There’s a lot of bad information out there on bringing your household goods to Ecuador.
Let’s clear the air.
Foreigners moving to Ecuador DO qualify to bring one container… one time… of their household goods TAX FREE just like Ecuadorian migrants living abroad who move back to Ecuador.
In order to qualify you need to have a residency visa and your goods need to arrive in Ecuador within 6 months of getting the visa.
Or within 2 months of your arrival in Ecuador.
Here are 5 common mistakes many foreigners experience when moving their goods…
This info was attained through an interview with Vicente Villafuerte, an agent for INSA International Moving and Storage Company, which can handle your move to Ecuador door-to-door. Contact Vicente at 085370929 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Shipping before getting the visa. Many foreigners ship before actually attaining the visa, which can be a grave error! Often, the visa process is delayed and your belongings may have to sit in costly storage in customs until you get your visa stamped in your passport and can clear your items. Get your visa first!
2. Applying for the visa from a distance. I recommend getting your visa once in Ecuador, it is much easier, faster and less expensive than applying from abroad but you will need to bring a few documents from your home country so do your homework beforehand.
3. Shipping prohibited items. Alcohol, and things like wine collections can not be brought into the country tax free, period, nor can guns or weapons of any kind. Guns are not permitted to be carried by the general public in Ecuador.
4. Not following the different rules for foreigners. Understand that different rules apply to foreigners when bringing their tax free container when compared to locals. Foreigners can not bring anything with an engine (like a car, motorcycle or plane) tax free in their container. While Ecuadorians moving back to Ecuador CAN bring one car up to 4 years old and with certain CC restrictions. Ecuadorians moving back can also bring one motorcycle or other type of motorized vehicle. The moving company you choose can help advise you if in doubt.
5. Not professionally packing their items. Have your moving company do the packing for you, it is usually included in the same cost and having professionals pack your items could save you a lot against having your items broken in transit. Before packing contact your moving agent to be sure your documentation and packing list are right, often even when you ship fully insured the insurance companies will fight not to honor claims.
By air or by sea?
Generally, if you have more than 15 cubic meters of cr@p it’ll be cheaper and make more sense to ship by sea.
How much will it cost to ship your goods to Ecuador?
Here are a few prices based on recent real-world examples…
Canada-Cuenca 8m3 $6,400
Miami –Cuenca: 1×20’ $7,000
Houston-Cuenca: 1×40’ $12.000
And for the exact process you’ll need to follow in order to bring household goods to Ecuador tax-free, without headaches and at the lowest cost try my weekly newsletter on Ecuador living and investing, you can unsubscribe at any time: