Country Guide: Costa Rica

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Updated: December 01, 2015

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of Passport (copy must be certified by a lawyer)
  • Rated Original Bill of Lading (OBL) / Airway Bill (AWB)
  • Packing list in English or Spanish
  • Proof of residence abroad from origin country

 

Specific Information

  • Customs clearance takes approximately 10 business days from the date of shipment arrival.
  • The items and weights identified on the OBL must match the actual items in the shipment or a fine of 250 USD will be levied and clearance will be delayed.
  • All shipments are subject to physical inspection.
  • Diplomat shipments are duty free.
  • Returning citizens may receive a partial tax exemption if having lived abroad for at least 24 months preceding import; proof from the Costa Rican consulate in the origin country is required and must indicate the number of years of residence lived abroad.
  • Lift vans, air vans, wooden crates, and boxes arriving in containers or single shipments must be fumigated per ISPM-15 guidelines and visibly marked on at least two opposite sides of the container in permanent black ink.
  • Certain wood packing materials are exempt from ISPM-15 regulations; contact the destination agent for specific information.
  • All HHG&PE must pay taxes, CIF value is the base to calculate taxes. Customer have to provide values for each article in packing list. 

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original Title
  • Original Purchase Invoice
  • Emissions Certificate in Spanish (or translated), verified by the Consul at origin
  • OBL

 

Specific Information

  • Duties range from 45% to 70% of the retail value of a vehicle.
  • The import of motor vehicles is not recommended as duties may exceed the value of the vehicle.
  • Contact the destination for additional information.

Pets

Documents Required

  • Rabies Vaccination Record
  • Veterinary Health Certificate (2 copies)
  • International Certificate (APHIS Form 7001) is recommended
  • Authorization from the Costa Rican Health Ministry obtained at origin from the Consulate / Embassy

 

Specific Information

  • Documents must be received by the destination agent prior to the pet’s arrival and are subject to examination upon arrival.
  • Animals over 3 months of age must be vaccinated against rabies.
  • Quarantine is not currently required unless the pet is deemed unhealthy upon examination then the pet may be kenneled in a government facility.

 

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • The following items are subject to taxes:
    • Arms and ammunition (a permit from the Ministry of National Security is required for returning citizens or residents)
    • Dangerous objects (a permit from the Ministry of National Security is required for returning citizens and residents)
    • Plants (a Phytosanitary Certificate and permit from the Ministry of Agriculture are required prior to import)
    • New household goods/new furniture (an original invoice or a statement under oath of the value of the item is required)
    • Household/electrical appliances (the brand, serial number and model must be listed on the packing list)
    • Wedding trousseaux, inheritances, gifts and souvenirs
    • Carpets
    • Antiques and works of art
    • Furniture (wooden items/ornaments require a permit from the Ministry of Agriculture)
    • Precious metal objects, such as jewelry, coins, etc. (purchase receipts/invoices are required)
    • Non-motorized vehicles, such as bicycles, watercraft, etc. (duties depend on value, year, model, cubic centimeters and features)
    • Wine and alcohol (permits from the Ministry of Health /Ministry of Economy are required)
    • Tins and food (a permit from the Ministry of Health are required) (3 copies)

Prohibited Items

  • Narcotics, drugs and medicines (permits from the College of Pharmacy and Ministry of Health are required)
  • Pornographic and subversive materials  Explosives

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):

http://www.costarica-embassy.org

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1093.html

http://costarica.usembassy.gov/catsdogs.html

 

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.