Country Guide: Ecuador

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Updated: November 24, 2015

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Passport / Visa
  • Original Bill of Lading (OBL) (2 originals) / Airway Bill (AWB)
  • Packing list in Spanish
  • Letter of Employment valid for at least 1 year
  • Resident Visa (returning citizens)
  • Purchase receipts / Sworn declaration stamped by Ecuadorian Consul at origin
  • Valued inventory (Diplomats)
  • Migratory Certificate issued by Migration Police at destination
  • Verification Certificate issued locally by Inspection Company
  • Transportation Insurance Policy issued in Ecuador
  • Diplomatic Franchise from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Letter of Guarantee (Diplomats)

 

Specific Information

  • Contact agent for specific wording required on the OBL regarding household goods prior to import.
  • The inventory must be valued (do not declare the amount used for insurance values).
  • The shipment may arrive within 2 months prior to but no later than 6 months of the owner’s arrival. If the shipment arrives after the owner, the owner cannot leave Ecuador for more than 30 calendar days after arrival of the shipper.
  • To qualify for duty-free importation, the shipment must arrive within 60 days of the shipper’s arrival.
  • Only one shipment may be admitted duty free and include only one item per type. Additional items are subject to the payment of duties, fines or confiscation
  • A shipper may import household goods duty free more than once if maintaining a residence in Ecuador for at least 5 years with no more than 150 days abroad during that time period
  • Returning citizens cannot import duty free is having stayed in Ecuador for more than 60 days during the last year living abroad.
  • The Visa should be stamped prior to arrival of the shipment or a USD 2,000 refundable Guarantee must be presented and approximately120% of the estimated duties and taxes will be applied. A Working Visa must be presented to Customs within 90 days of shipment arrival or the Guarantee will not be refunded and full duties will apply.
  • All shipments are subject to physical inspection at the port of entry (POE), except for diplomatic shipments.
  • The shipper’s Passport number must be indicated on the shipping documents, including the OBL.
  • The packing list must be stamped and signed by a Notary Public and authenticated by an Ecuadorian Consulate at origin.
  • Items not declared in the household shipment may result in felony criminal prosecution.
  • Check with the origin agent for specific applicable wording required on the OBL prior to departure.
  • Shipments not meeting import requirements are subject to a payment of import taxes of approximately 43% CIF value to be calculated after inspection by Customs.
  • The Transportation Insurance Policy should be obtained in Ecuador.
  • Household goods and personal effects are duty free for the following:
    • Diplomats
    • Foreigners with Immigrant Visa / Non-immigrant Working Visa
    • Organizations recognized by the Ecuadorian Government
    • Returning citizens having completed official assignments abroad or returning after at least 1 year of legal residence abroad
  • Household goods / personal effects shipments valued over USD 4,000.00 (Customs value not replacement value) must be inspected at origin. Inspection to be requested and coordinated by the destination agent (foreigners).
  • Wood packaging materials must comply with ISPM-15 Guidelines; contact the destinations for exceptions, exemptions and additional information.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original Purchase Invoice
  • OBL
  • Certificate of Title / Registration
  • Import Permit

 

Specific Information

  • Returning citizens may import one vehicle duty free as follows:
    • The citizen must have lived abroad for at least 3 years.
  • The vehicle must be more than 4 years old, have an engine capacity of up to 3,000 cc, valued at no more than USD 20,000, and inspected at origin prior to import.
  • The vehicle is subject to duties of approximately 65% of CIF value.
  • Diplomats may import new or used vehicles duty free with authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Motorcycles must be valued at no more than USD 8,000 at the time of purchase and a motor capacity of 650 cc maximum.
  • The Import Permit must be approved in Ecuador prior to import.

Pets

Documents Required

  • Vaccination Record
  • Veterinary Health Certificate

 

Specific Information

  • The Veterinary Health Certificate must be presented upon arrival if the pet is arriving with the owner and must be notarized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) at least 10 days prior to departure and certified by the Consulate.
  • Pets arriving as cargo are subject to Customs clearance and potential quarantine.
  • Up to three dogs, cats and birds (or a combination thereof) may be imported.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Wedding trousseaux (an original Marriage Certificate is required and is duty free)
  • 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)
    • Electronic appliances (duty-free entry is permitted for one of each type of article; additional items are approximately 43% of CIF value)
    • Precious metal objects, such as jewelry, coins, etc. (are subject to taxes of 20% of value)
    • Wine (4 liters permitted and authorization of the Health Minister and Sanitary Register are required; duties of approximately 10% of CIF value apply)
    • Alcohol (permitted in reasonable quantities)
    • Cigarettes and cigars (permitted in reasonable quantities)
    • Spare parts, machines and appliances (a Commercial Invoice, Import Permit, Inspection Certificate and OBL / AWB are required)
  • Inheritances (a Death Certificate is required and is duty free per decree approved by the Ministry of Finance)

Prohibited Items

  • Narcotics and drugs
  • Pornographic materials
  • Firearms and ammunitions
  • Live plants
  • Foodstuffs, including spices
  • Appliances using refrigerant R12-R15
  • Cleaning products
  • Creams, colognes, perfumes and cosmetics

Consignment Instructions

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

 

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.

 

Helpful Website(s):

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1106.html

http://www.ecuador.org/nuevosite/index_e.php

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.