Costa Rica News – Shipping Your Belongings To Costa Rica. Don’t be taken advantage of during your move…Deciding to pack up your life and begin shipping all of your belonging to Costa Rica does not have to be a scary and stressful process.
You are leaving behind what you have become accustomed to and going to a country where you do not know the customs, are most likely not fluent in the language, and embarking on a new adventure in your life.
With all of these changes the last thing that you need is the added stress of shipping all of your personal possessions on this journey.
People ask us all the time if they are able to handle the logistics of moving to Costa Rica themselves.
The answer of course is yes. We are not going to say that it cannot be done by the individual, but….(and there is always a but) in about 99% of the cases it will be more expensive and the amount of stress and problems you have to overcome along the way make it worth hiring a company to do this for you.
The fact is there would not be relocation companies if shipping your belongings half way across the world was a simple and easy process that anyone could do.
One of the biggest things that surprises me when people move to Costa Rica is they sometimes seem to leave their brain at home. I have heard people say to me I went out to surf for only an hour and when I got back someone had stolen my wallet and iPhone off my towel.
This is Costa Rica, not Utopia!
You would not leave your valuables unprotected in your home country, so please follow the same common sense rules here. The same thing applies when using relocation services for your move to the land of “Pura Vida”.
There are many steps in this process where you can be taken advantage of especially if you are planning the shipment yourself and you are a novice to this process.
Get Your Shipping Free Ebook at the Bottom of This Article
On the US side you can be given a false sense of security when it comes to the shipping process.
Compared to Costa Rica the shipping process in the USA is normally very efficient and US companies know that if they do something unethical or something wrong they will most likely be held responsible for that action.
You can usually get a freight forwarder to drop a container off at your house and take it to port and they will walk you through the process of getting your items onto the ship to Costa Rica.
Because there is no language barrier and quality control methods are in place you may want to handle this portion of the shipping and relocation process yourself.
What you will receive by using a relocation expert is the following:
- Discounted rates as relocation companies receive wholesale prices.
- Trusted contacts which have been proven reliable over time.
- No need to get involved with the communication with these local entities (customs agents, freight forwarders, trucking companies, etc…)
After the ship leaves port and arrives in Costa Rica is where many of the problems occur and where you can be taken advantage. Language barriers and untrustworthy people will cause your pockets to be dipped into for unnecessary fees.
Most of our shipping customers are not fluent in Spanish and it does not cross their mind that everything needs to be done in Spanish for the Costa Rican portion of the shipping process.
Whether we like it or not, if you walk into a situation in Costa Rica and you do not speak the language then in a lot of cases they see “Rich Gringo” (as supposedly all gringos have money), and the price or fees can magically increase to the gringo rates, which can be about 20% or more than local rates.
This does not happen in every situation but we hear about it often enough to know it does happen and having someone who has connections with the personnel, who can speak the language can save you money and time as well as reduce your stress.
Costa Rican customs can become a battle if it is not handled correctly. There are also many ins and outs of how to get your personal items through this barrier to entry into Costa Rica efficiently and affordably.
- Relocation companies have trusted customs brokers that have been doing this for years. For example some companies walk each and every container through the customs process in Costa Rica personally.
- Your inventory list must be put into Spanish in order to be checked by the customs agents on the Costa Rica side — this is done by all relocation companies.
- Inventory invoice — prices will be assigned to your items in order to determine the import duty (taxes) you will pay on your shipment. Relocation companies know how to work the system so you will pay as little as possible.
Warning! Watch out for inflated import duties!
One of the biggest complications you have to watch out for is shipping companies that include what import duties are included in the price of shipping your container of household goods without knowing what you are shipping.
I would ask the company to separate the amount of duty from their shipping quote. If they do not know what you are shipping or include duty in the quote many times it is for the following:
- They are adding a little more to the duty in order to make some extra cash on the shipment.
- They have someone in customs that walks it through without opening the container for a certain amount (if caught doing this your shipment can get held up in customs for a while). In order to get around this ask the shipping or relocation company for the DUA (declaración única aduanera) —Example Seen Here, this will show the amount they paid in customs in both US dollars and Costa Rica colones.
- If they say no, they are doing something sketchy and this should throw up a red flag.
Shipping Your Belongings To Your New Home.
The final step is getting your things from port to your house for door to door shipping or relocation companies. These companies have reliable transport companies in every area of Costa Rica that will ensure your items get to their final destination safely and securely.
I do not even need to tell you what can happen if you make a poor choice or delivery. Most likely your crystal vases will not be in one piece when they arrive at your doorstep.
Although this process can seem like an insurmountable task it can be made easier by hiring a company to handle it for you. Make sure you have someone you trust and that you have spoken to and feel comfortable.
Having years of experience and people on the ground in Costa Rica that you are able to communicate with is a must. Finally, you should never feel pressure and expect personal service, the move is already hard enough without dealing with a pressuring salesperson.
If you would like to receive a free shipping ebook that talks about the steps in guiding you to relocating your items to Costa Rica click here. We will be happy to help you out with any questions as well as give you a quote for moving your vehicle or personal items to your new home, or back to your old home.
From We Love Costa Rica
If you are thinking about moving to Costa Rica, moving out of Costa Rica, or importing a vehicle, get your free e-book from Shipping Costa Rica to help you obtain more information about the process. They are also very highly recommended as a company to use for your shipping needs.