Bolivia's Retorno a Bolivia
(Return to Bolivia) program allows for the importation of household goods into Bolivia, tax free. The program is a special customs import preference which was initially established only for Bolivians, or foreigners with Bolivian spouses, who have lived outside of Bolivia for 2 years or more, and wish to return to Bolivia.
In 2013 the Bolivian government expanded the program to include foreigners (even if not married to a Bolivian) who meet the steps, requirements and restrictions, to allow them import their household goods tax free as well, however, for a lesser amount.
In order to qualify for the Return to Bolivia program, you must approach or contact a Bolivian consulate in your country or region. There is a specific procedure that must be followed to qualify to import your household goods tax free under this program. The requirements to qualify are as follows:
Steps for the Return to Bolivia Program
A very special thank you to the Consul General of Bolivia in Houston, Texas for having the kindness and patience to spend an inordinate amount of time explaining this program, and how it works, to us so that we can share it with you.
Bolivians who return to the country to take up residence are entitled to introduce at the time of entry into the country, certain domestic household items, tax free. Items include furniture, appliances and accessories (does not include motor vehicles of any kind and/or parts and accessories of any machine or equipment) according to the following maximum values of excess:
•Up to $35,000 (THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND AND 00/100 U.S. DOLLARS) FOB value including only kitchenware, household items, clothing, furniture, appliances and other items normally used in a home.
•Up to $50,000 (FIFTY THOUSAND AND 00/100 U.S. DOLLARS) FOB value when household items also include machines, equipment and tools used by them in an activity or occupation. Within this amount, the import of machinery, equipment and tools may not exceed $25,000 (TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND AND 00/100 U.S. DOLLARS).
FOB : Cost of goods (household items) plus the means of transportation.
If the value of the household goods exceeds these limits, the excess amount (remainder) is subject to payment of all customs duties that apply.
For foreigners with no family or marriage ties to Bolivia, who wish to benefit from the Return to Bolivia program, the steps are the same, but the maximum amount that may be imported is $35,000 (THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND AND 00/100 U.S. DOLLARS), according to Government of Bolivia Supreme Decree 0371 on the importation of household goods.
Documents to Benefit from the Program
•Sworn Affidavit of Domestic Household Import (Declaración Jurada de Ingreso de Menaje Doméstico), a form that must be filled in online on the Bolivian National Customs website HERE. A copy printed and signed by the applicants must be filed with the Consulate General of Bolivia for validation in the computer system of the Bolivian National Customs Authority.
•When a portion of the household goods to be imported includes machine tools and equipment used in the family members' business: validation document issued by the General Consulate of Bolivia of the information provided (i.e. tax return, contracts, certificates of employment, hiring or rental income, bank statements, tax ID, driver's licenses, or any other original documents) offered by the applicant in the affidavit filled in on the Bolivian National Customs website, based on the activity being performed by the member or members of the family unit,
•Passport attesting the individual or family lived abroad (not in Bolivia) for at least two (2) years prior to the date of return (temporary visits to Bolivia that occurred during their time living abroad must not have exceeded ninety days per calendar year during that time) or official documentation in original or certified copy to support the time the family remained abroad.
The allowed deadline for the arrival of the household goods to Bolivia is only between one (1) month before, and up to six (6) months, after the owner's date of arrival, who will be responsible for customs clearance, which must be done via a single customs agent.
The tax free import of household goods does not apply to temporary return trips to Bolivia, and household utensils or goods sent in correspondence and parcels to other people in the country do not qualify. Nor does it apply to vehicles. Click here to read about how to import vehicles or read more about the complicated process of importing household goods to Bolivia.
References for Download and Online
All of the information on our website pages regarding the importation of household goods and/or vehicles was compiled from conversations we held in person with Bolivian Customs officials, the official website of the Bolivian Customs Service, conversations by phone with Bolivian consulates in the United States, and information provided on the websites of the Bolivian Consulates in Houston, Texas and Washington, D.C. We do everything possible to keep the content of our website pages current and up-to-date. However, as changes may occur at any time, we strongly recommend you inform yourself at a Bolivian consulate overseas prior to moving to Bolivia. You may also wish to consult the following references:
Sworn Statement for Entry with Household Goods to Fill in Online
PDF Document with Instructions on How to Complete the Forms
Bolivian Consulate in Washington, DC Official Instructions for Participation
Bolivian Consulate in Houston, TX Official Instructions for Participation
Bolivian Consulate in Miami, FL Official Instructions for Participation
Bolivian Consulate in Los Angeles, CA Official Instructions for Participation
Government of Bolivia Supreme Decree NO. 0371 on importing household goods.
Updated 23 December 2019