Amazon Restarts FREE Shipping to Israel (With Caveats)

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Updated: 8/12/2021

Great news!!! After 17 months in the Amazon desert, I’m thrilled to let you know that Amazon has once again reinstated free shipping to Israel — with several caveats, which I outline below.

#1. FREE Shipping to Israel is not two-day delivery like it is in the US.

(Will I ever get over not having my Prime two-day, or one-day, or now SAME FREAKING DAY delivery? No. No, I will not.)

It does look like most orders will arrive within 14 days and hopefully even a bit faster. Not terrible, but not two-day. Sorry.

#2. You must place a minimum order of $65 of qualified items (see #3) to get the free shipping.

Although Amazon doesn’t care how much you order above and beyond that $65, please also keep in mind that if your order exceeds $75, then you will have to pay ma’am (VAT), which will add 17% to your cost. (See the VAT FAQ at the bottom of this post for more information.)

Your sweet spot is therefore any order between $6

5 and $75.

#3. Not all items sold at Amazon are eligible for this free shipping offer.

(You knew that was gonna be the case, right?)

To figure out if your item qualifies, look for it to say “FREE Shipping to Israel when you spend over $65.00 on eligible items” on the product page next to the price. It’s also important that you be signed into your Amazon account and have selected your address in Israel — otherwise you won’t see that language.

How to set up your Amazon account to score free delivery to Israel:

#1 – Set your delivery address to Israel

This means adding in your address and teudat zehut number (it asks for passport, but citizens of Israel should enter their teudat zehut and not their passport number)

#2 – Search for items that display the “FREE Shipping to Israel” tag by item price

There are lots of items, but not quite as many as last time we had the free shipping offer. Since this just restarted today, hopefully they will add more soon. Also, bear in mind that if you are NOT logged into your Amazon account and do NOT have your Israel address selected, you will not be able to see eligible items.

#3 — Continue to check out once you have $65+ worth of items in your cart
Confirm that you selected qualified items by making sure that AmazonGlobal FREE Shipping is pre-selected at checkout

VAT FAQ

If you want to avoid paying taxes upon arrival of your package in Israel (and I know you do!), this is really important information!

The VAT Rule for Shipping to Israel

The basic rule is that any order $74.99 or less is exempt from being assessed import tax when shipped.

Although this post is all about free shipping to Israel, it’s also important that you understanding how VAT works when it comes to shipping charges. If your order is $75 or more, you will be assessed VAT not only on the cost of your items but ALSO on the cost of the shipping. Say, for example, you order $85 worth of product and pay $10 in shipping. You will pay VAT on all $95.

If however, your order is under $75, then you will not be assessed any VAT — even if the cost of shipping bumps you over $75 out of pocket. Say, for example, you order $70 worth of items and pay $25 in shipping. You will pay NO VAT whatsoever.

Doubling Up on Orders to Avoid the VAT

You may be inclined to try to avoid the VAT rule by placing multiple “under $75 orders” in a row. If you do this, they will most likely be considered by ISRAEL as one “consignment” (i.e. order) — and hence, you will be assessed a 17% charge for VAT on the total.

According to this Israeli government source, you should wait for 72 hours between placing orders.

“Two packages or more that are sent from the same supplier to the same customer within up to 72 hours will be considered a single consignment that was split, and import taxes will be calculated based on the aggregate value of all the goods.”

I’ve also gotten some questions about whether it’s the teudat zehut (which you have to use on Amazon when you place your order) or the address that triggers the powers-that-be in Israel to consider it “one consignment”. My sense is that it’s the TZ, not address — but I don’t want to advise one way or the other, since I’m definitely not a lawyer (or a meches worker!).

Bottom line: Although the taxes.gov website says to wait 72 hours between placing orders to avoid bundling them for VAT, out of an abundance of caution, you may want to wait 72 hours from when the first order SHIPS (Amazon emails you when you order ships).

Shipping to Family Members in Israel

You don’t have to live in Israel to ship to Israel. So if you have a child studying in Israel for the year, this is a great way to gift them with some fun Amazon goodies. (Or send them a new blanket because their dorm room flooded with the first rain and they can’t live without their favorite comforter.)

Just make sure to set your primary address to their Israel address and use either their passport number (if they are not citizens) or their teudat zehut (if they are citizens). Then switch it back to your address when you’re placing an order for yourself.

I will be posting again to the Israel WhatsApp Group — so feel free to join if you want to find out about good deals on items that qualify for the free shipping.

Comments

  1. Just a heads up, a friend mentioned that if you order things too close together then amazon could bundle your purchases and you may get hit with VAT. Is that a thing?

  2. Julie Papier says

    Will it be going through the post office for pick ups? Or be delivered to your door in Israel?

    • I read all the fine print and couldn’t determine that. I’m fairly certain it’s the post office, b/c only DHL and courier gets delivered directly to your house.

  3. Soooooo excited!!!!! Thank you!!

  4. Linda Schlesinger says

    Best news I’ve heard all year! Thanks for publicizing Mara!

  5. You mean I don’t have to wait for my mother’s annual visit to order something on amazon!? This is life changing!!

  6. Thank you so much, with regards to VAT, this site seems to be amazing
    https://unitmeasure.xyz/vatcalculator

    Might be worth mentioning

  7. Can I use my American passport or does it need to be the recipient info.

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