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Moving to Costa Rica

Moving to Costa Rica

The process of moving to Costa Rica can be fast and easy or long and difficult depending on you having made your due diligence. The Costa Rica of today doesn’t boast the majority of advantages that made it boom back in the 80’s. Still, It provides many reasons for expats to keep coming every year to live and retire.

Why Move to Costa Rica

Costa Rica offers (depending on which part you go) an affordable, beach and city life. It offers pristine eco-adventure, animal diversity, endless national parks with lakes, volcanoes, etc… The beaches are top-notch, and the lifestyle is as laid-back as it gets.

The city life can go from little and tranquil like San Ramón to full city life in San José. The weather in Costa Rican is what people consider picture perfect.

Importing Goods To Costa Rica

Tax rates and requirements vary for cars, appliances, pets and other goods in Costa Rica. Here’s a quick overview of importing taxes in each case:

Importing a Car to Costa Rica

You’ll find that importing your own car from the motherland is maybe not such a great idea. Taxes for importing a vehicle to Costa Rica start at 52.29% of the total value of the vehicle. This rate only applies to cars under three years of age.

If you thought that was prohibitive, take a look at rates for older cars. For cars between 4-5 years, the rate sets for 63.91% of the total value, and this rate goes all the way up to 79.03% for cars older than 5 years.

This may leave anyone perplexed, but the reason why these taxes are so exorbitant are divided in two:

· The government is aggressively trying to slow the growth of car circulation. The goal is to take the growing park of older cars out of the streets.

· An environmental concern on emissions from older cars.

Importing Household Goods and Appliances to Costa Rica

The Costa Rican Customs Law has three articles that cover importations of used goods. This means that the items will receive exoneration under one article and taxation under another article of the Customs Law. You should understand each article to take advantage of them and avoid high import fees.

Moving goods not considered luggage to Costa Rica

Every person entering Costa Rica has the right to import free of import duties up to $500 worth of articles/goods not considered luggage every 6 months. Note that these should be for personal use only. There are some simple conditions to follow:

  • The importer must be an adult (18 years or older)
  • The importer must have entered the country within the last 90 days
  • Proof of value (i.e.: invoice) must be presented for new items
  • You’ll get your passport stamped for an 180 day period. Until then, you won’t be able to receive this right again
  • Even if you import goods below 500$, you have to wait the 180 day period to import tax-free again.

Moving Your Pets to Costa Rica

According to the U.S. embassy in Costa Rica, your dog or cat must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian… and be endorsed by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) veterinarian.

Additional information must include:

Certification Statement

This will abide for the pet to be healthy and free of any clinical signs of infectious disease. You should conduct this examination 2 weeks prior to departure date.

  • Dogs must have vaccines against distemper, hepatitis, Leptospirosis, parvovirus and rabies.
  • Cats must have the rabies vaccine.

Vaccination requirements

The pet must be over 3 months of age for vaccination.

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