Friday, August 20, 2010

Shipping Container or NO Shipping Container

Shipping container or NO shipping container, that is the question when moving to Costa Rica.
*I updated this POST on August of 2012- Go HERE If you're making the move to Costa Rica then you'll have to decide on whether you want to use a shipping container or NOT. In other words, bring your SHIT, or leave EVERYTHING behind and buy the stuff you need when you get here.

We recently interviewed 'Bill', who's been coming to Costa Rica for 25 years but has just recently moved here. I asked him what he thought of shipping containers. This is HIS perspective, although I couldn't agree MORE.

*I would also encourage you to bring your own computers, cameras and other electronics- much cheaper in the States.

But I understand, their can be any number of reasons why someone may want to ship their stuff, so here's a few things you should know.

It could cost upwards of $10 grand to ship your stuff. You're going to need two movers, one in the States and another one here in Costa Rica.

Personally, I would find the Costa Rica mover first. They can be a GREAT resource on how to do things RIGHT the first time to avoid problems when your stuff reaches Costa Rica. For example, they can provide tips on how you can minimize the tax bill in Costa Rica by properly valuing your things.

Want a positive EXPERIENCE in Costa Rica... it's all related to doing your HOMEWORK.

You're going to want to choose your Costa Rica mover very carefully. Your choice can be the variable whether the experience is good or bad, fast or slow, reasonable or costly and tolerable or a living NIGHTMARE.

Here's a GREAT place to start your homework: Association of Residents of Costa Rica. ARCR for short.

For me, I might use a container one day,,,,,for this....hehe

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!


Casey Bahr said...

There is an alternative to containers, it's not an either-or proposition. There are several Tico-based shippers in the U.S. that will ship crates or on a per pallet basis (e.g., which can be much less expensive than a full container and they will do door-to-door, no Customs hassles.

If you do bring a container, make out the required detailed list, but ask if your broker has contacts with Customs, because he can, errr, pay an extra "fee" to make sure they don't open it, rifle through all your stuff, and you'll pay a flat fee for taxes.

To your list of things to bring from the States I'd add any tools, especially power tools, as they will probably be less expensive to bring, though you have to remember you are going to pay duty on what you bring in (though if you get a broker with contacts or use the pallet shippers, it will be next to nil).

I would not load up on *small* electronic items, especially computer parts, as these can be had on eBay from Chinese suppliers, who often charge less to ship to CR than to the US.

P.S. - why all the all-caps words, emphasis where it often makes no sense at all? Just askin'!

Unknown said...

SWEET Casey. Thanx for the info and options... much appreciated. CAPS? I don't know, it makes sense to me at the TIME, but as you can probably tell, I'm not a natural writer, just need to express ideas. I'm working on it.