Embajada de Costa Rica

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Import of Vehicles


Goods imported temporarily may remain in the country for three months. Motor vehicles may be imported or exported temporarily, without requiring the payment of corresponding customs fees.

1. Required documents:

   Original and photocopy of passport

   Original and photocopy of driver’s license

   Original and photocopy of vehicle registration

   Original and photocopy of the property title of the vehicle per regulations of the country of origin.

If the applicant is not the owner of the vehicle: Original and photocopy of authorization of the owner, drafted abroad, properly notarized and certified by a Costa Rican consulate (Consular Certification), declaring the owner’s consent that the vehicle enter the country.

2. Procedure:

1. Fill out temporary import form provided by the Customs Office (Dirección General de Aduanas) at the port of entry to Costa Rica.

2. Present original and photocopy of both sides of the driver’s license issued in the country of origin.

3. Present original and photocopy of passport that proves migratory condition, valid for the length of the temporary import.

4. Present original and photocopy of residency identity card, in case of Costa Ricans who are residents abroad.

5. Pay Circulation Fee (Impuesto de Ruedo) of US $25.00, at the special window at each Customs office in the country.

6. Pay insurance from the INS (Costa Rica National Insurance Institute) for US $15.00, at the special window at each Customs office in the country. The temporary import will be granted for 3 months, and is extendable for another 3 months after deposit payment for a permit extensión.


In order to import a motor vehicle permanently, it is required to hire a registered Customs Agent, per the new customs law. Article 37 of the Ley General de Aduanas.

1. Required documents:

a.     Property title

b.     Commercial Invoice (translated in Spanish)

c.     Copy of the customs declaration or export certification from the country of origin, which

       includes the actual values, the name of the importer, as well as the weight of the vehicle. If  

       the customs declaration is in another language than Spanish, it has to be translated as well.                                                                          

c.     Transport Contract:

           Entry via highway: Tranport Contract or Consignment Note

           Entry by sea: Bill of Lading

           Entry by air: Airway bill  

2. Procedures:

The taxes or fees of the vehicle are calculated depending on the corresponding value of the automobile. These are calculated Ad-Valorem, on the value in customs of the vehicle (value CIF: cost, insurance and freight). The value of the vehicle for this purpose is determined by its value in the international market by means of the Blue/Black Book printed in the United States.

For additional information, please contact: Ministry of Finance (Ministerio de Hacienda)


Civil Aviation Department: (506) 2290-0090

Juan Santamaría Airport: (506) 2441-6303

Tobías Bolaños Airport:   (506) 2232-1165


Costa Rican Institute of Ports of the Pacific: (506) 2223-7111 or (506) 2223-7111.

Limón Harbor Administration: (506) 2798-3417




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