Importing Vehicles to Bolivia - Shipment of Household Goods

by BoliviaBella
(Santa Cruz, Bolivia)

If you are moving to Bolivia and you plan to import your personal vehicle(s), there are several very important things you need to know. We contacted ADUANAS (the national customs office) in Santa Cruz Bolivia (Phone: 591-3-349-2923) and spoke with agents to get you the information you need. Here's what we were told:

a) If you plan to reside in Bolivia you MUST arrive to Bolivia with a Visa de Objeto Determinado (which we've explained here and also discussed in our Bolivia Visa Requirements page here.)

This travel visa allows you to enter Bolivia specifically for the purpose of requesting residency. This is why in English the "visa de objeto determinado" is called a "specific purpose visa". If you arrive on a tourist visa, you will not be able to request residency in Bolivia.

b) If you plan to import a used vehicle it can not be more than 5 years old. President Evo Morales passed a law in 2009 prohibiting the importation of any vehicles older than 5 years for environmental reasons.

c) If you import a used vehicle that is within this time frame and/or a completely new vehicle (which we are told will cause you fewer problems in terms of proving it's new) the you WILL pay import taxes on the vehicle.

d) The customs agents we spoke with could not tell us what the import duties would be on any vehicle, used or new, because apparently the import duties depend on the brand, age, and model of each specific vehicle and vary greatly. We requested at least a price RANGE but they were unable to give us this information, repeating that import duties really due vary per vehicle.

e) When you enter Bolivia you will need to contract the services of a DESPACHANTE DE ADUANA (customs clearance agency) to do the paperwork for you to clear your vehicle(s) from customs. To this end, you must have all the necessary paperwork with you including the title of ownership and any documents you have that very clearly indicate the brand, model and year of manufacture of your vehicle.

f) You will be required to sign a sworn statement declaring the vehicle is yours and that you are importing it for your own use. If you declare you are importing it for resale, the import duties could be higher.

Click here for information on Importing Household Goods

Comments for Importing Vehicles to Bolivia - Shipment of Household Goods

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Mar 18, 2015
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Export from Bolivia to Europa
by: Anonymous

Hello, I want to get a car from Bolivia to Europa! Are ther any ransporter firms which can help me. greetings, Gügge

Jan 09, 2015
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UPDATE!!!
by: BoliviaBella.com

As of January 2015 a new law is now in effect. No vehicles older than TWO years old may be imported into Bolivia. See more here:

http://www.la-razon.com/economia/Gobierno-prohiben-importacion-autos-antiguedad-mayor_0_2192180784.html

Oct 17, 2013
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motorbikes???
by: chris sellars

Hi could someone clarify please? ...
I know you said any vehicles no les than 3-5 years old but what about motorcycles? ?? I know its a vehicle and all but I have been told there is no problem with them and they can be as old as you want.... true or false? ?

Or could I get away with dismantling a motorcycle and ship it as second hand parts? (Wink wink nudge nudge)

Aug 23, 2012
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Importing Vehicles
by: Gary

Hi Jeff,
It sounds like you were put through the ringer! I would like to discuss with you further. I am American, and my wife is Bolivian. In Ecuador, returning citizens can import a car duty free, as well as their shipment of household goods. Does Bolivia have a similar law?

I will look for you on FB.

THANKS,

Gary

Aug 23, 2012
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importing a vehicle/other goods
by: Jeff Flarity

I am american and i live in camiri, bolivia. I have temp residency and i have imported both a car which i bought in chile and a 40 ft container of goods from Dallas, Tx all the way to my home in Camiri. If you would like to discuss any or all of the HORRIBLE processes involved with immigration or importation, I'd be happy to offer any advice possible to help you prepare or perhaps avoid some or even a tiny amount of said horror, if thats even possible. Leave me a message on my facebook page and hopefully I can save you some hassle. I have experienced more than most folks have endured and I have survived but not without severely testing my marriage and my faith at almost every turn. Good luck to all.

Apr 24, 2012
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5 year car rule
by: Alan

I have also heard that the new rules are no cars more than three years old are allowed into Bolivia.
This comes from a friend in La Paz who deals cars.
Could you update this please

May 23, 2011
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change in the vehicle import law?
by: Anonymous

Had not heard of such a change in the vehicle import law. Will attempt to find out for you.

May 23, 2011
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3 or 5 years?
by: Sam

I have also read recently that the number of years has changed from 5 to 3 years old. Is this the case? If so, that means the oldest car that could be brought in today would be a 2008 or a 2009?

Thanks!

Mar 03, 2011
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Importing Vehicles
by: Gary

Hi Bella, I just wanted to add some clarification to your section on importing vehicles. We read through the "Resolucion Ministerial No. 096" dated 27 Apr 2010, and it states in Articulo 2, Para 1c, that (paraphrasing) "automotive vehicles of any type" may NOT be included in the duty free import of household items.

My wife called the Bolivian Consulate in Washington D.C. to find out how much the duty would be on an automobile, and she was told 45%. That is an extremely high rate, in my view, but apparently is the law as of Apr 2010. Now I wonder what the duty is on a car purchased in Bolivia?

Gary

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