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
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