you’ll have to pay.

Please note that the Local is unable to advise on specific cases. For more information, refer to the Italian customs agency website or contact the customs office of your town of residency.

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