Country Guide: Uruguay

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Updated: November 21, 2016

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport and ID
  • Express release bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Packing list in Spanish legalized by Uruguayan Consulate
  • Certificate of residence in Spanish (stating minimum of 2 years abroad) (returning citizens)
  • Authorization resolution (Uruguayan diplomat)
  • Certificate of entrance issued by the Migratory National Direction (private non - citizens, returning citizens, foreigners under legal residence)
  • Certificate of residence (only returning citizens and foreigners under legal residence)
  • Documents proving that legal residence procedure has been started (non - citizens)
  • Diplomatic franchise authorization issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Uruguay upon request of the embassy or international organization in Uruguay (foreign diplomats)
  • Uruguayan diplomats need a certificate issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating the period of employment abroad.
  • Customs guarantee (foreigners with no legal Uruguayan residence)
  • Signed letter of request for Customs requesting entry for household goods and personal effects (returning citizens / foreigners under legal residence)
  • Banking guarantee letter (bond) in the value of the shipment, issued by a local bank in Uruguay (private non - citizens)

 

Specific Information

  • Items other than household goods and personal effects are subject to import duties.
    • Contact the local agent in Uruguay for specific regulations and requirements to avoid Customs issues, delays and extra costs.
  • The packing list in Spanish must be authenticated by the Uruguayan Consulate at origin and must be typed on a computer or typewriter and printed on letterhead.
    • This is mandatory only for returning citizens or foreigners already under permanent residence.
  • The OBL / AWB must be endorsed by the owner of the goods with the same signature used on the entry documents when the owner of the goods physically entered Uruguay.
  • Do not indicate “packed by owner” (PBO) on the packing list.
  • Industrial tools, machinery, new appliances, etc. are not considered personal effects.
  • The certificate of entrance is issued by the National Direction of Migration.
  • For this reason, the move must be started and finished (with the entry of the personal effects and household goods) in the same condition (as a legal resident or as a foreigner citizen requesting legal residence).
  • The condition must not be changed during the procedure (foreign citizens without legal residence in Uruguay).
  • For the authority resolution, the owner of the goods should contact the local agent in Uruguay as the process involves multiple governmental ministries and can be confusing (returning diplomats).
  • Non - citizens who have not yet obtained legal residence in Uruguay may import their household goods and personal effects duty and tax-free only if they have started the request procedure to obtain legal residence. 
  • The amount of the bank guarantee is determined based on the declared value of the shipment provided by the owner of the goods (foreign citizens without legal residence in Uruguay). 
  • A returning citizen with more than 2 years of residence abroad who decides to return permanently may import their household goods and personal effects duty and tax-free.
  • The certificate of residence must state that the owner of the goods has lived abroad for at least 2 years.
  • The owner of the goods must produce a bank guarantee with Uruguayan Customs which must remain in force until the permanent residence is granted.
  • Returning diplomats must obtain an authenticated packing list from the Uruguayan Consulate at origin.
  • Owner of the goods must arrive in Uruguay before shipment’s arrival at airport / port
  • The owner of the goods must obtain a Customs release with a note or diplomatic franchise for the incoming household goods.
    • The process should be managed by the diplomat’s embassy, Consulate, or diplomatic organization to obtain the relevant documentation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (foreign diplomats). 

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport / diplomatic identity card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (foreign diplomats)
  • Original commercial invoice in owner of the goods’ name
  • Driving document in owner of the goods’ name
  • Express release bill of lading
  • Certificate or written evidence of car’s registration at origin country, dated 6 months before owner of the goods’ arrival to Uruguay and authenticated by the Uruguayan Consulate at origin (returning citizens)
  • Written evidence of freight and insurance issued by the moving company at origin in case the movement is managed from Uruguay
  • Copy of identity card (returning Uruguayan diplomats, returning citizens)
  • Employment confirmation from country of origin (returning citizens)
  • Confirmation of ownership and usage at origin for a period of more than 12 months (returning citizens)
  • Personal sworn statement from owner of the goods (returning citizens)
  • Confirmation of residency abroad for a period greater than 2 years (returning citizens)
  • Vehicle property document or circulation document issued in owner of the goods’ name (foreign diplomats)
  • Declaration seeking protection expressly to the law N º 18.250 and to the Decree #330/2008 (returning citizens)
  • Diplomatic franchise authorization issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Uruguay upon request of the Embassy of International Organization (foreign diplomats)

 

Specific Information

  • Foreign citizens cannot import vehicles unless importing under a diplomatic status.
  • Private non - citizens and Uruguayan diplomats are not allowed to import vehicles.
  • It is strongly recommended that the returning citizens contact the local agent in Uruguay prior to importing a vehicle.
  • The owner of the goods must provide documentation that demonstrates permanent and uninterrupted residence in the country of origin for a period of at least 2 years.
    • This documentation must be legalized by the Uruguayan Consulate at origin (returning citizens).
  • The vehicle cannot be sold or transferred for a period of 4 years and must be registered directly by the owner of the goods with the appropriate local authorities (returning citizens).
  • The owner of the goods must meet with Customs each year for the 4 years following the date of import.
  • Uruguayan citizens returning home are only allowed one authorized automobile or motorbike with a minimum of 12 months of use and must be in the owner of the goods’ name.

Pets

Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health certificate issued by competent authorities at origin
  • Photographs of the pet (2 copies)
  • Certificate of anti-hydrofolic inoculation

 

Specific Information

  • The certificate of anti-hydrofolic inoculation must be at least 30 days old but no older than 12 months after the date on the application.
  • The certificate itself must be less than 10 working days old when the animal arrives to the country.

Wedding Trousseau / Gifts

  • Wedding gifts (require a separate packing list and a visa marriage certificate) (customs duties may apply)
  • Inherited goods (require a tax payment and appraisal, which takes approximately 30 days) (customs duties may apply)

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Weapons and ammunition
  • Works of art and antiques
  • Alcohol and tobacco products
  • Food
  • Jewelry and coins
  • Bicycles (allowed only as part of a household goods shipment)
  • New household goods subject to duties and value added tax.
    • If new goods are in reasonable amount and as part of the shipment, may be imported duty free.
  • Domestic appliances, devices, and/or machines (not classified as “household goods” by Uruguayan Customs)
    • Contact the local agent in Uruguay for specific regulations and requirements to avoid Customs issues, delays, and extra costs.
  • Televisions, refrigerators, and other domestic appliances (must be in proportion to the size of the shipment and the members of the family)
  • Medicines, drugs / narcotics
  • Specialized tools / instruments will be duty free only if provided with a professional degree legalized by Uruguayan Consulate
  • Car appliances
  • Fumigation is required in Uruguay
  • Firearms and Weapons:
    • Weapons imported into Uruguay are kept under custody by the Uruguayan Armed Forces.
    • Only sport guns may be imported and require a permit from Ministry of Defense.
    • All firearms must be declared in the packing list.
      • This includes the listing of all specifications of the weapon and all property documents must accompany it for Customs.
    • At the moment of loading the container, weapons must be placed at the door of container to enable easy access for the Customs Officer.
      • Customs will take possession of the weapon at the moment of shipment arrival and take them for safekeeping to the Service of Material and Armament.
      • The weapon will be kept there until the owner of the goods obtains permission to import the weapon
    • Foreign citizens must obtain legal residence and an Uruguayan identity card before obtaining permission to import a weapon. 

Prohibited Items

  • New domestic appliances if not in reasonable amounts
    • Contact the local agent in Uruguay for specific regulations and requirements to avoid Customs issues, delays, and extra costs.
  • Medicines, narcotics, or drugs
  • Pornographic or subversive materials
  • Live plants

Consignment Instructions

Recommended:  Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

 

Helpful Website(s):

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/uruguay.html

http://uruguay.usembassy.gov

 

IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.