Moving Your Personal Belongings to Ecuador

I've received several questions about shipping personal belongings to Ecuador. Hopefully this will be helpful.

For many years people have been moving away from Ecuador in search of a better life for their family. But to try to encourage people to move into the country, Ecuador is offering help to those moving to Ecuador. Import tax can be waived on household goods or work equipment brought into the country by those moving to Ecuador.

I personally have always just brought what I could fit in my suitcases when going to Ecuador. But this could be a good option for larger families or for those who have possessions of value that they would rather not leave behind.

For some suggestions on what to bring to Ecuador click here. 

Who qualifies?

Foreigners and Ecuadorian citizens who plan to live permanently in Ecuador qualify for this incentive.

Ecuadorians must have been out of the country for at least 12 months and not been in Ecuador for more than 60 days during the last year. This information will be verified through Ecuadorian Customs.

Foreigners must be entering the country with a 10-Immigrant visa or a 12-Non-Immigrant visa. Click here for more info on visa options.

What can you bring?

Household goods: All items used by a family as part of their daily life. This may include furniture, electronics, toys, books and personal items.

Work Equipment: Any tools or materials needed for a specific art, craft, or business that one plans to use in Ecuador.

Bring a car

A car can be brought to Ecuador without import tax by following these tips:

  • The car must be 4 years old or less on the day it enters the country
  • The value of the car must not exceed $20,000 (USD). This value will be established by Ecuadorian Customs.
  • The car must be sent in the same container as all the other household items imported.

Update: The requirement list also includes that you must be Ecuadorian to bring a car. So it seemings this part does not apply to foreigners moving to Ecuador.

A-1 Auto Transport has been shipping cars to Ecuador for over 25 years.
For more information visit

Steps to bringing your things

  1. Make a detailed list of all item you wish to bring. Include the value of each item as well as whether the item is new or used. This list is very will have troubles at customs if you do not have this list.
  2. Legalize the list through the Consulate that oversees the district you live in .
  3. Choose a shipper you trust. Make sure they give you the Transport Documents needed to claim you goods in Ecuador.
  4. Ask for an Immigration Certificate through SENAMI (National Secretary of Immigrants). 
  5. Ask that the tax be waived on your items.
  6. Hire a Customs Service Agent to move your goods through Customs in Ecuador.

Make sure to follow instructions carefully. Do not just assume it will all work may, but you will probably end up paying a lot of money at customs if you do not follow every instruction carefully.

Items 4-6 can be clarified by talking directly to someone at the nearest Ecuador Consulate (click here for a list of Counsulates and Embassies).

Important Details for Bringing Personal Belongings to Ecuador

Each family group may import one container of household goods. Items may not exceed the normal amount needed for a family (determined by the number in your family).

For example if you bring 10 personal computers for a family of four, customs may assume you are bringing the additional computers in to sell and tax you accordingly.

Any motorized vehicle that you "ride on" is not included in tax free items. For example, jet skis, riding lawnmowers, four wheelers, etc can not be brought as part of your household goods. Motorcycles are allowed.

Items must arrive in Ecuador 2 months before or up to 6 months after you arrive to qualify for tax exemption.

This information was obtained through the Ecuador Customs website. For further info from that site on moving your personal belongings to Ecuador click here.

Have you shipped personal belongings to Ecuador?

Have you experienced how this program works? Do you have a great shipping company that you would recommend to others? Or did you have a nightmare experience? Please tell us about it and any recommendations you have.

Moving to Ecuador Experiences

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Moving to Ecuador 
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