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Moving Used Cars to Caribbean/South America

Abels have been updated and advised by the shipping line Hapag Lloyd in connection with the move of used cars to various countries across the Caribbean and South America.

This information is current as at 19th May 2015 and shows details below for various countries.

No restrictions to import used or new cars.

Only permitted as part of personal effects shipment of returning Argentinean that were living out of the country more than 2 years.

No restrictions to import used or new cars.

For diplomats, 1 car 4 years or younger is allowed. A letter has to be issued from their embassy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on their behalf for approval.

No restrictions to import used or new cars.

No restrictions to import used but the taxes are too high. Cannot be declared as personal effects too.

Cayman Islands:
The import of any model of the Hummer motor vehicle which exceeds 6.8 feet in width is prohibited. No vehicle of a type known to the motor vehicle trade as “moke” or “mini-moke” or any similar vehicle or vehicle commonly known as a “beach buggy” or “dune buggy” or any similar vehicle. No parts for any such vehicles may be imported into or used in the Islands without the permission of the Governor.

No Double-decker omnibus shall be imported into or used in the Islands. No person, without the prior permission of the Governor or Public Transportation Board, may import into or use in the Islands any motor vehicle which is constructed for the carriage of more than nine persons excluding the driver. Vehicles of this type must have the passenger door opening on the left side of the vehicle.

No motorcycle may be used in the Islands in combination with a sidecar and no sidecar may be imported into the Islands.

For used vehicles it is prohibited when the vehicles are “for sale”. If the car is a donation there is no problem. When used car is for private use this is like household goods and is OK to move to Chile. There is a requirement for a Sanitary Certificate.

Used cars can be imported only by diplomatic people and only for their use.

Costa Rica:
No restrictions to import used or new cars.

Dominican Republic:
Mandatory to declare the Shipper’s Tax ID for Imports. Mandatory by Dominican Customs that consignee must be located in Dominican Republic and must have a TAX ID number on the BL. Consignee’s RNC (Registro Nacional del Contribuyente) for Dominican Companies, Cedula de Identidad y Electoral (national ID) for Dominicans citizens and permanents legal resident or Passport number for foreigners for all import cargo.
CUSTOMS CLEARANCE: Make, Model, Chassis number and year of fabrication of any vehicle that is manifested as import cargo are mandatory. Information must be in cargo description in FIS

Used vehicles are forbidden for sale. A used car with maximum of 4 years and a maximum value of US20000, is allowed in a household good shipment of a returning immigrant. For donation are only allowed ambulance and fire trucks.

El Salvador:
Cars cannot be more than 8 years old, so for example the cars should be no older than from 2006.

Stated that vehicles over 5 years incur additional duties.

No restrictions.

Cars must be operational. No trucks are allowed. There is a fee of $350.00/cars payable at the Terminal and after 30 days there is an additional $10.00/day for storage. The freight and THC should be PREPAID.

No more than 13+ years pick-up or work vehicle, no more than 10+ “tourism” car , no more than 24 years for a classic car

Vehicle must not be older than 5 years.

Year of manufacture must be from 2004 onwards to be accepted

For used cars you should consider the following: For ease and accuracy in the registration operation, vehicle importers will be required to enter in the Customs declaration the brand, type, year of manufacture, model and year, the chassis number, the distance Wheelbase; extraordinary accessories and the vehicle is new or used. Are restricted import products which are classified in the HS CODE 8710.00.00 (Tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, motorized, whether or not fitted with weapons, and parts of such vehicles). For imports, the importer shall submit the authorization issued by the competent authority. Vehicles for public transport and selective group of people, should have the Certificate of Operation (Cupo) issued by the National Authority Transit and Land Transport.

Puerto Rico:
Used vehicles must comply with all USA Safety Standards and US Customs really regulates the entry as in some countries the gasoline is leaded and they made test to the catalytic converters and sometime request to replace the Catalytic Converter prior to allowing the unit to transit US roads, plus any other Safety Standard not in place. It is a little problematic moving used cars and Customs broker don’t like to do the declarations as it takes quite some time to get one. Puerto Rico have same regulation as the USA States in this respect.

Used Vehicles not allowed to be older than 10 years. This restriction does not apply to trucks and construction equipment, it only applies to personal vehicles.

Vehicle can be no older than 5 years and must have no front or rear damage to the auto.

Trinidad and Tobago:
Vehicle must not be older than 6 years. That applies to vehicles imported by individuals and dealers. EXCEPTION TO AGE RESTRICTION FOR VEHICLES IMPORTED TO TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – Exceptions are made for citizens of Trinidad and Tobago who were living abroad and importing their vehicle. Applicant must have resided abroad for a continuous period of not less than one (1) year. Applicants must own the vehicle and have same registered in his/her name prior to the date of arrival in Trinidad and Tobago. Intend to reside permanently in Trinidad and Tobago. Require the vehicle for personal use. Must import the vehicle within six (6) months prior to or after his return. Must not sell or transfer the vehicle within two (2) years of importation without the permission of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Applicant is entitled to one vehicle.

Does not allow the import of used Automobiles.

Willemstad, Curacao, Philipsburg, St.Marten:
No restrictions. Only requirement is that OBL’s are issued to St. Marten and not way bills

Used Autos only allowed if personal (household Goods) and not for resale.

For customers moving with used cars to the Caribbean or countries in South America please call your Abels customer liaison on their direct line or call head office on +44(0)1842 816600 or email