Country Guide: El Salvador
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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Used Household Goods and Personal Effects
- Residence permit / work permit
- Numero de identificacion (NIT) from the Ministry of Finance
- Certificate of migratory movement from the Immigration General Office
- Temporary import permit
- Bank guarantee, if applicable
- Original bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB)
- Detailed inventory in Spanish
- Packing list
- Letter of employment
- Certificate of change of residence
- Certificate of residence abroad (returning citizens)
- Diplomatic franchise (diplomats)
- All shipments are subject to inspection.
- The owners of the goods must be present for Customs clearance.
- Household goods and personal effects are duty free provided they have been owned and used by the owner of the goods for at least 6 months.
- The shipment must arrive within 90 days of the owner of the goods’ arrival.
- Customs clearance takes approximately 2-3 business days.
- Items cannot be sold, loaned or disposed of during the owner of the goods’ stay.
- Returning residents must have lived abroad for at least 3 years for duty-free import and provide proof of residency abroad; citizens must not have returned to El Salvador for more than 30 consecutive days during the 3-year period of official residency abroad.
- Contact the destination agent for specific requirements of eligibility.
- The certificate of residence can be obtained from the Salvadoran Consulate and must verify the location and time spent abroad.
- The packing list must include the value of each item and the make, model, and serial number of electrical appliances.
- Foreign diplomats and certain government / organization members are granted duty-free entry.
- Documents must be received by the destination agent 15 days prior to the owner of the goods’ arrival.
- Foreigners may qualify for a 6-month delay of duty payment with a bank guarantee for an amount equal to the Customs valuation of the shipment; however, the payment is required upon expiration of the guarantee.
- Driver’s license
- Certificate of title / registration
- Purchase / commercial invoice
- Diplomatic franchise (diplomats)
- Certificate of compliance (new vehicles)
- Certificate of emissions (used vehicles)
- Vehicles (motorized and non-motorized) can be imported duty free but are subject to taxes.
- Diplomats can import vehicles duty and tax free.
- New and used vehicles must be less than 8 years old from the date of manufacture for import.
- The certificate of compliance for new vehicles is issued by the manufacturer and must be authenticated by the Salvadoran embassy or consulate at origin.
- The certificate of emissions for used vehicles must be authorized by a mechanic and authenticated by the Salvadoran embassy or consulate at origin.
- Rabies vaccination record
- Veterinary health certificate
- Import permit
- The vaccination record must be issued within 6 months of arrival of the animal.
- The veterinary health certificate must be issued within 15 days of arrival of the animal by a licensed veterinarian at origin.
- Firearms and ammunition (a permit from the local police is required)
- Live plants (an original invoice, phytosanitary certificate and a permit from the Ministry of Agriculture are required; subject to payment of duties)
- Medications (a permit from the local drug administration is required)
- Cigarettes (200) and cigars (50)
- Alcohol (an import permit is required)
- The following items require an original invoice and are subject to the payment of duties:
- Appliances, machines and spare parts (duty free for diplomats)
- Gifts and souvenirs
- Antiques and works of art
- Precious metal objects, including jewelry and coins
- Household and electrical items (serial number, make and model must be included on the detailed inventory)
- Wine (a permit from a local health department is required)
- Food items (a phytosanitary certificate is required if the item is not canned and a certificate that the item is approved for human consumption)
- Illegal drugs
- Pornographic and subversive materials
- Military clothing and equipment
- Cleaning chemicals and supplies
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 InformationCIA World Factbook Entry for El Salvador
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.