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Moving to Guatemala


Capital: Guatemala City
Population: 15,806,675 (2014)
Area: 42,042 sq. mi
Top 5 Largest Cities: 1. Guatemala City 2. Mixco 3. Villa Nueva 4. Petapa 5. San Juan Sacatepequez
Lanuage: Spanish
Climate: Humid tropical to cold dry
Motto: "Libre Crezca Fecundo" / "Grow Free and Fertile"

Moving to Guatemala with your furniture items? Nationwide Van Lines would love to make your overseas trip easy for you. Our knowledgeable staff would love to guide you throughout your entire process. We want you to smile the entire way with our wonderful and helpful staff. Contact us today to begin your overseas move the right way.

Required Documents for Import

To assist clearing your household goods, documents are very important to Customs. Below you will find some of the needed documents.

Import Declaration - A document stating the household goods being shipped.

Certificate of Origin - Gives verification of which country your household goods are manufactured in.

Import Requirements and Documentation

Customs will require documents to help attach you to your shipment. Please take a look at some of the documents below to help assist you with preparation.

  • Your Original Passport with your Entry Stamp
  • Your Original Packing List in Spanish or English
  • Billing and delivery instructions with your insurance information included
  • 2 Original Bill of Lading
  • A copy of your Duty Free Exemption

Additional detailed document requirements

  • If shipping antiques, carpets, artifacts and/or paintings, you must declare them as a part of your household goods, have them featured within your Inventory List and must be within reasonable quantity.
  • Your Tributary Identification Number (NIT) Card if you are a Guatemalan or expatriate. You must receive your NIT from the Finance Ministry in Guatemala or Superintendencia de Administration Tributaria (SAT). Your Original Passport will be needed. If you do not have a shipping address your employers address can be used if you are a Guatemalan or expatriate. Please be sure if you are using your employers address, the address on your Original Bill of Lading matches their address. You will need you NIT and your Passport for Customs clearance.

The Examination of Household Goods and Entry Documents

Once your household goods have arrived in Guatemala along with your documents, both are subjected to examination by Customs. A CBP officer will examine your household goods to determine the value, correct markings, proper invoicing, existence of prohibited items, damages, deterioration and illegal narcotics. It's important to assure all items are properly described and accounted for to avoid any delays or seizure of items. Once your items are approved for release, they are safeguarded by the proper officers.

Duty and Taxes

Once your inspection is done, your duties and taxes are accumulated and are due for release. Duties can range from 0 to 15% and your Value-added Tax (VAT) will be a flat 12%.

Duty-free Items

You must be 18 years of age or more to import your items duty-free. Below are the duty-free items and its quantities.

  • 500 grams of tobacco
  • 2 kg of confectionery items
  • 5 liters of alcoholic beverages

Labeling and Marking Requirements

The correct labeling and markings are very important for Customs. Each mark and label should be in the Spanish language. Please take a look below to discover the marking and labeling requirements.

  • The name and address of the importer
  • The country of Origin
  • Clearly numbered in reflection of the inventory list
  • The quantity

Prohibited Items

Customs will deem certain items as prohibited once arriving into Customs. To avoid any delays, please take a look at some of the prohibited items below.

  • Drugs
  • Vegetables
  • Acids
  • Obscene articles, publications, videos and/or softwares
  • Gambling devices
  • Endangered species
  • Dairy
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Wildlife trophies
  • Fruit

Restricted Items

There are items that hold restrictions when it comes to importing into Guatemala. Please take a look at some of the items below and their restrictions.

  • All alcohol and wine will need permission for import by the Health Ministry and limited to 6 bottles. You must have an original Commercial Invoice and a Certificate of Origin.
  • Plants and seeds will require a Phytosanitary Certificate and a Certificate of Free Sale by the Department of Agriculture of the country of export.
  • Mayan artefacts must be bought from a reputable store and must include the certificates.
  • Unlicensed ammunition or weapons.
  • Electronic cigarettes must include an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract.
  • Firearms must be authorized by the Ministry of Defense and also requires a special permit.

Receiving your Household Goods

The liability for duties are paid once Customs has cleared your shipment for release. There are no options of prepaid duties or taxes prior to exportation from a foreign country. Once your shipment is filed with CBP, the party and only the party listed as the receiver can pick up the shipment. If household goods are warehoused, the party of liability can be changed to another party, most whom purchased the goods. The Customs broker cannot pay duties, but can accept a check written out to the Customs and Border Protection to forward. Once items are received, all articles are deemed owned by the receiver and no longer in ownership of the CBP.

For more information regarding moving to Guatemala, please take a look at the websites below.

All information featured above is for viewing purposes only. To obtain up-to-date information about overseas shipment, please notify your nearest Consulate.