What to bring
Packing for a move abroad is a significant project in itself. Therefore it’s always best to plan ahead.
Credit and debit cards can be used for nearly any purchase in Sweden, and ATMs, or cash machines, are normally quite easy to find. However, you should always be sure to check with your bank or credit card provider to see if your cards are accepted in Sweden. You might also want to contact a Swedish bank in advance to establish relations and see what is needed in order to set up a Swedish bank account. The four largest branches in Sweden are Nordea, Swedbank, SEB and Handelsbanken.
If you are unsure whether your credit or debit cards work in Sweden, it may be a good idea to bring a reasonable amount of cash for your first period in the country. Money can be exchanged at any foreign currency exchange office, located in airports, train stations and town centers throughout Sweden. Traveler’s checks, though used much less frequently nowadays, can also be exchanged here.
Furniture and household goods
Apartments in Sweden may be rented furnished or unfurnished, although most of what you might need can be purchased here. If you choose to bring household goods with you, it is very important that you have receipts or proofs of purchase for more costly items. Upon entering Sweden or the EU, customs officials may ask you to show these receipts as proof that you own the goods you bring into the country. This can also apply to items being shipped by air, sea or land transports. Any number of Swedish or international transport firms can assist you with practical or legal questions.
The Swedish Customs Authority (Tullverket) is responsible for controlling all goods entering Sweden from another country. The customs can charge you additional tariff fees for goods sent or carried to Sweden.
Further details on customs and tariffs, and how to find the forms and documents required
If you plan to bring pets to Sweden, you must contact the Swedish Board of Agriculture (Jordbruksverket) well in advance. Because there are strict controls in place to ensure, for example, that no infectious diseases are carried into Sweden, you will need to fill out necessary documents for bringing pets into the country. Many of these rules are set by EU authorities.
The current rules for cats and dogs are primarily intended to prevent the spread of rabies and tapeworm in Sweden. You will be required to provide proof of vaccinations and other veterinary certificates when applying for a permit for your pet. Upon entering Sweden, you will also be required to register your pet. If you happen to arrive and it is discovered that your pet does not fully meet the standards set by the Swedish Board of Agriculture, you may even be required to place your pet in quarantine for several months or more, at your own expense.
The Swedish Board of Agriculture — Details on bringing animals to Sweden
The Swedish Customs — Details on bringing animals to Sweden
It’s best to avoid bringing fresh foods into Sweden. Special rules apply to people bringing food to Sweden from outside the EU. Generally, a health certificate is required for bringing meat, milk and similar products, and these must also be inspected upon arrival. Some exceptions to this rule apply to baby food and special foods required for medical reasons. Additional rules set by EU authorities also apply when bringing food-related items such as plants and seeds from outside the EU.
Most types of food can be found in Sweden. In larger cities in particular, there is a growing selection of stores selling imported foods.
The Swedish Customs — Details on rules concerning food brought into Sweden
The Swedish Board of Agriculture — Details on bringing plants and seeds to Sweden
If you arrive in Sweden during winter (November to March ), it can be especially good to bring warm clothing such as gloves, hats, boots, scarves and heavy coats. This is particularly true if you plan to live farther north in the country.
In late spring, summer and early fall, however, temperatures are normally quite mild. And if you don’t feel like filling your suitcases with thick, heavy clothing, winter clothes can of course be purchased after you arrive.
When entering Sweden, it is important to bring the following documents:
• A valid national passport from your country of origin
• A valid work and residence permit (normally stamped into your passport)
• Personal identity cards
• Your driver’s license (if you have one)
• Passports or identity documents for family members joining you in Sweden
• Family members’ work and/or residence permits (normally stamped into their passports)
• Marriage or domestic partnership certificate for a spouse joining you in Sweden
• Birth certificates for children joining you in Sweden
Driver’s licenses from most non-EU/EES countries are valid in Sweden for one year. After this time, you will be required to apply for a Swedish driver’s license.
Medicine, alcohol, tobacco and vehicles
Information regarding the import of medicine, alcohol, tobacco and vehicles can be found at the website of the Swedish Customs Authority.
The Swedish Customs — Rules regarding medicine
The Swedish Customs — Rules regarding alcohol
The Swedish Customs — Rules regarding tobacco
The Swedish Transport Agency — Rules regarding vehicles