The democratic republic of Guatemala is one of the most interesting nations in Central America. The budding and promising economy may be holding numerous income and business opportunities for you. Thus, you may have decided to leave your comfort zone in the US to relocate to this densely populated country.
You may be considering buying household items when you move to Guatemala. But there surely are personal belongings and household appliances that you prefer to bring with you. This is the reason why you should be more familiar about the process of shipping goods from the US to the country.
Before you proceed to shipping any of your belongings, you may have to drop by the nearest Guatemalan Consulate. The office would provide you specific guidance about the process as well as certain forms and documents that you must secure and complete before you are allowed to ship any item into the country.
Guatemalan Customs regulations
You must be in the country by the time the shipment arrives for Customs clearance. The drill is basic: all shipments would be subjected to inspection. Used personal belongings or household goods would be imposed duties and taxes equivalent to 27% of their total CIF (cost, insurance and freight) value. Brand new goods would be considered as commercially entering items with full duties and taxes equivalent to about 40% of CIF value on top of 12% value added tax.
Be very careful and meticulous when processing the shipment. Destination address in Guatemala must always match the appropriate NIT card (tax ID card). Once an import policy is processed and authorized by the Guatemalan Customs, it could never be changed or amended. If there are discrepancies or inaccuracies committed, it may take about 10 days to 15 days to resolve the problem, making you incur demurrage or delay charges.
Duties and restrictions
Guatemala may collect huge amount of duty and tax on shipped goods. All items would be assessed based on age, make, model and cost. You may also ship items without incurring duty. For food products, you would not incur Customs duty or tax if those would not exceed two kilograms. For tobacco, 80 cigarettes would be duty-free (for alcoholic drinks, 6 bottles would not incur duty).
It is logical that there are restrictions or prohibitions on items that would be allowed to be shipped to Guatemala. You are not supposed to import or ship illegal drugs, pornographic materials, deadly weapons, explosives, and ammunitions. You are also not allowed to take Pre-Columbian colonial antiques or archaeological objects.
Shipment of vehicles
Cars are subject to corresponding duties, the amount of which would depend on CIF value based on model, accessories, make, year and cubic centimeters. Any vehicle for shipment to the country would have to undergo thorough physical assessment.
Required documents for vehicle shipment to the country could be different. Obtain, secure, prepare and present title and registration certificates, your passport, NIT card, delivery instructions, vehicle condition report, and Carte de Porte or bill of lading. You must personally receive or claim the vehicle in a designated Guatemalan port.