Country Guide: Bolivia

Due to the current coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and restrictions in various countries, the below information may not be accurate. This pandemic is a fluid situation. Check with authorities for local laws and restrictions concerning movements.

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Updated: August 22, 2016

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Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Passport
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Insurance policy
  • Detailed inventory in Spanish
  • Tax exemption (diplomats)
  • Accreditation from the Chancellor (diplomats)

Specific Information

  • The destination agent must receive all documentation prior to arrival of the shipment.
  • The owner of the goods or owner of the goods’ legal representative must be present for Customs clearance (repatriating citizens).
  • Shipments valued up to USD 35,000 for non-citizens and repatriating citizens are exempt from Customs duties and taxes.
  • Returning citizens must have lived abroad for at least 2 years, without entry for the 30 days prior to shipment arrival, to qualify for free import.
  • For returning citizens, an exemption from the payment of customs tax may be granted one time per family if the shipment arrives no more than 1 month prior and less than 4 months after the owner of the goods’ arrival.
  • Customs clearance takes approximately 20-25 days for repatriating citizens and 7-10 days for diplomatic shipments.
  • For returning citizens – Bolivian Affidavit.
  • Most wood packing materials / products must comply with ISPM-15 guidelines and be clearly marked in a visible location on at least two opposite sides of the item in permanent, black ink. 
    • A seal certifying the shipment has been treated through methyl bromide (MB) or heat must be present. 
    • If evidence of treatment cannot be found, the shipment will be returned to the country of origin at the owner of the goods’ / agent’s expense.
    • Contact the destination agent for exceptions to this requirement.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Passport
  • Original purchase invoice
  • Original bill of lading  / air waybill
  • Inspection certificate
  • Title / registration
  • Commercial invoice (used vehicles only)


Specific Information

  • Vehicles for personal use are subject to customs duties of 55% over the cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value.
  • Diplomats may import vehicles duty free.
  • Details of the vehicle should be forwarded to the destination prior to shipment arrival.
  • Vehicles must be no older than 2015 to be imported.


Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health certificate
  • Zoo sanitary certificate
  • Certificate of value


Specific Information

  • The import of pets is subject to a payment of 12% duties in addition to the cost, insurance, freight (CIF) value for non-commercial shipments.
  • Diplomats may import pets duty free.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Potential contaminants (items deemed a potential contaminates to the environment are subject to inspection upon arrival, such as refrigerators, vehicles, all equipment which has AC, etc.)
  • Diplomatic imports are duty free; however, diplomats must pay duties on the import or firearms and ammunition.
  • Industrial machinery / equipment require authorization
  • Firearms and ammunition (a special permit is required)
  • The following items imported for private or personal use by non-diplomats are subject to the approximate payment of duties as identified below:
    • Medicines                                                                                  32% over CIF value
    • Carpets                                                                                     42% over CIF value
    • Plants                                                                                        32% over CIF value
    • Food items                                                                                 42% over CIF value
    • Gifts and souvenirs                                                                      32% over CIF value
    • Precious metals (jewelry, coins, etc.)                                             32% over CIF value
    • Appliances, machinery/tools, etc.                                                  32% over CIF value
    • Inheritances                                                                               32% over CIF value
    • New furniture and household goods                                                42% over CIF value
    • Antiques and works of art                                                            32% over CIF value
    • Electrical items (televisions, personal computers, printers, etc.)         42% over CIF value
  • Alcohol:
    • Diplomats may import alcohol duty free.
    • A commercial invoice, original bill of lading / air waybill / surface freight bills, and certificate of origin are required for the import of alcohol.
      • A pro-forma is required if the free on board (FOB) value exceeds USD 1,000.
    • Alcohol for private and personal use is subject to a payment of approximately 42% over the cost, insurance, freight (CIF) value.
    • Imports exceeding USD 1,000 require the intervention of other agencies and the presentation of the pro-forma invoice / commercial invoice to verify the shipment; contact the destination agent for specific details.

Prohibited Items

  • Narcotics and drugs
  • Explosives
  • Pornographic materials
  • Refrigerators (check with agent for specific models prohibited for import)

Consignment Instructions

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


Cultural and Other Information

CIA World Factbook

Wikipedia Entry for Bolivia

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.