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Costa Rica Relocation; Shipping Household Goods to Costa Rica

Costa Rica Shipping – You have made up your mind and have decided on Costa Rica relocation and living the Pura Vida life everyone is enjoying so much. Since you are moving, what are you going to do with your household stuff? Are you giving them away or are you shipping to Costa Rica?

Well we have to admit the fact that having our memorabilia and personal items we bought or kept throughout the years because of their sentimental values are things that cannot be replaced so we definitely must take them with us no matter where we decide to move to; just because we want to start a new life does not mean we have to forget everything about the past.

We have to keep in mind though that even used items are taxed when shipping to Costa Rica, where taxes range from 40 to 60 percent of the value of the article you are importing so you have to make sure that you make an inventory of your household items and make sure to just take along the things that you absolutely cannot live without.

In any case, you can always buy necessities and some luxury items from local Costa Rican stores or save money by buying imported items at the duty-free zone or depósito libre in the southern city of Golfito. Although there is a set-back when buying imported items in Costa Rica – the inventory is very limited so some items are difficult, if not impossible, to find and may be more expensive to replace than what you are accustomed to.

Click to Get Your Free Costa Rica Shipping Guide

We have listed some items that are either more expensive or are difficult to find in Costa Rica:

  • Electronic devices are subject to high import taxes so the price of these items are about 50 per cent or higher in Costa Rica compared to the US or Canada, bringing a 50 inch TV in that you have purchased and paying $200 in import taxes might seem like a big expense until you head to a local Costa Rican store and find out that the same TV costs over $1000 in Costa Rica.
  • The selection of books that are written in English cost an arm and a leg in Costa Rica and truth be told the number of books available is not the same as the book stores in the USA or Canada
  • If your skin is sensitive and you only use quality, high thread-count linens, you should consider bringing them to Costa Rica since these items are double their standard price compared to that in the US.
  • Just like linens, toiletries and cosmetic products are expensive in Costa Rica and some brands cannot be found in this country so you may want to bring a few months’ supply.
  • Household appliances are the same as electronics. Name brands and high quality washers, dryers, refrigerators and other must have household items are normally about double the price in Costa Rica. So why you may think paying the import duty on your Maytag washer and dryer is not a good idea, you may wish you had brought it when trying to furnish your new home in Costa Rica and seeing the local prices.

shipping to costa rica household goods containerOne other factor you need to take into effect when deciding on shipping to Costa Rica or buying in the country is delivery costs and time spent trying to furnish your new home during the Costa Rica relocation process.  In order to get a wider selection you will need to shop in a larger town and most likely this will be San Jose, Costa Rica.  If you live in a suburb of the capital going shopping might not be such a daunting task other than fighting a bit of traffic.  But most expats that have decided on Costa Rica relocation have put roots in one of Costa Rica’s many beach towns.  The further away from San Jose the more the prices go up and the less the selection.  The closest beach town Jaco is over an hour outside San Jose, and if you live in the Guancaste area just getting to San Jose can take up to 8 hours.

If you are furnishing a house it can take multiple trips to find the things you need and that means multiple deliveries to your home.  A normal delivery truck can cost $400 to $800 depending on where you now call home in Costa Rica.  Add in the costs of your own gasoline and the time you spent trying to find everything you need and the numbers add up fairly quickly.

If after making an inventory of all the stuff you are taking with you and determined that you have more than 500 pounds of your items’ combined weight, or if you taking large items like refrigerator or car, getting it into Costa Rica by air is ridiculously expensive so it is out of the question and your best option is to send your things by boat in a cargo container.

Shipping containers from the US measures 20 and 40 ft in length and costs around $6000 – $15000, depending on which US port the container will depart from which normally includes taxes and delivery. While that price might seem high to many thinking of relocating to Costa Rica, it can end up being a lot less than replacing everything when you arrive.  

Generally, the container will be dropped off your house and you will be responsible for packing and loading your stuff, and moving the truck. The Costa Rica shipping company will handle the transportation of the container and get it to Costa Rica and delivered to your door to make the process stress free.

Click to Get Your Free Costa Rica Shipping Guide

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