If you decide that you will be importing personal goods to Colombia be sure that you have a clear quote from your chosen shipper. Make certain that they are working with a reputable shipping and customs agency in this country. Compare your quotes and be sure you are not paying for the same service twice in Colombia.
No matter what your shopper will say, do not give money for bribes at Colombian ports. This is illegal ! Instead make certain that your handling company properly packs and documents all of your goods and belongings.
Compare local insurance rates to Colombian insurance rates. Find out what you have to do if you must make a claim in your country of origin. Will it be more difficult once you are in Colombia to make a claim 'back home''.
No shipper can guarantee what your port charges will be. These are assessed in Colombia when your goods have been cleared through the port. Ask your shipper how much you should budget extra for these costs.
If you are not a Colombian National then you will have to pay a tax on your good entering the country. This tax is 15% of the cost of shipping plus the declared value of the goods plus the cost of the insurance. In shipping terms this is called CIF.
You will be restricted as to the quantity of personal items that you can bring. For example, you can not bring 4 television sets. The reason for these limits is to stop smuggling and laundering of money. A rule of thumb is generally you are allowed the quantity of one type household item. For example, 1 dining room set, I living room set, 1 master bedroom set and 1 bedroom set per family member. For electronics and appliance, the rule again is one per item except up to 3 air conditioners, 3 recorders, 3 radios, 3 phones and 3 fans.
For ''accessories'', children's toys, porcelain, ceramics, compact discs, engravings and reproduction are allowed in non commercial amounts.
Shipping your personal belongings can be a stressful task. For assistance or an introduction to Colombian companies who specialize in the professional handling of personal goods contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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