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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

To ship or not to ship personal belonging from USA to Ecuador? September 2015

Expats opinions from ExpatExchange Ecuador forum and InterNations Quito forum. To ship or not to ship?

Opinion #1
Pack it up and bring it with you on the plane.
You also have a period of time from when you enter the country and receive your visa to receive a shipment via cargo -- this is a rather involved process and requires professional assistance. As for delivery via say UPS -- the cost is astronomical.

Opinion #2
It just isn't worth it. With the money you save, you can do a billion runs to and from Miami to purchase all those items you really feel you need AFTER you move here. Your perspective may change once you set up house.
Just a couple of weeks ago, they had a special on LAN Airlines for GYE-MIA first class, all in at 750 or something like that. That's three bags of 70 lbs each for each person. That's a lot of pans, plates, sheets, towels, mattress toppers, tools, and appliances for two people flying.
Plus, you can have new beautiful furniture made by local artisans for less than it would cost to haul that old sofa and kitchen table down here.
Almost everything can be had in Ecuador and the price difference for buying new items in Ecuador (those that won't fit in your bags like a TV, Washer/dryer...whatever..).will still be cheaper than paying a huge sum of money to haul your older stuff down.

Opinion #3
We just arrived 2 weeks ago. I agree to not ship any furniture or large appliances...get them here. We are only shipping personal items...lots of books, clothing and other personal items for a total of 3 palettes(1 pallet=48"x48"x80"). We opted to use a shipping company, International Van Lines. We thought about using the extra suitcase routine but we have lots of books and that weight adds up fast. Considering the traveling we did immediately after arriving it would have be a real pain in the behind. It was a pain with the 4 suitcases and 2 backpacks we had You can always get an estimate and go that way if you choose to. We packed some basic get started stuff for the kitchen, a set of sheets and towels. The rest of the linens were used as packing supplies. So explore your options based on what you are bringing.

Opinion #4
If it is fragile -- breakable and irreplaceable -- give it to someone you love -- don't ship it here. 
If it is a fridge, stove, washer dryer or BBQ...leave it in the States -- because you won't be able to get service for it here --parts are different and service is different.
If it is furniture -- you can buy it here...sell it give it away
Pretty much if it something you would have your kids or family inherit when you die -- give it to them now.
Okay -- what does that leave?
Woodworking tools, craft equipment, cutlery -- clothes (especially large size shoes and large size clothes.
Religious articles -- although if you are Catholic you have hit the jackpot -- if you are Jewish -- bring a mezuzah but Chabad will be happy to come and bring you a few for a nice donation, and bring your menorah, candle sticks, oh heck you know the drill. if you are Protestant of whatever denomination... uh... bring your favorite bible.. if you Muslim, your Qu'uran and your mat and yes there are Mosques ... your best contacts are in Quito and find your local Shwarma stand :)
Basically what I am saying is -- you want to bring that makes your house a home -- but this is a fresh start -- not a place to cloister yourself with everything you had back where you came from. Things do not travel well and they do get lost in the move. Give stuff away to those who need it -- down size -- and lighten the load -- Life is easier that way.

Opinion #5
Please think twice about shipping anything to Ecuador! Our members (South American Explorer Quito Clubhouse) have had terrible experiences with the Ecuadorian Customs system. Import papers must be redone several times, depending on the particular clerk. Additional duties on both new and used items are imposed at the last minute. Things are stolen out of the shipping boxes after each box has been opened and rifled. It took V.., moving from the US, over three months to finally get her stuff released for customs. AND any small package over 4 kilos is charged $40 or more for importation. AND there are no import contractors that will make a difference. V.. used one out of Miami, Florida and it made no difference. Here is my suggestion. Bring everything with you as excess baggage. I know it sounds crazy, but that is cheaper and faster than actually trying to ship you stuff. The boxes will glide through airport customs unless they are in a "just purchased" large box. 

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