Ecuador Expat Forum - Importing Household Goods

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2/15/2011 01:19    
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There are very few posts on this subject, and what I've seen vary's wildly.
I'm planning to ship a 20 ft. container through the port of Houston, TX. I would like to get a general idea of what others have paid to ship HH goods from gulf coast U.S. to EC.

I would like to hear updated info on how long "customs" is taking to clear containers.

Thanks Everyone,
Rick M.

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2/15/2011 10:22    
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Rick, Well, you should type into the Search at the top of this page--Rene Torres. He has a wealth of information there on line as well as on this forum about this very subject.

As far as which shipper to use from Houston, I know quite a few have shipped their things here, and they should "come to the call" and please relate their experiences, that is the only way to help folks and it always comes back...

There are about 5 ecuador expat forums. (This one being the best of course, and the yahoo comes in at a 2nd!) Maybe would be a good idea to pose this question on the other ones, at least the Yahoo Forum and see what you get. Look back into their archives also, I DO remember lots of information here and there...

Also you may just want to google 'Shippers, Air Freight Carriers' or whatever the correct names are, and do some research, call some 800 numbers, etc. Houston should not be difficult at all and should be direct, unlike small-town, USA. There are shippers advertised on this very forum.

You will definitely need a Lawyer here or at least a Tramitero (the "Red Tape" person) and they usually have offices located around the airports. It would probably come into Manta or Guayaquil and then the container land-transported to anywhere else. The Tramitero can work all this out, and the lawyer, perferably the one that is doing your visa, will guide you on how many days you have to get it cleared, all the specifications. And you can find those specifications on line as well through the Ecudorian Aduana Site and then translate it, run it by the lawyer all the time.

I keep a drafts folder and every time I see something that may be imp. I copy it; below are a few things I copied some time back, don't know if they will help.

Good luck to you!


"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast..."
The Queen in Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)---Could she have been speaking to her Ecuadorian Lawyer perhaps?

Some Info:

"If you want I can recommend two lawyers for you to use. Please contact me directly off blog at if you want their names and anything else I can do to help you. Do you have a shipper? I can recommend a good one who is in LA who we are using."

"Our US shipper was United Consolidation Import and Export out of New Jersey. They did fine I guess on the US part but it doesn't matter one bit if they don't handle the Ecuadorian part right. Anyway our Agente de Aduana in EC was Alexander Cabrera (tramsur). He also has Tramsur in New York which in hindsight I wish I knew before. They do import, export, all the paperwork, moved our container from Guayaquil to Cuenca, and of course handled everything with Aduana which is the hard part. Very nice guy. Works with his wife and adult children who all travel to the US every few months. He understands both ends perfectly. I'm positive that we would have saved a ton if we used him for the entire job. His international number is 1-609-489-5855 emails: cabse@... / tramsur@... "

Sandy Baquero

593 4 5018970
Cell 0999690583
(She lives here and I believe is a tramitero or can help in various matters of shipping.)

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2/16/2011 08:22    
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You may find this article enlightening: How to save Money on Your Duty Free Shipping -

He quotes a range for a 40 foot container and notes that there is one cost to get your goods to Guayaquil and another to ship to your destination in Ecuador. "A good move on a 40 ft container from the middle of the United States to Ecuador should cost around $9,500 for your basic shipping. All add on will be extra. A professional mover, packing, shipping, and unloading, home to home will cost around $12,000 to $15,000, not counting custom fees and taxes."


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2/16/2011 11:27    
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I don't need a container. Has anyone shipped some boxes to Ecuador at a reasonable price??

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2/16/2011 11:49    
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We shipped 5 boxes here--but many, many years ago. It can be done. If not alot, pay overweight with the airline that you are flying on, you will still have to "clear" the extra goods (that is, come back another day, to retrieve them with the "proper paper work"--- with a local tramatero near the airport.

In our case, we brought it in, without extra cost, as part of our visa. It can be done, sorry I can't give up to date facts. Another thing that we did, was over the first years, we made trips up to the states and carried things down that we had stored in a Storage Facility. We also had a cadre of friends who 'carried' too! I would not recommend a container, only because of the headaches I have heard. But if you are rich, and are up for it, and just simply cannot live without your 'things'--that can be done.

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2/18/2011 11:05    
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Costs vary quite a bit depending on what services you require so it's best to get a firm quote based on what you want, where you are and where the final destination is in Ecuador. My recommendation is to contact Sandra Baquero in Guayaquil at She's been doing this for over 25 years and knows the right people in customs.

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3/3/2011 21:53    
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This seems to be up to date information on the can I take the car question. This comes straight from the NJ Consulate.

"Solo los ecuatorianos que demuestren que han permanecido mínimo un año en el extranjero, con interrupciones no mayores a los que permite la ley, podrán importar como parte de su menaje de casa hasta un vehículo automotor de uso familiar, siempre que cumpla con las leyes normativas vigentes (en la actualidad solo se pueden llevar vehiculos nuevos por leyes vigentes en el país). El valor FOB de dicho vehículo nuevo podrá ser hasta 20 mil dólares y con un cilindraje no mayor a los tres mil quinientos centímetros cúbicos.

So only repatriating Ecuadoreans can bring in a car as part of the Menaje de Casa. There is also an example of the packing list.

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3/3/2011 22:05    
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Here is the info on the packing list:

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6/30/2011 19:33    
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Also, we are concerned about the time period for "intending to settle in Ecuador and the six months for shipping. We were waiting to return until we have the resident visa. We were there 9 months before that. Any ideas on this? Thanks to everyone.
K. Stone

All times are ET.  

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