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Moving to Ecuador


Capital: Quito
Population: 15,223,680 (2011)
Area: 109,484 sq. mi
Top 5 Largest Cities: 1. Guayaquil 2. Quito 3. Cuenca 4. Santo Domingo 5. Machala
Lanuage: Spanish
Climate: Humid subtropical and tropical
Motto: “Dios, patria y libertad” / “God, homeland and liberty”

Looking forward to moving your household goods to Ecuador? We will love to make your overseas move a great experience. Our specialized team will assure you are fully prepared for your venture. Our caring staff will cover all the necessary details and provide you with great service. Call us today to make your next move the best move.

Required Documents for Import

To assist clearing your household goods (HHGS), there are important documents needed by Customs. Please venture below to learn more about some of the documents you may need.

Customs Value Declaration – A document used to calculate duties and taxes that states the value of the entire HHGS shipment.

Certificate of Origin – Gives verification of which country your household goods are manufactured in.

Import Requirements and Documentation

Keeping up with your documents is very important for Customs clearance. Please take a look at some of the requirements of document

  • Your Passport
  • 2 originals of your Bill of Lading
  • Your Visa
  • Purchase receipts
  • Resident Visa for returning citizens
  • Migratory Certificate that’s issued by the Migration Police at the destination
  • A letter of Employment that’s valid for 1 year or more
  • Declaration of Origin
  • Transportation Insurance Policy that is issued in Ecuador
  • A sworn declaration that’s stamped by the Ecuadorian Consul at the origin
  • Verification Certificate that’s issued by an Inspection Company
  • A Valued Inventory if you are a Diplomat

Additional detailed document requirements

  • Assure all documents have your Passport number on them.
  • A Diplomatic Franchise from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or a Letter of Guarantee if you are a Diplomat.
  • Your shipment must arrive no sooner than 2 months and no later than 6 months of your arrival in Ecuador. If your shipment exceeds this time frame, you cannot leave Ecuador for no more than 30 calendar days.
  • Diplomats are not subjected to have their goods physically inspected.
  • Your Packing List in Spanish, listed contents, stamped and signed by a Notary Public and also authenticated by the Ecuadorian Consulate at your origin.
  • All wood packing materials must follow the ISPM-15 guidelines.
  • You Inventory List has to be valued. Do not declare the value amount in regards of insurance.

The Examination of Household Goods and Entry Documents

Once your household goods have arrived in Ecuador along with your documents, both are subjected to examination by Customs. A CBP officer will examine your household goods to determine the value, correct markings, proper invoicing, existence of prohibited items, damages, deterioration and illegal narcotics. It’s important to assure all items are properly described and accounted for to avoid any delays or seizure of items. Once your items are approved for release, they are safeguarded by the proper officers.

Duty and Taxes

Once your items has arrived to Ecuador, there will be taxes and duties you must satisfied. Duties will range from 0 to 30% and your Value-added Tax (VAT) will be a standard 12%. You must be physically present for Customs clearance and is recommended for you to be there 2 weeks prior to your HHGS arrival. Your items must arrive within 60 days of your arrival to obtain free duty. You are allowed only 1 duty-free move with no duplicating items. If you maintain a residence in Ecuador for 5 years or more and haven’t spent over 150 days abroad during that time, you can ship your HHGS duty-free more than once. If you are a returning citizen, you must not have stayed abroad for more than 60 days to import duty-free. It’s important to have your Visa stamped prior to the arrival of your shipment to avoid a refundable $2,000 USD Guarantee and a duty charge of 120%. If you have more than one type of electronic, you will be charged 43% duty based on the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value of the item. You are allowed up to 440 lbs of clothing, shoes and personals per person. If your shipment is valued by Customs $4,000.00 USD or more, your inspection must occur at the origin if you are a foreigner. If you can produce a Working Visa within 90 days of your shipment arrival, your Guarantee and duties will not apply. If your shipment does not meet the import requirements, inspect an importation fee of 43%.

Duty-free Items

There are number of items and quantities you can import duty-free into Ecuador. Please take a look below at some of the free of duty items.

  • 400 cigarettes
  • 500 grams of tobacco
  • 25 cigars
  • 3 liters of alcohol
  • 300 ml of perfume or up to 600 ml per family
  • Personal effects and gifts valuing up to $500.00 USD

Labeling and Marking Requirements

The correct labeling and markings are very important for Customs. Each mark and label should be in the English language. Please take a look below to discover the marking and labeling requirements.

  • The name and address of the importer
  • The country of Origin
  • Clearly numbered in reflection of the inventory list
  • The quantity

Prohibited Items

To assure all of your items will be permitted by Customs for import, please take a look at some of the accumulated prohibited items below.

  • Obscene articles, publications, videos and/or softwares
  • Narcotics
  • Agendas
  • Advertising literature or stickers
  • Cremes
  • Weapons
  • Foodstuff
  • Cleaning products
  • Cosmetics
  • Gold bars
  • Rugs
  • Antiques
  • Appliances that use refrigerant R12-R15
  • Drugs
  • Marketing videos
  • Wild animals and their parts
  • Explosives
  • Perfume
  • Cash letters
  • Notebooks
  • Ammunition
  • Colognes
  • Catalogs
  • Firearms

Restricted Items

There are restrictions Customs place on certain items you may import. Please take a look below at some of the items that may have restriction.

  • Dangerous items will need a permit from the Ministry of National Security if you are a returning citizen or resident.
  • Medicines will have to be authorized by the ministry of Health and you must have a certificate from SESA.
  • If importing a plant, you will need to obtain a Phytosanitary Certificate and a permit from the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Arms and ammunition will need a permit from the Ministry of National Security if you are a returning citizen or resident.
  • Objects with precious metal are taxed 20% of the value.
  • Up to 4 liters of wine is permitted and authorization from the Health Minister and Sanitary Register. There will be a 10% duty based on the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value.
  • All inheritances are duty-free if you provide a Death Certificate and are approved by the Ministry of Finance.
  • Electronic cigarettes will need an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract.
  • Wedding trousseaux importation will require the original Marriage Certificate and will be duty-free.
  • Spare parts, appliances and machines requires a Commercial invoice, an Inspection Certificate, the original Bill of Lading and your Import Permit.

Receiving your Household Goods

The liability for duties are paid once Customs has cleared your shipment for release. There are no options of prepaid duties or taxes prior to exportation from a foreign country. Once your shipment is filed with CBP, the party and only the party listed as the receiver can pick up the shipment. If household goods are warehoused, the party of liability can be changed to another party, most whom purchased the goods. The Customs broker cannot pay duties, but can accept a check written out to the Customs and Border Protection to forward. Once items are received, all articles are deemed owned by the receiver and no longer in ownership of the CBP.

For more information regarding moving to Ecuador, please venture through the websites featured below.

All information featured above is for viewing purposes only. To obtain up-to-date information about overseas shipment, please notify your nearest Consulate.