The import process of an Icelandic horse (and costs).

Be welcome here, we´re the place to help you find and get your dream horse 🙂  We might have the right horse for you on our farm. Also, I often get people on visit here for a couple of days, and take them around to many farms in the area to find the right horse. It’s free for the horsebuyer : ) And this way you might look at ca. 15-20 horses that are all more or less prospects for what you are looking for.

The import process is actually very simple for the buyer, that wants to buy a horse from us.  Me and an export company (there are several in Iceland) take care of most of the process. Here I will describe the process for people that want to import a horse from Iceland to Europe or North America. The prices variate a little bit, depending on exchange rates and other things, so you can contact me if you are wondering about buying a horse from me.

The prices are from October 2020.


The costs included in getting the horse are:

The price of the horse (since the exchange rate can change slightly from day to day, the price of the horse is set in the Icelandic krona).

A thorough veterinary check (paid by the seller if the horse isn’t sound) 15.000-40.000 isk depending on what’s included in it (ca. 100- 250 euros / 110 – 290 $).

Transport to Keflavik, ca. 30.000 isk (ca. 190 Euros / 220 $).

Export costs (depending on to what country the horse goes, see details here below).

Transport to the horse’s new home.

Horses are exported from Iceland (Keflavik) to Europe, to 3 different airports;  Norrköbing (Sweden), Billund (Denmark) and Liege (Belgium).

Horses are exported from Iceland (Keflavik) to North-America (USA and Canada) to NY (not to other cities or airports).

Export from Keflavik to Liege, Belgium, costs:

  • Flight 1250 EUR, with all the paperwork.
  • Service costs at the airport 500 EUR (a 2-300 EUR discount if there are more than 1 horse being exported for the same buyer).
  • VAT (There is 25% tax paid at import in Scandinavia, but 7-12 % in most other countries in Europe).
  • If it’s a stallion it costs 600 EUR extra.

Export from Keflavik to Norrköbing/Sweden, or Billund/Denmark:

  • Flight 1550 EUR, with all the paperwork.
  • Service costs at the airport 2-300 EUR.
  • VAT (There is 25% tax paid at import in Scandinavia, but 7-12 % in most other countries in Europe).
  • If it’s a stallion it costs 800 EUR extra.

Export from Keflavik to New York, USA, costs:

  • Flight, quarantine (very short in time, but unfortunately costly) and paperwork, 5500-6000 $ (depending on if it´s a direct flight, or if it’s a flight with a stop-over at Liege).

Export from Keflavik to Dublin, Ireland, costs:

  • Flight, with all the paperwork, 1000 EUR.

Extra costs with transport of a horse from Liege, Belgium, to UK, costs:

As an example, the extra costs that have to be paid for a horse that goes with truck from Liege to Wales can be 600 pounds.

Extra costs with transport of a horse from the airports to their future home:

Truck transport from the airport to the future home of the horse vary of course a lot depending on the distance.  The exporter can often help finding a commercial horse transport, if needed.

Europe:  Ingo Müller´s company transports horses all over Europe in connection with the export flights.

UK:  John Parker’s company transports horses to the British isles.

USA/Canada:  The exporter can help finding/arranging for a commercial horse transport, from New York to the horse’s future home, if needed.  Often several Icelandic horses (owned by several new owners) being exported can share a transport taking them towards their new homes.

IN MORE DETAILS:  The process of acquiring the horse is:

The buyer decides on a horse, and sends 10% as a down payment (wired through bank to Iceland) and token of sincerity. Usually contracts are not done, but if the buyer wants, we can make a contract, and this is the best time to do it. I book the vet to come and do a thorough vet check. I also book a space on the next export, tentatively, or on whatever export the buyer wants ; )

The horse is veterinary checked. If the horse is sound, the rest of the horse’s price is paid, and the vet check, and I confirm the space on the export, if the buyer wants ; ) The horse is by then the buyer’s property : ) Costs that happen after that (feed and care, taking a mare to a stallion, training, etc.) are the buyers responsibility, unless a different agreement is made on beforehand. Usually the horse is though kept for free, by the seller, until the next export between Iceland and the future home country.

It is best, by then, that the owner insures the horse with its future insurance company.  It’s never a problem if the horse is to be exported soon.  If it stays for a long time in Iceland so your insurance company becomes reluctant to insure the horse, that is, if it’s needed, I can help you insure it by an Icelandic insurance company).

If the horse fails the vet check, the down payment is repaid, or can be used as a down payment on another horse, if the buyer wants. In this case, the seller pays the vet check.

The exporter sends the buyer the information on the exact amount of costs for the transport, and the information on the account to pay that to (this information is often sent just a couple of days before the export happens).

A few days before the export, the exporter sends a truck to fetch the horse at it’s home and take it to Reykjavik.

All the paperwork (horse passport, receipt etc.) come with the horse when it is exported, either with the plane or in mail.

The horse is exported in the buyer’s name, so getting the horse delivered at the airport is an easy process.

So, the process is pretty simple, what you have to worry about on your side is sending the payments for the horse and the transport, and finding a transport from the airport to the future home of the horse.

If you need to get a further idea about the amounts in a different currency than ISK, you can go to

(you just write in the number in whatever currency you like, and the webpage then shows the other currencies automatically).

There is also another site,

which is in english, but takes a bit more steps to use.

The exchange rate that your bank gives can be slightly different, but there should not be a big difference.

It is ok to send the payments in Euros or Dollars or other common currency, my bank changes it to ISK here for a very slight fee (1000 isk, ca. 6 euros) that you can put on top of the price, and that is usually a lot quicker than buying ISK.