How to Move Overseas to Costa Rica - SRS-CR: Summerland Relocation Services

November 1, 2019 No Comments

How to Move Overseas to Costa Rica

Posted by Constance Monroe in Informational

In May of 2017 we published a blog article regarding how to get your “stuff” to Costa Rica. After receiving several positive pieces of feedback regarding the information, we have teamed up with A-1 Auto Transport to provide you with some helpful tips on how to move here. 

Here’s what they have to say about taxes on your luggage, transportation of household goods, moving your car and your pets, and an overall idea on what it is like to make the move:

Moving overseas to Costa Rica is no easy feat. It takes a ton of preparation both mentally and physically. You’ll be running around getting ready, talking to moving companies, packing your things and deciding what to take with you.

Having a reputable moving company, capable of shipping all of your belongings overseas will be of the utmost importance. You can’t move without your things, after all.

Getting your personal items where they need to be without a ton of effort on your part will take a huge weight off of your shoulders. You’ve got other things to worry about.

It’s likely that you’ve already established a place to live, if not see Summerland’s properties for sale here. It’s the details of the move that can be time consuming and tedious. So how exactly will you go about moving overseas to Costa Rica? Here is what you should expect to pay

Taxes and Duties: Your Luggage

The luggage that is coming with you into the country will be taxed separately from the things that are shipped to you. A little research will help you figure it all out, including early contact with customs. If you wait until the last minute, things can get expensive quickly.

Import duties are the same as taxes, however, they can be avoided…not evaded…avoided. The rules differ on what you’re bringing into the country. Costa Rican law has three articles that cover taxes and duties on the shipment of household goods. You will not have to pay taxes on the same item, if it falls under more than one article.

If you’re aware of the articles (in short, they include luggage traveling with you, items that are not considered luggage and household goods that are shipped to you) you’ll know what you should be paying and how you might be able to avoid the payments legally.

If you understand the process and policies, you will be able to take advantage of them and get out of ridiculously high import fees. Especially if your items fall under more than one article.

The Transportation of Household Goods

It goes without saying that no matter where you’re moving, taking your things might turn out to be more challenging that you initially expected. Costs may pop up along the way with every move, whether it’s overseas or down the street.

For that reason, it’s a good idea to have extra cash put aside in order to cover these costs. If you’re moving from America to Costa Rica, you might think it makes sense to hire a moving company based in America.

Of course, the company that you hire will have to go through a Costa Rican relocation company in order to actually make the delivery of your goods within the country. This is why it cannot be stressed enough, the importance of hiring movers who know what they’re doing.

This can be an incredibly time consuming process for the company you choose, but if they go about it correctly, things will move forward quickly in your favor. It’s all about knowing how to work through the red tape.

When you move, and the company you hire should inform you of this, you’ll be able to bring a shipping container (typically forty feet or less), full of your belongings. This includes your car.

Moving Your Car

You’ll be charged import taxes on your vehicle, should you choose to bring it with you to Costa Rica. You should know, in advance, that paying duties on a car coming into Costa Rica tends not to be cheap, which makes it even more important to do your research regarding a shipping company that has experience and fair pricing.

Driving a car into Costa Rica isn’t easy (bad roads and extremely difficult travel, with few accommodations), so whether you’re shipping overseas or driving in from North America, you’ll want to go with a shipping company. Be prepared to pay the company as well as the duties on your car.

The duties on your car will add up to about forty-five to seventy-five percent of what the Costa Rican government estimates the retail value of your car to be. You can see how this can add up, and how it might be a large chunk of change. Clear and open communication with customs can help you to prepare for this as well.

Bringing Your Pets

Pets that come into Costa Rica, no matter where they’re coming from, do not have to face quarantine. This makes for a quick and easy moving process that ensures your pet will be able to come home with you right away.

You will have to provide the Costa Rican government with a certification of rabies vaccination within the last 30 days. Have your vet fill out all necessary forms so you have proof that your pet is indeed in good health.

If your dog is small, or you have a cat or rabbit, they can ride with you on the plane should you choose to fly. Large dogs will have to ride in a size appropriate crate, and will be stored with the luggage.

Make sure the airline you use does not have any past incidents regarding pets riding under the plane. If this is a concern for you, and it certainly is a legitimate one, you may want to consider hiring a private shipper that specializes in pets.

When you choose this route, do make sure to have all the proper documents in order so that your pets arrive without issue. Import permits are required.

Making the Move

A move to Costa Rica is not inexpensive by any means, but there are ways that you can make it work in your favor, cost-wise. Keep yourself informed of every aspect of the move, and make sure you choose a shipping company that is well informed as well.

A knowledgeable company will be up to date on all international regulations, and they’ll be able to give you the best advice possible. For you, the move is supposed to be a once in a lifetime experience. You shouldn’t be bogged down worrying about how your things will get to you.

Making the right choice regarding a shipping provider will put the fun back into moving to one of the most beautiful places on Earth!


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