costa rica container shipping

Why Ship A Vehicle To Costa Rica?

Whether you are moving to Costa Rica or already living here you can possibly need to make the decision on whether to ship a car to Costa Rica and pay the taxes or purchase a car in Costa Rica.  Although there are always exceptions to the rule, it is recommended in many cases to import the vehicle as it usually saves time and money in both the short and long term.

If you are planning to purchase a vehicle in Costa Rica instead of shipping your current vehicle, you should get all the facts before making this decision.  This also holds true for those people planning on purchasing a vehicle in Costa Rica.  There are 2 major reasons you should ship a vehicle to Costa Rica: money and vehicle dependability.
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Before your journey to start your new life in Costa Rica if you plan on leaving your vehicle at home you are going to need to sell it. This has many potential downfalls. First, In order to get the best price for your current vehicle you are going to have to start the selling process 5 to 6 months ahead of time in order to get multiple offers to get the best price for your vehicle. This is going to require you to spend time and money on selling your vehicle. Secondly, when you get a good offer this could mean that you are without personal transportation for a period of time before your journey to Costa Rica. Finally, if you decide to wait until last minute to sell your vehicle you could have to take a loss on the vehicle to sell it quickly or if you are unable to sell it pay for storage or a friend to try to sell it after you leave. These are just a few of the disadvantages of selling your vehicle.

The next step for when you arrive in Costa Rica is the purchase of a replacement vehicle. If you have looked on craigslist or other auto vending websites in Costa Rica you will notice the large price discrepancy between the USA/Canada and Costa Rica. An auto that you could get outside of Costa Rica can and usually is about double the price in Costa Rica. For example a 2000 Grand Cherokee which in the USA would go for about $5,500 would sell for about $11,000 […]

By |December 31st, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Moving Household Items & Vehicle to Costa Rica

When you decided to drop everything and move to Costa Rica you were full of excitement! You easily quit your job, anxiously shared your news with friends and family, and excitedly sold most of your things. Now that it’s official and the initial excitement wore off a bit you are finding that it’s being replaced with fear and questions. Let me help you conquer one of the big questions related to your move.

How will you move all of your things? Your airline allows you limited baggage and you hadn’t thought about how to move the rest. you can’t just hire “Victoria movers” and expect them to take it there. You first step should be to take that huge pile of “must-take” things and cut it in half- at least! Costa Rica is about living simply, enjoying nature, time with friends, etc. A lot of stuff means a lot of time and energy maintaining that stuff instead of investing that time and energy into your new tropical adventure.

You should know that Costa Rica charges insanely high import duties. Anything that is newer than 6 months old will be taxed as if it is new. For that reason, bring only used things, same practice as when buying new house (get the Geelong home builders consultation on the matter). Other rules include that you must be over 18 to import anything, you must have entered 60 days prior (so pack essentials in your plane luggage), and items you bring must not be illegal, dangerous, or intended for sale in Costa Rica.
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Only clothes, shoes, purses, pictures and videos, CDs, tools for household use, furniture, fake plants, and portable gym equipment are taxed as personal use items (the lowest rate). For all other items you will be charged as if they are brand new! Duties are based on the cost of the item in original condition, insurance, and freight costs.

The easiest and cheapest way to get your things here is to ship them to one of the two ports, Limon on the Caribbean side or Puntarenas on the Pacific side. You can ship things in a 40-ft cargo container from Miami, the closest port in the USA. To ship your car, note that taxes can be 55-80% of the original price as found in the Costa Rican Black Book (higher than Kelly Blue Book)!

Good luck with […]

By |December 31st, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Adjusting to Life in Costa Rica – Culture Shock

Costa Rica News – For all of you packing your things and heading south to live and/or work in Costa Rica adjusting to the culture in Costa Rica can be a very difficult process. Alot of people down here cannot handle it and end up moving back home.  I recommend a trial run for about 4 to 5 months before doing the complete move.

Culture shock sounds scary! What is it, exactly? If you have ever considered moving to a new country I’m sure you have heard this term but have you ever thought of what it’s about or if it could happen to you?

Culture shock can be described as “a temporary psychological disorder that occurs in individuals adjusting to life in an unfamiliar culture.” I can almost guarantee that it will affect everyone, even you, who moves away from their own country. This is because it takes a huge adjustment to live daily life, doing the things you have always done without thinking, differently.

The good news is that as long as you expect and prepare for it, you should survive it just fine! The great news is that if you can embrace it, the culture shock can be a positive part of your adventure. What made you want to move away from home? Why did you choose Costa Rica? There must be something in the culture that is attractive to you. Surely when you get here, though it may cause shock, you can find many more cultural aspects to embrace and enjoy!

Some advice for adjusting well and without much stress or shock: understand your own culture first, maybe by asking a foreigner in your country what he has noticed about your culture; next decide to adjust rather than judge, try things in the way you see them in Costa Rica before deeming that they are wrong; also be curious, ask questions and get involved in your new culture; lastly, remember that a feeling of shock is a temporary sensation that will pass as you adjust to and begin to value the new culture!
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Some Fun Examples

What the hell?

Men and cologne. Less is more, guys. I smell you before I see you. Even the surf instructor who’d been in the water already gave me a huge cologne-drenched hug. I don’t even know how that’s possible.
Noise pollution. Whether it’s animals, electronics, people […]

By |December 31st, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

What to NOT to Ship to Costa Rica

There is a common fear when moving to a foreign country: “what if I forget something that I need?” This article will be the opposite of what you expect; since you already think you need everything, I will tell you things you DON’T need to ship to Costa Rica.

Once you have your pile of must haves go through it to remove anything that hasn’t been needed in the last two months. If you haven’t used it it’s not needed right away. Leave it behind with a loved one or in storage and ship it later if you find you can’t live without it.

One thing you have to decide upon is if you want to pay almost double the price down here in Costa Rica or pay for shipping and paying taxes on certain items. Although it can be expensive to ship many items down here the end price of shipping can actually be less than buying it here.

Something you should not ship is medicines. Unless it’s something you need daily (which you should carry with you along with a prescription) I wouldn’t suggest shipping it. You can get generic versions of everything here, even for free with CAJA insurance. Many medications will be confiscated when officials look through your shipped boxes.
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Furniture, especially wooden furniture is cheap here. It’s also comfortable and beautifully detailed. Many materials get moldy from the humidity. For this reason, consider if you really want to ship the couches your grandmother left you!

Furniture, medicine, appliances, and things you haven’t used in months all fall under the category of what not to ship to Costa Rica. Save your money and enjoy the great furniture, free medicine, and tax free areas to shop in Costa Rica!


By |December 31st, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

What Kind of Car to Bring to Costa Rica?

One of the biggest things to consider for most people is what the import taxes and going to cost on the vehicle.

If the vehicle is brand new or less than 3 years old then the tax percentage will be 52.29% of the value of the vehicle.

If the vehicle is 4 to 5 years old then the tax percentage increases to 63.91%

If the vehicle is 6 years or older then the tax percentage increases  to 79.03%

The import value of the vehicle as established in the Valuation Database of the Ministry of the Treasury referred to locally as “Autovalor”. You can check the Auto Valor Database, it is in Spanish and a little hard to operate as are most things when it comes to government websites in Costa Rica.

Toyota,Nissan, and Hyundai are the most widely used brands here. This is good to know because it means that the mechanics are familiar with these brands and have the parts to fix them when needed. To ship in parts for other brands may be quite costly. Another benefit of these types of cars is that they maintain their resale value.Other brands which are gaining popularity here are Suzuki, Honda, Mitsubishi, and Peugeot.

Besides the popularity, availability of parts and knowledge about the brand, and resale value, you will want to consider what kind of power you need as well as gasoline or diesel. Gasoline is at about $5 per gallon whereas diesel is $4.50 a gallon. For this reason you will not want to buy a V6 or V8 engine.

Gasoline cars with between 1500 and 2000 cc have enough power to ride the mountains without burning your wallet. In the case that you will be often driving in the rural areas you should consider 4 wheel drive, an SUV, or a pickup truck. Because of the price of gas, you should look for a diesel engine in one of these.
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If, however, you plan to go off road a lot, it may be worth the extra 50 cents per gallon to have the power consistency that a gas engine offers.

What I tell most people to get the most value out of their dollar is to import between a 1999 and 2002 either Toyota 4-Runner or Rav4.  They have a great resale value in Costa Rica, taxes are not sky high and they are great for the beach […]

By |December 31st, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

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