Bringing Things With You to Cuenca
by Becky Gore
(Manteo, NC, USA)
Can you bring a TV on the plane or is it best to buy in Ecuador? I really would like to bring some personal items with me, such as comfortable sofa, recliners, art work and kitchen supplies, but I keep reading that it is such a hassle to ship to Ecuador. Any comments on this?
You bring up an interesting point. If you want to pay customs duties, you can bring anything you want in via container. Or you bring in practically anything that will fit in luggage or some boxes if you want to fly back and forth a few times (no duties unless you're very unlucky).
But if you want to bring in a container of your stuff, and not pay duties, then it's a big hassle. Especially since they just changed the rules.
You now have 6 months to get your stuff here, from the time you last entered the country. But you can't send it until after you have your residency visa. Some people received their visas recently, 7 months after landing here, and just a few days after the new rule went into effect.
This meant that they can't ship in anything duty-free.
Some people are now investigating air freight, since it arrives here in days, lands at the Quito airport (bypassing the corruption on the Guayaquil docks), and can help with short time-frames in which to get your stuff here. You can't bring as much, and it will be more expensive, but at least you'll get your stuff here.
Many people sell everything and buy here, except for expensive things (stainless steel cookware, for example, and computers/small electronics) and things with a sentimental value. TVs are getting cheaper by the month, it seems, and furniture is usually of good quality.
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