Relocating Overseas To Costa Rica

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Costa Rica International Moving Services

Moving is an arduous undertaking and international relocation is especially complicated. Compared to state-to-state moving, leaving for another country comes with its own set of rules and regulations. The distances covered are also very long which makes the requisite logistics a tough undertaking for a person to tackle alone.

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Import duties imposed by Costa Rica

An international move often comes with import duties – though some countries offer exemptions. Costa Rica does not extend this courtesy to foreigners moving into the country. Your shipment of household goods will incur the standard import duty, which is typically around 37%. This rate is charged on the combined amount of the shipment’s value, and the cost of shipping and insurance (CIF) (1).

Documents required by Costa Rica

In order for your shipment to enter the country, you’ll need to provide customs with the appropriate documentation. This includes your passport and a packing list written in either Spanish or English. Your Original Bill of Lading or Air Waybill is also required (2).

A separate inventory with the values for your items is necessary as well. This should list the brand, model and serial number of all electronic goods and appliances included in your shipment. You’ll also need to attach the purchase receipt for any new items. Customs will want to see documents showing you’ve purchased insurance for your shipment as well (3).

Import duties imposed on your vehicle

Consistent with their policy on household goods, duty exemption is also not available for vehicle importation. According to one trustworthy source, you’ll pay between 45% – 70% to bring your vehicle into Costa Rica. However, it goes on to say that you could end up paying more than the vehicle’s total value, just in import duties. How this works isn’t clear – so consult Costa Rican customs to learn more (4).

Documents required to import your vehicle

You must have the necessary paperwork, to bring your vehicle into the country. You’ll need a valid driver’s license and your passport. The vehicle’s title and registration is also required, along with a certified emissions test. A temporary use permit (TVUP) should be submitted as well, and written authorization from the car’s owner (if you don’t own the vehicle). Finally, customs will want to see your Original Bill of Lading (5).

Though the above lists give you a good idea of the regulations you’ll face and the paperwork you must provide – it’s not comprehensive. Other forms and rules will apply, to both your shipments of household goods and vehicle. Speak to Costa Rican customs directly, to learn all the requirements for importing your belongings.

Tips on how to make your international move easier

  • Start early: As already pointed out, international moving is not the same as hopping across states. It is therefore important to start your preparations early. Most international moving companies advise their clients to begin preparations about 90 days before the day of moving. This will help you get everything in order and avoid delays with customs.
  • Visa and passport: Moving overseas requires both a visa and a passport. Ensure that you have done enough research on what type of visa you require when looking for Costa Rica International Moving Services. Visit the Embassy of Costa Rica’s website for more information. Also, ensure that you make an application for a passport through the US Government.
  • Visit: There is nothing as intimidating as going to a new place. Even scarier is relocation to a foreign country. It is therefore, a good idea to visit your chosen destination in Costa Rica just to have a feel of where you will be moving to. Make sure that you engage with the local people to get as much information as possible.
  • Save money: Moving overseas is a costly affair. You need to be intentional and careful about your spending. The way to do this is have a budget in place. It will help you keep your spending in check.

A-1 Auto Transport can help you move your household goods internationally. Call 888-509-3213 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote on interstate moving services.

Why you need a professional moving company when relocating overseas

Professional movers have the experience needed for such an undertaking. Certainly, it would be almost impossible if you decided to handle everything by yourself. This is because it is very strenuous and time-consuming. You will also, be at the risk of losing or damaging your belongings.

However, professional movers will help you pack and secure your belongings without any damage incurred. They also have relevant equipment designed to make the process stress-free. 

How to find the best international moving company

When looking for Costa Rica international moving services search the internet or ask friends and family for recommendations. Make a list of at least three companies then research on the following:

  • Find out if the company you are interested in is duly licensed.
  • Read customer reviews on the respective companies’ websites.
  • Compare their rates and find a professional mover with the best estimate.
  • Ensure that the company you choose has insurance that caters for damage on belongings during transit. 

Our Costa Rica international moving services

We offer the following:

  • Packing/unpacking: We offer packing services to and from our transport facilities.
  • Commercial moving: We offer international moving of offices and businesses. This includes moving office equipment and other assets.
  • Apartment moves: We help in relocating between rental apartments.
  • Planning and preparation: We offer assistance in getting your household goods in order prior to the day of moving. This includes helping you put your belongings in batches to make it easy come the day of moving.
  • Visa and immigration services: We also help in visa application and registration services at the Costa Rica immigration department.
  • Housing assistance: We offer help in locating suitable housing.
  • Family services: We assist our clients to locate and find suitable providers of basic family services such as schools and health facilities.
  • Auto transport: We also handle the international moving of vehicles. 

Why A-1 Auto Transport?

We have over 30 years experience in moving services. Indeed, we have helped thousands of people with overseas moving services. Whether you want to retire or just want to relocate abroad, we have you covered. We also have the resources and knowledge to make sure that you have all the information that you need. Indeed, if you have any questions regarding international moving, rest assured that we have the answers. 

Talk to us

If you are thinking of moving from the US to Costa Rica, we are the perfect international moving company for you. Talk to us by contacting our experts on our toll-free number 888-509-3213. Please don’t forget that you can also get free estimates of our services by filling-in the form at the top of this page.



Found on Atlas Int’l “Importing Personal Property Into Costa Rica” page.



Found on Moverscom “Moving to Costa Rica” page.


-The range is 53% to 73% instead, according to:

Atlas Int’l “Importing Personal Property Into Costa Rica” page.


Joe Webster

Written by Joe Webster

Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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