Costa Rica Shipping & Relocation – When it comes to Costa Rica relocation the last thing you want to worry about is getting your household goods or vehicle from the place you are leaving to your new home in Costa Rica. You should be thinking about adjusting to your new life, learning the language, and enjoying the new life you have begun. Shipping to Costa Rica should be easy.
When you contact a shipping company in the USA, Canada or anywhere else in the world that does not have Costa Rica ties they normally will quote your shipment from your door to port in Costa Rica. Unfortunately that is the easy part of the shipment and getting it through Costa Rican customs and to your new home in Costa Rica is the difficult end. If you have ever dealt with Costa Rican customs you know what I mean.
But to make it easily understood we will start from step one, in regards to shipping a container from your door in your current location to your door in Costa Rica. The process is a little different for less than container loads as you will need to crate your furniture and pack a little differently on pallets.
Here is the summary of the process for door to door container shipping to Costa Rica, it is a recommendation to use a company that has operations in the USA/Canada as well as in Costa Rica and make sure they are quoting door to door and not just door to Costa Rica port.
- The container is brought on the chassis of a truck to your door at the origin. There are two options when it comes to the loading process.
- Live Load – Normally you are given 2 hours to load the container, although this might seem like a short period of time, if you have everything staged it can easily be done. It is normally about $100 for each hour over 2 hours.
- Drop & Pick – This is when the truck drops the container at your home and picks it up at a later date. The cost of this is normally around $800 extra and you have to ensure that this is allowed in the community you live it through the HOA.
- Loading Crew – The company dropping off the container is usually able to provide someone to load the container for you, but I always recommend hiring a recommended local moving company that has experience loading containers. It will be less expensive and they will do the job. You can always try to get friends and family but I know mine would be hard to find on moving day.
- The container is taken to the port from where it will be shipping from and goes through the US customs process. During this time there is always the chance that your container gets pulled and inspected but it only happens to 1 out of every about 1000 containers. If this happens there are extra fees incurred.
- The container is shipped via ocean to either the Port of Caldera if going from the West Coast or Port of Limon if coming from the Gulf or East Coast. This is when the fun begins.
- I recommend what companies like Shipping Costa Rica do when it hits port, they take it directly to the warehouse in San Jose. When containers are processed at port thing go missing or get damaged.
- The container then goes through the customs process which has become a little more stringent on the Costa Rica end. The container is unloaded and they normally open about every 5th to 10th box depending on how busy they are that day. The most important thing to remember is that the number of items on your packing list is exactly the same as the number of items in your container. If you have 100 boxes on the container have 100 boxes on the list.
- After going through customs they will determine the import taxes that need to be paid on your items. Make sure you work with a company that has personal contacts at customs as you want to pay as little as possible during this step. Another thing to watch out for are shipping companies that include import taxes in their quote, they can give an estimate of what they think they will be but ask them to separate that out from their shipping quote.
- Once customs is paid then the items are loaded in a box truck and delivered to you new home in Costa Rica. I would use a company that includes unloading and placing in your home.
In essence this is the process but you have to be careful during certain steps to make sure that you are not taken advantage of or find out later that extra fees are involved. Make sure that when you compare quotes you are comparing apples to apples not apples to oranges. If you want more information about shipping to Costa Rica click the link below to get your free guide to shipping to Costa Rica.