Insights into importing horses from Iceland
Florentine shares her experiences:
UNDRA: Hi Florentine, in a first interview you already gave insight into buying horses in Iceland. Now we are interested in the export of horses from Iceland. Thanks for answering our questions!
How does the export of a horse from Iceland work? Which stations does the horse go through?
Florentine: Thank you and you are welcome!
Regaring the export: Once you have decided to export the horse, you look for a company in Iceland that will take care of it. There are 4 companies in Iceland.
You then agree on a flight date and the horses are picked up by the exporter from the sales stable approx. 2-3 days before departure. Here, all the paperwork gets done and the official veterinarian checks the horses one last time to see if they are fit for the flight.
On the day of departure, the horses are driven to the airport and loaded. The flight time is approximately 3.5 hours. In winter, the horses usually arrive at the airport in Belgium at night and spend the night there in boxes with much food. The next day, the horses can then be picked up by the owner or a transport company.
UNDRA: How long does the journey of an imported horse take on average? What is your experience
Florentine: I can give an example:
Karólína was picked up by the export company 3 days before her flight. While she was staying in the company’s stable for 2 days, I received regular updates and pictures. On the third day, she flew during night and on the fourth day I was able to pick her up in the morning in Belgium.
UNDRA: Which preparations need to be considered both regarding the export and the arrival of the horse at the new home?
Florentine: Basically, most of the work is done by the export company. Everything that takes place in Iceland is organized locally. It is important that you think about where and how you want to tax the horse if you pick it up yourself. I picked up Karólína myself, but I still had the papers for customs prepared by a professional company for customs clearance. So I was on the safe side that everything was well prepared.
I also made some preparations at the stable in Germany. I spoke to my stable owner in advance that Karólína will be isolated from the herd for the first few days. The horses from Iceland are not vaccinated and therefore have no protection against diseases such as influenza. That’s why we waited until Karóína was basic immunized before integrating her into the herd.
In addition, I organized an appointment with the farrier, since my horses all arrived in Germany without shoes. This is typical for the import. The shoes are removed from the horses before the flight to minimize the risk of injuries.
UNDRA: With whom did you communicate the most in Iceland regarding the export? Did you have support
Florentine: I always have and had contact with the export company, even though I try to organize as much as possible myself. But if something is unclear, I can always contact the export team via Facebook or telephone. They are very willing to help and have years of experience in exporting.
UNDRA: How much does it cost to import a mare/gelding/stallion?
Florentine: The import costs are variable and mainly depending on the purchase price of the horse. The cost of the flight for a gelding or a mare is around EUR 1200, depending on the exporter. Stallions are significantly more expensive because they fly separately from other horses. In the end you pay taxes on the flight price, the purchase price in Iceland and all other costs that arise in Iceland or at the airport in Belgium at 19% (if you declare customs in DE, Aachen). I can give you an example of this:
Purchase price horse: 6500 EUR
Flight cost: 1150 EUR
Transport Belgium- Germany: 144 EUR
Handling costs Belgium airport: 430 EUR
Total amount to be taxed: 7650 EUR
Euro customs on 7650 EUR = 2155.56 EUR
This means that in this case you pay 2155.56 EUR for the import for the customs plus 1150 for the flight, i.e. a total of 3305.56 EUR for the export.
UNDRA: Thank you, dear Florentine, for your time and insights! We wish you all the best for the export or import of your new horses from Iceland!
Images: Florentine & Carolin Giese
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