Moving & Import

Moving can be stressful! The following resources are meant to provide some general information that will help understand the process and ease frazzled nerves in terms of moving to Costa Rica. Moving Time-line, Checklist, International Movers, and Customs, and Importing information.

Moving Timeline and Checklist

Sometimes when moving to a foreign country it is easier and cheaper to simply sell personal belongings before coming and then buy new ones upon arrival. Consider that Costa Rica is a humid tropical climate and perhaps one's previous furniture is not made to withstand tropical conditions. Appliances to be very similar in price and brands to the US. Successfully making an international move can be a nightmare. So cut out some of the stress and find quality items at reasonable prices it is best to do just that.

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Importing Vehicles

Importing a vehicle is expensive simply for the import duties. If purchasing a car that is already here in Costa Rica or at a dealership one will pay more, obviously for sales agents commissions and mark ups, which is why people choose to import vehicles. When bringing a car to Costa Rica by any means, driving, shipping it, etc. individuals are charged import duties. These duties are shockingly high. The import duty on a used car here runs from 45% to 70% of the government's declared retail value of the car. This is not the Kelly Blue Book value nor what someone actually paid for the car, not even close. It is the "Costa Rica book" and it is not cheap.

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Importing Pets

One should not encounter any major problems bringing in a furry friend to Costa Rica as long as one does all the paperwork correctly. The process should not cost more than about $300 plus the cost of the plane ticket for your animal. After Customs has received the Health Certificate from a pet's veterinary doctor, and a vaccination record that shows that an animal is in good condition and free of contagious or infectious diseases and vaccinations are up to date against rabies (at least 30 days), distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and leptospirosis, they will take 48 hours to process the paperwork.

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Importing Firearms

This is a very common question for people from the United States, especially, relocating to Costa Rica, whether they are gun enthusiasts or simply would like to bring a firearm for protection. One may bring your firearms to Costa Rica subject to the laws currently in effect. However, there are laws restricting foreigners from owning firearms. These laws, in a way discourage people from doing this by setting up barriers, a bunch of red tape and makes the whole process a little impractical to say the least.

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International Movers and Customs

The very best advice for making an international move to Costa Rica is REALLY look at what is really important and irreplaceable to bring. International moving can turn into a major headache the more compicated it is. If at all possible it is almost always better to sell all belongings in a home country and buy anything needed here. Local craftsmen sometimes hand make custom furniture to replicate anything that has to be left behing cheaper than expected, just bring photos.

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