We had a company deliver a container to our home. We hired a moving company to load it. Our shipper was " Ship to Costa Rica" ran by Charles Zeller. The whole experience was a daunting one. We only had 4 hours to load it once the container arrived so we had to coordinate that with the movers who loaded for us. Anything over 4 hours you pay a lot extra per hour as the driver is waiting. If you take any advice from us that is worth taking, please get the insurance to cover all your things. We didn't and regret it. If you take insurance you pay much more for shipping as the cost is based on the amount you insure. We lost some things going over, some broken and some just missing. When we moved back we lost a lot more through abuse by the shipper in repackaging from the ship container to the freight carrier who delivered back to our home. It has been a very disappointing time. Since we had no insurance we were reduced to being reimbursed at 60 cents per pound of the damaged items. It took the shipper, Mr. Zeller, 4 months just to agree to compensate us but we are still waiting on payment. If you want further details I would be glad to respond to a private message.
I'm so sorry for your trouble. I have waited over a year and still don't have the goods that I shipped with Barry Wilson and Ship Costa Rica. This company has cost me thousands of dollars. I hope that others won't have the same experience.
Really sorry you all had bad experiences with movers. But many including me believe it best to whittle down what is really important, and bring in suitcases and forget about shipping things that can break or be stolen or big expensive hassle to pickup. We brought 5 suitcases.
AeroMexico, which allows 2 50 pound suitcases free. Additional 3 at $50 each. Although I find more than 3 too cumbersome to deal with. And at least I know where everything is.. I first arrived in Central America with 2 suitcases and everything important to me can still be carried in them.. To me possessions only are a hindrance. I have become a Minimalist.
We are really tending to minimize, bringing only what will fit in suitcases. However, much of the research I´ve done recommends bringing electronics, as they are very expensive in CR. How do you fit computers or a flat screen into suitcases? Also, anyone who has suggestions for transporting cats, I´d like to hear from you. Cabin or cargo? Cary
We brought a small laptop. We brought an extra small Epson printer, but when it broke could not get parts here and had to buy one here anyway.
The rental where we stayed had a flat screen. After buying a house, I talked my husband in to not getting a TV. We get news on computer. We were wasting a few hours watching reruns and junk. My husband made funny faces for a few days, and it has been over a year and not missed it a bit.
Ok, so electronics are a bit more, but when you factor in shipping costs and gas or transportation to pick up and then being charged whatever the aduana person's mood is for the day, I believe you are spending more. Of course, bring what will fit in suitcases.
But we know people that have spent $20,000 to $30,000 to ship what they think is important. I've seen there houses, and it looks like a bunch of junk to me.
The following is a link to a page I created from information given to me from a shipping company regarding what items NOT to ship. The listed items would most likely hold-up your import in customs for quite a while: goo.gl/YN3inL
My wife and I are retiring and moving to CR (Dominical area) in October. We live in the Los Angeles area. Would you/someone be able to point me in the right direction for a reputable shipping container company to bring down our belongings? We're not taking our cars. Thanks, Roger.
Try the provided link. You get bids based upon what you ship. Remember if you do not first obtain Residency and get the household goods exemption you will be taxed heavily on everything you ship. I recommend against shipping things like refrigerators as they really are not made for tropical climates, Any make or model of electrical items sent here will not have repair parts available.
I'm glad to see you post this. We also used this company and found him extremely unethical-- ripped us off. And his movers on the CR end do their best to damage your stuff... loading heavy boxes of books on-top with flimsiest boxes on the bottom-- they paid no attention to care of items. Also if you are considering using "Barry Wilson" at the very least sign the contract in Costa Rica (use a lawyer/notary that you choose) and pay for the contract from a Costa Rican bank account, so that you have a legal leg to stand on if he cons you.
I am not the type of person to sue anyone in the US or here. But I have HEARD and READ that lawyers can make you think you have a case that you will win, but just keep taking your money. Then maybe you go to another lawyer with your problem and say the first lawyer didn't help you and does the same. I have READ that some people were laughed at in court by even the judge. I understand it is heresay, but have read this type of thing several times.
Just look for freight forwarders. There are many of them. Nothing at all to prevent you from doing the whole process. I packed my stuff in a truck--went to Delaware which was the closest port to my place in Pa. and loaded up the container. I also paid to send a car in another container. The important part is to make sure you have a customs guy lined up in Costa Rica to process everything.. You need to have a list and value of every item. Just label the boxes by number but do not show anyone the cross reference. LIke don't put "Gold Coins in Box # 1"---just have a complete list for customs, you can have a box list showing them how many boxes. The customs guy will help with keeping the cost down. I did mine many years ago so not sure but then it was not unusual to leave a "tip" to make sure all goes smoothly. I have heard of too many instances where items go missing even using companies so what is the benefit? To pay double? As always if you don't speak Spainish find a bi-lingual person to pay by the day to help.
Bring it!!! I can't stress that enough. The prices for the most basic household item is 3 to 4 times the price here to re-buy, (Example: Kitchen Knife could be 4 times the price even for a cheap CHINESE one.). Also the quality is NOT as good in most stores. Any American brand will be minimum twice the price. Finding good pots and pans is terrible. I used atlas. Just to restock your house would be 4 times the price with inferior products. A leather couch will cost $3000 alone. You can ship a 20 for container for the price of one couch.
Everyone has a different experience and perspective about whether to move with just your suitcases or bring a household.
After much thought, we ended up shipping a 40' container. We don't regret it. The cost, process and end result was satisfactory and we are glad to have our belongings here with us.
We lived here almost 9 months before shipping/receiving the container. We realized in that time we didn't want to replace our small appliances, tools, etc here as they are at least double the cost and lesser quality. In addition, you can search for days for an item that is only carried at one store. We live outside of Jaco; the nearest Walmart is 1 1/2 hrs away shopping is not convenient .
In that lag time, we also realized we had packed items we would have no use for or would not survive the humidity. Once the container arrived we gave many items away. My advice is - if you decide to ship a container, make sure you do a HUGE purge of your belongings and only bring the items you KNOW you will use, the items that will survive the weather here and those items you just can't stand to part with no matter what!
We used Barry (& Arden) of Ship Costa Rica and had a GREAT experience from start to finish. (Most of our contact was with Arden.)
We are going to move our belongings, container, from Europe to Costa Rica; antique furniture, paintings, multitude of books, etc.
I would like to know if humidity would affect our paints, etc. I heard that household appliances are not allowed, right or wrong. And can they be new or just used items. Also clothing is not allowed, correct or not.
Last but not least, what about import taxes, how to make a calculation to know in advance what we are expected to pay.
Info right off the top of my head from my experience this last year:
Paintings have not been damaged - neither have professionally framed pieces.
Books are damaged within weeks if not kept in sealed room with A/C or dehumidifier.
Wood furniture - depends on the wood. The termites love soft woods here as does the mildew. I've had success with walnut, teak and a couple other varieties. Have recently used a clear sealer on some pieces that are outside but under cover - we'll see how they fair.
Household appliances are allowed. For customs everything has to be designated New or Used. Used gets a higher charge.
We didn't personally ship any clothing - brought everything in our suitcases, but shoes and get this, underwear were big no-no's in May 2019.
Other items not allowed include anything with gas in it, currently or in the past. We were able to bring a generator with the cap taped off after draining and allowing fumes to dissipate and plugged with a towel.
There's so many rules and they change so often, I'd work with a professional for a stress-free ship and delivery process.
Missed the questions regarding bringing antique furniture, paintings, multitude of books, etc. This really isn't a good idea. Termites and humidity can do lot of damage, although it will vary a lot depending on location.
No....if it is a professional company. They use this 4 or 7 ply paper that has a nylon breathable layer in the middle especially for being in ships that stops mildew and water...it's thick and durable.