Shipping from USA to Uruguay


The shipment procedures from the USA to Uruguay are very particular. It is advised that foreign citizens without legal residency permit clear the shipment before completing their permit application, for example. The information below should be a good starter guide for any individual wishing to import household goods or vehicles into the country. As for duties and taxes, used household goods and personal effects may be transported into the country duty-free, but all vehicles imported to Uruguay will be levied with Customs Duties and Taxes.

For foreign diplomats

The following documents are necessary for diplomats to import household and personal effects:

i. Diplomat Franchise
ii. Passport Copy
iii. Detailed packing list which must be prepared in Spanish
iv. AWB or OBL

The diplomat franchise is absolutely necessary for clearance. This has to be prepared by the embassy represented by the diplomat. Waybills must be labeled “Diplomatic Clearance”, and the Customs Agency must be pre-alerted that a diplomatic shipment is on their way.

Only foreign diplomats are allowed to import vehicles into the country. The vehicle must not be packed with the household goods. All documents for household goods also apply to vehicle importation with the addition of these documents:

i. Vehicle property documents (USA registration, title and deed of sale, invoice, detailed description of the car
ii. Diplomatic ID card from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
iii. Written proof of freight insurance

Diplomatic permits for vehicle import vary from case-to-case. Consignees are advised to read their documents carefully and coordinate with their embassies for permit renewal, etc.

For Uruguayan Diplomats

The same packaging rules apply to returning Uruguayan Diplomats. Most of the imports from diplomats are fully duty- and tax-free, provided that they pass the protocols. Aside from the shipping bills and the detailed inventories, the diplomat must also prepare a copy of his passport, and an Authorization Resolution. The packing list must always be in Spanish and must not be marked “PBO” (packed by owner). Machinery and industrial tools cannot be considered as personal effects.

Returning Uruguayan Diplomats may import vehicles as long as these are at least 6 months old. Aside from the shipment bills and the consignees passport, the following must also be presented to the Customs Agency for Clearance:

i. Certificate of proof from the USA confirming the length of ownership and the age of the car
ii. A resolution from the Ministry of Economy and Finance approving of the vehicle import
iii. A legible copy of the consignee’s Diplomatic ID

If the diplomat would like to import new vehicles, it should be the type also assembled by Uruguayan automobile companies.

For foreign citizen

Foreign citizens are only allowed to ship household goods and personal effects. They are not allowed to import vehicles from the USA. Used household goods and personal effects may be imported by foreign citizens duty-free, but new items need to be packed and listed separately, and are levied with duties and taxes. The following documents are necessary for clearance:

i. Certificate of Entrance
ii. Certificate of Residence or the application form for this certificate
iii. Authorization form for incoming household goods from the Customs Agency
iv. Customs guarantee
v. Detailed inventory and packing lists in Spanish
vi. Customs guarantee

The guarantee fee is not fixed. It would, instead, be a percentage of the net value of the shipment.

For returning non-diplomat Uruguayan Citizens

Uruguayan citizens who are returning to the country must have stayed in the USA for at least two years, uninterrupted, before they can import household goods, personal effects and vehicles into the country. The vehicles imported into the country must remain in the possession of the consignee for four years. The consignee must also make an annual appearance at the customs with the vehicle within the four-year-period.

The following documents are necessary for the shipment of both household goods and vehicles:

i. Certificate of Residence in the USA
ii. Certificate of Entrance into Uruguay
iii. Request Letter form from the Customs Agency
iv. A Uruguayan ID card

Household goods must be accompanied with a complete detailed inventory of used and new items. Items are considered used and duty-free only if they are over six months old. The OBL/AWB originals must also be presented for clearance.

For vehicle importation, the following should be presented to the customs agency:

i. Vehicle registration confirming the length of ownership to be approved by the Uruguayan Consulate in the USA
ii. A clear copy of Uruguayan ID card
iii. Complete information of the shipper
iv. Employment Certificate in USA
v. Address in Uruguay
vi. Confirmation of ownership (one year or more)
vii. Sworn statement from consignee
viii. Confirmation of Residency in the USA
ix. Documents for legal protection

All of the information above pertains to imported cars. For boats, motorcycles, air planes and other vehicles, the consignee will have to consult with the Consulate of Uruguay in the USA as the regulations tend to change all the time. The Consulate must be contacted for updates regarding any type of shipment.

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