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Moving to Colombia: Shipping our stuff

We are selling our house and moving to Colombia.  My wife is Colombian, I'm from the USA.  Heading to Pereira.

I've read some post on other forums that says to don't bother shipping stuff there.  With shipping costs and Colombian import taxes, it costs just as much to buy there, so why go through the hassle.

However, one person we've spoken with says if my wife has been here more than 6 years, she may not have to pay taxes on importing things.

Things I'd be sending will be mostly tools (table saw, band saw, hedge trimmer, yard tools, various hand and woodworking tools, etc..) . some furniture and other household items. 

Any ideas on if this is worth it?  With the shipping costs, is it just cheaper to buy things there?  I've been there several times and looked at purchasing items there.  The costs are not cheap for good quality tools, but have no experience in costs/hassle of shipping.

One shipping company we spoke with quoted $1.07/lb to Medellin....$0.98/lb to Bogota....but we'd have to get our stuff to Miami ourselves.  We're in Chicago.

Do any of you have experience with this?  Any recommendations?

For import tax question - If you do a Google search  for 'colombia impuesto importar menaje de casa' the PDF that is the second hit may help, it appears it's not 6 years but 5.  It does appear that as a Colombian national there would be no import tax for items considered as "menaje de casa".

This link for FAQs for DIAN may also help:
http://www.dian.gov.co/dian/dai.nsf/pag … endocument

Also at this main page for DIAN there is a link under Contáctenos for a chat option, 'Chat de contacto al usuario' that you could use to question them directly:
http://www.dian.gov.co/

Hey MTBE, I understand the attachment to your things, especially when they're quality. Anything quality and manufactured here is imported (the quality of fresh fruits here? priceless!).

We are moving and trying to sell everything, and if it's very hard because there's a lot of resistance to buying things second-hand. A certain stigma. So you won't find thrift stores here. Family networks act as thrift shops! You'd have to buy everything new.

If you're interested, we'd be happy to sell our major appliances and furniture to you, and it'll be a lot cheaper to ship them from Medellin to Pereira.

We're moving in about 3 weeks. How soon will you be arriving?

Hi there. We moved from WA. State to Rodadero COl. Some furniture I just had to take with so we paid for a shipping Co. To move us. They were to take care of everything from our house to our new house. Everything went well until the container got to Cartagena. The shipping co. keep making demands of more and more money for inspection after inspection. Finally after sitting several months in Cartagena we had our furniture delivered minus several boxes and some damage. They still havent refunded our deposit they keep making excuse after excuse. Shipping our stuff here wasnt a problem and Im glad we did it. The problem was the company we went with.

Hi,

I am now looking in to shipping personal items and furniture from NC to Medellin.
This would be equivalent to about a 1 bedroom apartment with living room and kitchen items.
It's running from $6,000 to $12,000 for door to door service. Still waiting on more quotes.
While I know it would in many ways be cheaper and less hassle to buy all new things in Medellin there are some items I'm pretty attached to.
I shipped a lot of this stuff from Panama City to NC and it was under $4,000 in 2012.
If you can provide the name of the company you used I can avoid them!
Any one with company recommendations would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Steve

This is a very good company, good prices and the most important, serious. you can bring all your home stuff or import what ever you can need and it's impossible to find in Colombia.

Based in Miami 
www.enviacol.com only USA to COL

if you are coming from Europe, best buy everything new here, the price is not worth  the trouble.

Thank you Karen.
I've called their Miami office and emailed for an estimate.

Steve

I am moving to Pereira and I would like a few leads on a nice apartment complex. I need at least 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. I would like to purchase an older single family home and renovate it. I lived briefly in Pereria 7 years ago but things have changed and gotten more expensive. If you or anyone else have information or contacts, please forward to me.

Marcus

Why Pereira?  I live in Chinchina. Soooooo much more cheaper, and soooo much more true Colombia...

Golfersmile :

I am moving to Pereira and I would like a few leads on a nice apartment complex. I need at least 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. I would like to purchase an older single family home and renovate it. I lived briefly in Pereria 7 years ago but things have changed and gotten more expensive. If you or anyone else have information or contacts, please forward to me.

Marcus

For the purpose of this post, I presume that you mean you will buy a home in Pereira and renovate it while living in it.  Your post was not exactly clear about this -- for instance, if you are living in Manizales, per your information above, you could theoretically commute to the renovation-property.  Or, per your avatar information, you may still be in Louisiana,  USA.

----

Living in an apartment while it's being renovated brings up awkward living scenarios I don't wish on Expats.  For example, water may have to be turned off during extended periods.

The challenges of speaking Spanish-as-a-second-language to a maestro and crew doing renovations are sure to be daunting .. especially as complications arise. 

Buying property in South America has all sorts of potential pitfalls.  Fixer-uppers have their own devils in the details.

Don't rush into this in a city where you have not been living, or at least not living there for years.

Even if you previously did rehabs or other property deals in North America, tread with caution in Colombia.

cccmedia in Departamento de Nariño

Are we straying  :offtopic: ?

This is a reminder that the original topic of this thread concerns shipping stuff to Colombia .. on the Cartagena forum.

Posters interested in rehabs and other topics besides shipping can use the search-function off the Colombia forum welcome page to find existing threads .. or you may wish to start your own thread.

cccmedia

mtbe :

I've read some post on other forums that says to don't bother shipping stuff there.  With shipping costs and Colombian import taxes, it costs just as much to buy there, so why go through the hassle?

However, one person we've spoken with says if my wife has been here more than 6 years, she may not have to pay taxes on importing things.

If in doubt, don't ship stuff from North America to South America.

Give, sell, barter or throw your N.A. stuff away .. and bring extra suitcases.

That way, you avoid the thousands upon thousands in expenses .. and the pitfalls .. detailed by posters above.

Figuring out you can save taxes on the shipping is -- as they say here -- No vale la pena -- it's really not worth it.

Expat websites are littered with the sad but true stories of Expats who got tangled in unforeseen costs, missing boxes and articles, delays and more hidden costs.

Do you really want to be worried about all the shipping nonsense during your first weeks or months in Colombia?

If it's bigger than a breadbox and can be purchased in Colombia, also ask yourself:  Do I really need to ship it?

cccmedia in Departamento de Nariño

Thank  you.

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