Worldwide Moving – Costa Rica

All shipments of — USED household goods and personal effects are subject to import taxes and duties, EXCEPT for:

  • Accredited diplomats or members of International Organisations
  • Employees of an organisation under contract with the Costa Rican Government with authorised temporary or definite importation of household goods
  • Costa Rican citizens who have lived a minimum of 24 months abroad (partial exemption)


Original B/L or AWB (indicate total number and weight of items) Detailed inventory list of articles indicating brand, serial number and model of all electronic articles and electrical appliances
Number of pieces and weight declared on Original Bill of Lading (B/L) or Air Way Bill (AWB) must match with the real number of pieces and weight (Customs in Costa Rica will check this information; if it is different there will be delays in customs process from 4 to 6 weeks, and fines will be approximately US$250.00 will be charged)
Itemised inventory or packing list with declared value for customs (prepared in Costa Rica)
Motor vehicles are subject to import duties and taxes. The amount of duties depends on value, model, cubic cm and extras. Please contact us for current % of tax rates. Diplomatic personnel can import motor vehicles duty free.


  • Original B/L
  • Registration card and Certificate of title
  • Vehicle Emission Certificate notarised by the Costa Rican Consul in the origin country
  • Used vehicle certificate must state all the characteristics of the vehicle. The certificate’s issued date must not exceed 60 days prior to the B/L issued date.


  • Domestic pets (cats and dogs) may be imported and require an A.W.B., health certificate, vaccination against rabies and the invoice indicating value of the animal.

PLEASE NOTE: For customs clearance (or tax exemption, if needed), all documents must be ORIGINALS and complete.

No shipment can be delivered until customs procedures are completed, duties and taxes are paid and our agent receives final authorization form customs officials.Outgoing shipments require an export permit and are subject to customs inspection.
Please be informed that in order to avoid unnecessary customs in Costa Rica, a general description of what the shipment consists of has to be declared on the Bill of Lading, as well as the exact amount of pieces and the real weight.

For Example:
DESCRIPTION: Furniture, Used Clothes, Electrical Appliances, Ornaments, Utensils, Books, Chinaware, Rugs, Paintings, Lamps, Crystal. WEIGHT: 1250 KG

60 Pieces
If pieces are packed into wooden lift vans, the number of pieces will be the number of vans and not the quantity of boxes inside.

Please do not declare under any circumstances on the Bill of Lading: Household Goods or Personal Effects.

Effective January 1st, 2005 a new regulation to import shipments packed in wood will be implemented. Each wooden crate that comes into the country, must have an identification on the treatment provided to eliminate plagues. Customs clearance takes approximately 10 working days, once shipment has arrived to port.

Making a false or misleading statement to the Authorities is an offence and may involve heavy penalties. Drug trafficking is against the law and severe penalties apply.

Important: This information is intended for general guidance. Sea & Air International cannot however take responsibility for any errors or omissions or for any loss or damage that may occur from its use. As such it is advisable to contact the nearest Australian customs office for full and current information prior to importation.

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