Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More info about moving to Costa Rica

We will be using Charles Zeller as our broker. We met Charles at the ARCR seminar in November and his discussion on shipping impressed us enough that we trust he knows what he is doing. His expertise has been and will be helpful. I hate to make this a long post, but I feel that the post Charles added to the ARCR forum best describes the necessary info for packing (so below is a post I copied that Charles himself put on the ARCR forum):

How are duties assesed ?

CR Customs Law has 3 articles that cover the import of USED housheold goods.Used for CR Customs means that the article was used more than 6 months before shipping to Costa Rica.

Once your goods arrive to Customs in CR you have to declare the value of your goods, and based on that value you will be charged the duties.

You can not declare just any value, it has to be the the CIF value ( Cost + Insurance + Shipping) and it has to be logical and reasonable, if not it will not go trough.

Only 7 categories of items are duty free:
1. Personal effects : Means anything that you can wear sa: clothes, shoes, hats, purses etc.
2. Personal Videos
3. Personal CD´s Does not mean you have to appear in the video or sing on the CD´s its your personal collection of music and videos.
4. Personal pictures
5. Books
6. Hand tools for domestic use ( No guys, no power tools)
7. Portable gym equipment ( Whatever that means)All other categories are taxed at the same percentage duties as new ( 14% up to 57% depending on the category or Customs classification)

Therefor its advisable to get proffesional help from someone who has experience in importing household goods.
CR Customs is a tax collecting agency just like the IRS in the USA.
We Customs brokers are like tax accountants, that help you file the papers at Customs in such a way you pay the least amount of duties. Not just any Customs broker will do, you need one that has experience in houshold goods, just like in the States, there are accountants specialized in dif fields of business.

On the avarega a 1x20 container full of used household goods pays about $ 1500 in import duties and a 1x40 $ 2000. Why not double for the 1x40, reason is that the shipping charges are part of the CIF value and shipping a 1x40 container compared to a 1x20 container costs only about 25% more.

Now about the other question: Where does the container go when it arrives at port of entry:
1. Be aware that US Customs has the right to inspect your container before it leaves US soil. They sometimes do and they will charge you the cost of the inspection.
2. When it gets to Costa Rican port, the authorities have the right to inspect its contents to make sure it matches the declared goods on the Bill of Lading. This is not inspection to asses duties but just to make sure it is what is declared.
2. The broker has to request to have the container transferred to a private bonded warehouse. I try to use one under the Airport Customs authorities, because they are very efficient.
3. The container gets unloaded at the private bonded warehouse, items counted to see if they match the declared quantity and the empty container is returned to the Steamship line. The goods remain at the private warehouse until Customs authorizes the release.
4. The Customs broker has to make up the declaration of value. To do so, they will preform a preliminary inspection to make sure that all is as declared on the Bill of Lading and packing inventory. Customs brokers are cosigners on the declaration)
5. Once the declaration of value is filed and preliminary inpsection made, the estimated duties are paid.
6. CR Customs will decide to release the goods or send an inspector out to verify the values etc.
7. Once everybody agrees on the values and papers filed, then the release is given.
8. The goods get loaded into a local truck and delivered to your residence.

Because the bonded warehouse are private, there are some very good and safe ones that have cameras and guards watching over your belongings .

More questions, please contact me
Charles Zeller --------------------
Ship to Costa Rica

28 years of experience moving people to paradise
Email: shiptocostarica@racsa.co.cr
Off: 506-258-8747
Fax 506-258-7123
Toll free US and Canada: 866-245-6923

Charles quoted us approximately $6500 to ship all of our things in a full container load (FCL). I hope everything goes well and I will definitely keep you updated after our move is completed.

1 comment:

marika gulyban said...
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