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What are the Steps in Shipping & Relocating to Costa Rica?

Costa Rica News & Living – There are many of us out there that have decided that it is time for a change in scenery.  I am contacted on nearly a daily basis by someone that is sick and tired of living in their home country and wants to get out and come to Costa Rica.  They have various complaints. The winters are too cold. The summers are too hot. They do not like the democrats in office or they do not like the state of the nation.  Everyone has a unique reason to want to start a new life and many are picking Costa Rica as their new home.

When  it comes to wanting to pack up and head normally south, I always tell them first come down here and rent for a while to find out a couple of things.

  1. Find out if life in Costa Rica is right for you. Many people come to Costa Rica and cannot adjust to the different culture. They usually head home in the first year they are here.
  2. Find out where you want to live. There are so many communities and different aspects that make each community original.  Come down and try living in a few places before you pick one for home.

After you have gone through this trial period and have decided that the country is right for you and picked your destination within its borders, it is time to start thinking about the shipping and relocating process.  Most people plan this for about 6 to 9 months on average before making the move.  We have put together the general steps in shipping your household to Costa Rica.

All of these items can be done my yourself but it is recommended that you use a professional shipping company as there are a lot of pitfalls along the way if you do not know what you are doing.

Typical Steps in a Household Move

  1. Inventory – You need to inventory and list all the items that you will be shipping to Costa Rica. This will need to be translated into Spanish for use in Costa Rica and values included.
  2. Find a Customs Broker in the US – This part you can do with a referral from a friend or family member.costa rica container shipping 1  Make sure they are reliable as the last thing you want is you items to be pulled in Costa Rica customs and have extra charges added.
  3. Find a Customs Broker in Costa Rica – Very risky step without the proper connections you could choose the wrong one. If a wrong choice is made here your items might be tied up in customs in Costa Rica for months.
  4. Find an International Transport Company – Fairly easy step but you will not get the wholesale discount offered to shipping facilitators.
  5. Container is Dropped Off  – Container is dropped off at the location of your choosing. Prices vary for residential or commercial loading areas
  6. You Load the Container – Also you may hire workers to do this for you, normally you are allowed 2 hours  to load your container, after that time period you will be charged a fee per hour.
  7. Container is Taken to Port – At port there is a chance that the container is pulled for inspection which will cause extra fees.  This normally does not happen but could.
  8. Container is Shipped to Costa Rica – Prices vary between shipping lines and shipping companies that work with these lines can get comparative quotes for you to determine the most economical way to get your container to Costa Rica.
  9. 9.       Received at the Costa Rica Port – Someone has to receive the container at port. This person is called the NOTIFYING PARTY, he or she will give the ocean shipping company instructions as to where to move the container. Specifically this includes the destination fiscal warehouse into which it will be moved, along with the documentation needed by customs (some of the itmes required are a copy of passport, the packing list in Spanish, an invoice for the content of the container if required and copy of title for vehicle if shipping a car).
  10. Storage – Container goes to fiscal warehouse to be unloaded and inspected by customs. Most shipping companies will have an employee there to make sure that nothing was damaged in the move, ensure nothing is taken, and take photos if necessary.
  11. Import Taxes are Paid by the Costa Rica Customs Broker. This is an important step as if the customs broker does not know what they are doing you can be over charged for taxes or if he prices things too low you can be fined. He or she also presents documentation on your behalf and the release document is issued.
  12. Transport to Local Location – After the household goods are released from customs they can now be delivered to you. Your items are taken from the warehouse to the final destination, in trucks, loaded by local workers. Make sure you choose this local transport wisely to ensure you items are delivered in one piece.

That is a brief summary of the process of shipping a container to Costa Rica. If you want to try to do it yourself it can be done but we do recommend using a professional shipping company.  If you are interested reading through a step by step guide to shipping and relocating to Costa Rica click the link below for your Free Costa Rica Shipping Guide.

Click to Get Your Free Costa Rica Shipping Guide

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