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A Process of Relocation & Shipping to Costa Rica

Costa Rica News – So you have finally decided to pull the trigger and move to Costa Rica.  You have picked out the location of where you are going to begin your new life in the land of “Pura Vida”, and now it is time to decide what you are going to bring with you in your relocation. 

ocean-shipping-containers-costa-rica 1There are a lot of people that are ready to begin fresh and new in Costa Rica and decide to sell what they can in their country of origin, which they usually get pennies on the dollar for and then purchase all new items in Costa Rica.  This of course is an option but make sure you take into effect the following:

  1. Electronics and Appliances are normally about 50% to 75 % more in Costa Rica.  A flat screen TV that you buy in the USA or Canada for $500 will cost you close to $1000 to replace in Costa Rica.
  2. In the USA or Canada there in a huge selection of furniture and other household items.  In Costa Rica although there is a variety it is quite limited and can be expensive for imported goods.
  3. Most expats relocate in Costa Rica to beach towns or the mountains, not that many decide to pack their life and head to San Jose.  If you are looking for the best deals when it comes to furnishing your new home, they will be found in San Jose.  You will have to ask yourself is it worth it to me to fight traffic and spend my time searching for what I need and then having it delivered to my home, or should I just bring my home with me?

More often than not expats looking to relocate to Costa Rica decide to bring their household with them.  Paying for that container that is being dropped off at their door in their country of origin and then have the items delivered to their door in Costa Rica is an expense they are willing to commit to as it saves time and money as well as reduces stress on the Costa Rican end.

After deciding to relocate to Costa Rica using an ocean container shipping service you can decide to try to do it yourself, which is not recommended but it can be done, or use a relocation & shipping company.  For those that decide to do it themselves you can get your free do it yourself shipping e-book here.  For those that want to try to do it themselves the below is an outline of the steps they will need to take to get their personal effects from door to door.

  1.  Inventory – While packing your items you will need a detailed inventory of what you are shipping.  This will be numbered by boxes and large items.  Make sure it is an accurate count as if the number is off it can be stopped on either the USA or Costa Rica side and will cause you extra fees. Also you will need in translated into Spanish on the Costa Rica end.
  2. Find a Customs Broker in the US – This is usually done through either referrals or via an internet search.  Make sure you find someone you can trust.
  3. Find a Customs Broker in Costa Rica – This is one of the most risky steps you will have to make.  If you choose the wrong one your items can be tied up in customs for an extended period of time.
  4. Find an International Transport Company – This is a fairly easy step the only thing that you will not receive are the wholesale discounts that most shipping and relocation companies obtain for multiple container loads.
  5. Container is Dropped Off  at Your House in your Country of Originocean-shipping-containers-costa-rica
  6. You Load the Container – This is done by yourself but it is recommended that you use a professional crew in your area.  Normally you are allowed 2 hrs free to load your container, after that time period you will be charge a fee per hour.
  7. Container is Taken to Port
  8. Container in Ocean Shipped to Costa Rica
  9. Received at the Costa Rica Port – Someone is required to receive the container at port. This person is called the NOTIFYING PARTY.  They will give the ocean shipping company instructions as to where to move the container and into which fiscal warehouse. They will also provide the documentation needed by customs (copy of passport, packing list in Spanish, invoice for the content and copy of title for vehicle if shipping a car) in order to start processing the items for release.
  10. Storage – Container goes to fiscal warehouse to be unloaded and inspected by customs.
  11. Import Taxes are Paid by the Costa Rica Customs Broker, he also presents documentation on your behalf and the release document is issued. If you choose this person without full knowledge there is a good chance you can be charged too much. Also watch out for companies that include import taxes in their quotes, this is a way for them to charge you more money.  Ask them to separate taxes and shipping.
  12. Transport to Local Location – After your items are released from customs they can now be delivered to you. Your personal effects are taken from the warehouse to the final destination, in trucks, loaded by local workers.

That is pretty much the entire process that your shipment will go through all the way from your country of origin to your new home in Costa Rica. There are many possible hiccups along the way which you can run into and possible steps that will cost you more money if you do not know what you are doing but it can be done on your own.

If you would like to know more about shipping your vehicle or personal belongings to Costa Rica, get your FREE Shipping to Costa Rica E-Book

 Click Here for Your Free Shipping Ebook.

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