Importing Household Goods - Shipment of Household Goods

by BoliviaBella
(Santa Cruz, Bolivia)

If you are moving to Bolivia and you plan to import your household goods, 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 import USED household goods and you arrived on the correct visa (the specific purpose visa), you will NOT pay import duties (called "aranceles" in Spanish) on your USED goods. However:

c) If you import any NEW household items you WILL pay between 10% and 15% import duties on those goods. To this end, you MUST bring with you the invoices of these items to show how much you paid for them.

d) If you arrived on a TOURIST visa (many people mistakenly do this) you WILL pay import duties on ALL of your household goods, whether they are used or new.

e) When you arrive, you must seek out a DESPACHANTE DE ADUANA (this is a customs clearance agency) to do the paperwork for getting your stuff out of customs. The customs agency will require documentation from you in order to do this. The documentation you must bring with you is:

- Detailed packing list (lista de empaque) - it must include EVERY single item in your container. Anything not on this list may be considered contraband.

- Bill of lading (flete marítimo) - this document contains all the information about the container in which your goods will be arriving, as well as all the information about the ship it is/was on.

- Invoices for all new/unused items you import.

With help from the "despachante de aduana" you will sign a sworn statement which basically declares that the belongings are yours, that you are importing them for your own use, and that you have no intention of reselling them, etc.

This information was provided to us by Mr. Majim Gutierrez, the agent we spoke with at the Customs Office in Santa Cruz Bolivia.

Click here for information on Importing Vehicles

Comments for Importing Household Goods - Shipment of Household Goods

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Jan 11, 2015
New forms for imports

Thanks Francis Cerra for the update. Obviously the update hasn't been publicized widely enough. Great to have contributors like you to keep us informed :)

Jan 09, 2015
Importing used household items to Bolivia
by: Francis Cerra

You also need the Declaración Jurada de Ingreso Menaje Doméstico to import household items. This is a new law in 2013. Our USA shippers U-Haul and Diamond Worldwide did not know this. You fill it out online on the Bolivia Aduana web site.

The form is below and the instructions for filling it out are on the same web page above.

This has to be obtained from the embassy of your country of origin BEFORE the shipment leaves your country of origin. No end of headaches for us because our shippers did not know about this.

Nov 14, 2014
Avoid Movibox
by: Frank Cerra

We used U-Haul to ship to Bolivia. They, in turn, hired Diamond International to ship to Bolivia. They, in turn, hired MOVIBOX. Movibox lied to us that they had shipped the U-Box to La Paz. After two and a half months, the box is still in Chile as I type this. It was confirmed by the warehouse in Arica, Chile, that the box had NEVER BEEN SHIPPED. Movibox should be avoided!!!

Feb 15, 2013
be aware of this
by: Anonymous

Just a heads up: o qualify for the duty free importation of household goods, you can't have been back in Bolivia for more than 30 days at a time in the past two years.

Nov 16, 2011
customs regulations
by: Tiana

Customs regulations
I have another nightmare going on with my international move to Cochabamba from San Francisco Ca. I was given the wrong customs regulations by the Int'l moving company and now they have placed the blame for the wrong customs information on the bolivian agent Movibox.

They informed me that i would need a special visa to get my shipment other than the tourist visa. I need a "Specific Purpose Visa" which they stated on the contract can be acquired in Bolivia. Which is incorrect! and now this is costing lots money and inconvenience including having to go back to the US and returning. I may not be able to meet my shipment which is my whole life packed in the container. Any thoughts or advice?

Dec 04, 2010
Who keeps "invoices, or recepts" ?
by: Anonymous

If I move to Bolivia and want to import used personal property I no longer have the invoices/receipts for, such as furniture, would I have any options for doing so?

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