Moving to Guatemala

Relocating to Guatemala
Updated 2017-09-18 09:39

Bringing your personal belongings as well as your furry or feathery friends to Guatemala is a key part of your expatriation project. Entry formalities in Guatemala are quite straightforward, although taxes and duties are levied both on shipments of goods and on import of non-pedigreed pets.

Customs in Guatemala

Travellers aged over 18 can enter Guatemala carrying duty-free 80 cigarettes and two bottles of liquor or spirits. The currency restriction, both for entrance and exit, is set at USD 10,000. Weapons and ammunitions carriers must present an import license or a temporary transportation permit obtained beforehand from the Direccion General de Control de Armas y Municiones.

However, unless you hold a diplomat status, shipments of used household goods and personal effects are subject to duties and taxes of about 27% - and more for new items, although rate vary with the type of objects. There are no restrictions on the number of electronic devices and appliances (e.g. cameras, computers, fridges, etc.) that can be imported for personal use.

Motor vehicles are subject to a 12% import tax. Such features as air conditioning, MP3 or CD players, considered as luxury features, result in even higher duty.

If you hire a removal company or a carrier, they will generally handle customs clearance on your behalf and provide you with detailed information regarding the applicable rules. For more security, make sure to opt for a carrier affiliated with the International Federation of International Movers (FIDI), typically more conversant with custom and import rules.


In addition to the 'usual' prohibited items (drugs, pornographic material, weapons'¦), Guatemala strictly limits the movement of pre-Columbian or colonial items.

Moving to Guatemala with your pet

Cats and dogs over 3 months of age must have been vaccinated against rabies between 1 and 12 months before entering Guatemala. A blood test certificate proving the effectiveness of the anti-rabies vaccination can also be required.

Additionally, dogs should be vaccinated against parvovirus, distemper and hepatitis, while cats must have undergone vaccines against panleukopenia, feline viral rhinotracheitis and feline calicivirus, also between 1 and 12 months before their arrival to Guatemala.

If you are moving to Guatemala with other pets, such as reptiles, birds, rodents and rabbits do not have to undergo any vaccination, but all pets are required to have a health certificate issued by a government-licensed veterinarian a short time before travel. Identifying your pet with a microchip is not a requirement to enter Guatemala, but it is recommended.


Only pedigree pets are duty free.

Useful links:

Direccion General de Control de Armas y Municiones
FIDI - International Federation of International Movers
Guatemala Customs, Currency & Airport Tax regulations details

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